Under the urgency of the corona pandemic, ZonMw implemented in its COVID-19 research programme a number of open science practices to enhance collaboration, and to accelerate the exchange of knowledge. The ultimate goal is that the international COVID-19 research community directly benefits from ZonMw’s projects, thereby contributing to solutions for the corona crisis.

Requirements for COVID-19 research projects

The following sections provide information on what researchers (and their data stewards) need to do, when they apply for or hold a grant in the COVID-19 research programme. The requirements are for all types of research, including quantitative and qualitative research, biomedical, behavioral, and social economic research, or any other discipline in ZonMw’s COVID-19 programme. Scroll down for:

  1. What researchers need to do for a grant proposal and research project
  2. Transparency and sharing of research findings and data
  3. Creating FAIR data, tailored to the COVID-19 research community

1.    What researchers need to do for a grant proposal and research project

Here we explain the 8 open science requirements for ZonMw’s grant applications and research projects in the COVID-19 research programme. They help to improve the conditions for reusable data in COVID-19 research, and they contribute to transparency about projects, and improved sharing of research findings.

The requirements that are part of a grant application are also listed here. It is crucial to involve a data steward for these activities.

2. Transparency and sharing of research findings and data

Transparency and rapid communication about research activities is needed to synergize the many efforts in the current hectic of COVID-19 research, to benefit from new developments, to find options to collaborate, and to prevent double work. ZonMw and NWO have therefore signed the Statement on sharing research findings and data in public health emergencies.

Transparency and sharing of research findings are incorporated in the open science requirements for grant applicants and grant holders in ZonMw’s COVID-19 research programme: requirements 6 ((pre-)registration), 7 (open access publication), and 8 (access to research data and metadata).

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3. Creating FAIR data, tailored to the COVID-19 research community

Here one finds the actions that enable researchers in ZonMw’s COVID-19 projects to create FAIR data or - as a minimum - FAIR metadata. These actions were initiated by ZonMw in summer 2020 together with GO FAIR Foundation, DTL, and Health-RI. Below one finds the resources that resulted from ZonMw’s actions, and those that are provided by other organisations, services and infrastructures.

Update on ZonMw’s actions to optimize reuse of COVID-19 related data (summer 2021)

As a follow up on the early projects to FAIRify COVID-19 research data, GO FAIR Foundation, DTL, and Health-RI developed the three-point FAIRification Framework (3-PFF). In a series of M4M Workshops (M4M), metadata experts from (among others) GO FAIR and domain experts (COVID-19 researchers and their data stewards) participated to get training and to jointly create FAIR metadata: i.e., metadata that are both machine-actionable and follow domain-relevant community standards. You can read more about this approach in FAIRification. The concrete outputs of the workshops are domain specific metadata forms. Information about the COVID-19 projects derived from the metadata will be exposed on the Dutch Health Data portal at Health-RI.

Find here the Guidelines with instructions and links to fill in the metadata forms
Find the metadata templates on the M4M resource page

Portals to find projects, data and other resources

Early achievements from GO FAIR Foundation, Health-RI and DTL for COVID-19 research projects

Read the section FAIRification to find more resources for creating FAIR data

Clinical research

  • CASTOR ‘s Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system enables researchers to capture and integrate medical research data from any source in real-time. Their approach toward reusable and machine readable data will eventually enable AI-driven clinical trials. Castor provides for COVID-19 research the service to capture clinical data by making use of the FAIRified eCRF, following the WHO standards.
  • REMAP-CAP is a study on community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) that uses an innovative trial design to efficiently evaluate multiple interventions simultaneously (REMAP = Randomised, Embedded, Multifactorial, Adaptive Platform trial). Read how REMAP-CAP responded to COVID-19, and about ZonMw’s COVID-19 studies that make use of REMAP-CAP.
  • CAPACITY is a registry of patients with COVID-19 and has been established to answer questions on the role of cardiovascular disease in this pandemic. It is an extension of the WHO Case Record Form (CRF) for COVID-19.

Please inform us about more other COVID-19 research and FAIR data initiatives: toegangtotdata@zonmw.nl

Attention! Please consult this website regularly for updates and solutions.

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