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In long COVID, also referred to as post-COVID syndrome, people continue to experience symptoms for a long period after a COVID-19 infection. There is a need for more knowledge about this clinical picture. ZonMw therefore funds various scientific studies into long COVID.

These studies examine the various persistent symptoms associated with long COVID. Research is also being done into the effectiveness of interventions and how healthcare can be organised. The COVID-19 programme also encompasses studies into the treatment of long COVID and the effect of vaccination on long COVID.


Long COVID is diagnosed when people have persistent symptoms for a longer period following a COVID-19 infection. Patients with long COVID generally experience symptoms for more than 3 months. These symptoms can be very diverse, such as extreme fatigue, loss of taste and/or smell or mental and psychological problems. Long COVID affects people who experienced the illness at home as well as those admitted to hospital. The persistent complaints often have a negative effect on social functioning, the ability to work and the quality of life. This means that long COVID also causes societal problems.

Funding within various (sub-)programmes and funding rounds

The COVID-19 programme was set up in 2020 on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. Within the funding rounds of the COVID-19 programme, several projects were already included in 2020 that researched the disease progression after a COVID-19 infection and also focused on the longer term. From 2021 onwards, the subprogramme Persistent complaints and aftercare was set up, within which 4 funding rounds for long COVID, in particular, have been published. In addition to this, there are studies that touch upon long COVID and that are funded through the subprogrammes COVID-19 treatment and COVID-19 vaccination.

ZonMw makes research into long COVID possible

Within the COVID-19 programme of ZonMw, 20 projects have now been set up, which relate to long COVID. These studies have various research objectives: from a better subtyping of patient categories and investigating one specific organ, to the effectiveness of interventions. Most studies are still underway, but several have already been completed. For more information about the project or for the project results, please take a look at the different (sub)programmes and funding rounds.

Condition: immediately usable and sustainable knowledge

The research that ZonMw funds must provide knowledge that can be used immediately by policymakers and healthcare professionals. That is an important condition for the funding of the studies. The aim is that the research results contribute to good recovery care and aftercare during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands but also in the wake of it. Another important focus is that the studies must lead to a sustainable impact. In other words, the results will also usable after the pandemic.

Long COVID research: part of comprehensive coronavirus research

ZonMw funds comprehensive scientific research into the coronavirus and COVID-19 and the effects of this on society. We are doing this in collaboration with commissioning bodies, policymakers, researchers, patients, healthcare professionals, data professionals and international partners. The studies into long COVID are part of this as well.

Read the COVID-19-programme

Reeks blogs omtrent Long COVID

Lees hieronder de meest recente blogs omtrent Long COVID.

Remain informed?


Do you have any questions about this research? First, check our FAQ. Is your question not listed? Contact us at covid19@zonmw.nl.​​​​

covid19 [at] zonmw.nl
covid19 [at] zonmw.nl