COVID - Curated and open analysis and research platform


CO-CONNECT was a research project to help scientists across the UK to access the data they need more easily to help develop potential therapies and treatment for COVID-19. It was funded by the Medical Research Council (Part of UKRI) and the Department of Health and Social Care (part of NIHR) as part of their direct response to the Pandemic.

CO-CONNECT ran between October 2020 and October 2022.

Data Partners

"Building a network to ensure COVID-19 immunity can be understood by linking leading serology collections from across the United Kingdom"

Why was CO-CONNECT needed?​

COVID-19 data has been generated across the UK as a by-product of clinical care and public health provision, and numerous bespoke and repurposed research endeavours. Analysis of these data has underpinned the UK’s response to the pandemic and informed public health policies and clinical guidelines. However, these data are held by different organisations and this fragmented landscape has presented challenges for policymakers, public health agencies and researchers as they struggle to find, navigate permissions to access, and interrogate the data they need to inform the pandemic response at pace. 

CO-CONNECT was established to help researchers find and access data at pace.

To achieve this we:

Standardised antibody data collection across the UK

Configured an infrastructure which enables trustworthy, fast, de-identified, secure analysis of data sets from across multiple sources

Investigated how to answer key questions about immunity to COVID-19 and the implications for patient outcomes.  

A Collaborative Project:

CO-CONNECT was led by University of Nottingham with a team of four Principal Investigators with complementary NHS/academic skills across public health, technology and science.  The project has built a strong collaboration of over 40 leaders in their respective fields from across 20 organisations across the UK. Visit our Partners Page to find out more. 

Principal Investigators:

Phil Quinlan

University of Nottingham

Dr. Quinlan is the Head of the Digital Research Service at the University of Nottingham and Co-Director of the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre

Emily Jefferson

University of Dundee

Professor Jefferson is the Academic Lead and Director of the Health Informatics Centre at the University of Dundee and a Professor in Health Data Science.

Susan Hopkins

Public Health England

Professor Susan Hopkins is the Senior Medical Advisor at Public Health England and the lead for the SIREN study.

Aziz Sheikh

University of Edinburgh

Professor Sheikh is Director of the Usher Institute. He is also Director of the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (AUKCAR)

Key Partnerships


Health Data Research (HDR) UK has transformed the UK landscape in health data science. CO-CONNECT has been formed from many of the existing locations of HDR UK, from HDR Midlands and HDR Scotland forming the backbone of the CO-CONNET technical team. We have been working with our key collaborating partner, Health Data Research UK, to ensure all the datasets associated with CO-CONNECT are discoverable in the Innovation Gateway and that request can be accessed from this portal.



The UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre (TDCC) is a the national centre for biobanks. As such it has been in instrumental in developing the tools and know-how that have lead into CO-CONNECT. The engagement team from TDCC are supporting this effort to build long term relationships with the community. The technology being used was first used by TDCC and HDR UK in 2018 as a pilot across four cohorts.

BC Platforms

BC Platforms are our main technical partner who supply the software that drives the federated search. We are utilising their BC|RQuest, BC|Link and BC|Insight tools to help deliver a scalable, secure and powerful data discovery and analytics package to enable the datasets to be brought together without all the data having to reside in a single location.


BREATHE is a collaboration with patients and publics, UK Universities, third sector, Government organisations and industry from across the UK and globally. The Hub is led by The University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London, University of Leicester, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Queen Mary University of London and Swansea University. BREATHE is the perfect partner for CO-CONNECT as it brings the wealth of experience in longitudinal respiratory datasets.​

Data Partners


ISARIC 4C Name: International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium – Comprehensive Clinical Characterisation Collaboration (ISARIC 4C) Principal Investigator: Professor Peter Openshaw (Co-lead) Leading Institutions: Imperial College London HDR Innovation…


COVID-Consortium: Front Line Impact of COVID-19 Name: COVID-Consortium (COVIDsortium) Principal Investigator: Professor James Moon Leading Institutions: University College London, Barts Charity  HDR Innovation Gateway Metadata Rating: Gold Work in COVIDsortium began the day…


TRACK-COVID Name: TRACK-COVID Principal Investigators: Professor John Danesh and Professor Emanuele Di Angelantonio Leading institution or organisation: University of Cambridge (Department of Public Health and Primary Care) HDR Innovation Gateway Metadata…


Pandemic Tracking of Healthcare Workers Name: Pandemic Tracking of Healthcare Workers (PANTHER) Leading institution or organisation: University of Nottingham, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust HDR Innovation Gateway Metadata Rating: Gold The…

Data Partners

CO-CONNECT Draws to a Close

CO-CONNECT Draws to a Close The CO-CONNECT team celebrated the end of the project with a final get-together to reflect on what they have accomplished, and the legacy they are leaving behind By... Read More

CO-CONNECT Shortlisted in HDR UK’s Annual Awards

CO-CONNECT Shortlisted in HDR UK’s Annual Awards We are happy to announce that CO-CONNECT has been short-listed for Health Data Research UK’s Annual Award for Reproducibility Recognitions.  The project has been nominated for... Read More

ALSPAC cohort updated

ALSPAC cohort updated on the Cohort Discovery Search Tool Data from ALSPAC (also known as the Children of the 90’s) cohort has been updated on the HDR Innovation Gateway’s Cohort Discovery Search Tool.... Read More

ISARIC is 4C-ing!

ISARIC is 4C-ing! ISARIC 4C becomes CO-CONNECT’s 12th COVID-19 cohort to be on-boarded onto the Cohort Discovery Search Tool By Gabriella Linning We are pleased to announce that ISARIC 4C has become the... Read More


ISARIC 4C Name: International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium – Comprehensive Clinical Characterisation Collaboration (ISARIC 4C) Principal Investigator: Professor Peter Openshaw (Co-lead) Leading Institutions: Imperial College London HDR Innovation Gateway Metadata Rating: Platinum... Read More