Prestigious UKRI grant awarded for critical COVID-19 research

Dr Lieve Gies (School of Media, Communication and Sociology) has been awarded a UKRI Emergency Route for Time-critical COVID-19 Research grant by the ESRC.
Prestigious UKRI grant awarded for critical COVID-19 research

Dr Lieve Gies

University students are high-risk spreaders of COVID-19. Effective delivery of vaccines to this population group is essential for the intertwined goals of preventing disease cases, breaking transmission cycles and economic recovery. Delivery of effective student-centred COVID-19 vaccine campaigns will require a clear understanding of how different student groups perceive COVID-19 vaccines. This study, led by Professor Chris Bayliss (Department of Genetics) and Dr Lieve Gies (School of Media, Communication and Sociology), aims to develop informed recommendations for these campaigns by examining the importance of convenient vaccine delivery and whether differing pandemic experiences (including experiences of harassment and hate speech) negatively or positively impact on students’ decisions relating to vaccine uptake.

As part of the research project, there will be a large survey of University of Leicester students, followed by one-to-one semi-structured interviews with up to 80 participants. Interviews will focus on experiences of disease, lockdowns, hate crimes, nationalism and media coverage of the pandemic. The University of Leicester provides an ideal case study. The University is located in one of the cities worst affected by COVID-19. More importantly, it has an exceptionally diverse student population (with more than 50% of its students from BAME backgrounds) and boasts a vibrant international student community.


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