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Durham University

Research & business

Our research response to the Covid-19 pandemic


We conduct boundary-breaking research that improves lives across the world. Here’s how we’re applying that research to help people combat the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and help chart the route to recovery.


Featured News


Introducing the handheld sensors that can ‘smell’ Covid-19

Research involving Durham has found that electronic sensors can detect the distinct odour of Covid-19 with almost 100 per cent accuracy.

(13 Jun 2021) » More about Introducing the handheld sensors that can ‘smell’ Covid-19


Private schools receive more investment per pupil

a book

A new report by Dr. Sol Gamsu analyses a sample of private schools in England and exposes inequalities in the schooling system.

(10 Jun 2021) » More about Private schools receive more investment per pupil


Helping our region bounce back

With innovative schemes to support start-ups and small businesses and boost spin-out company creation, we’re ensuring our students and graduates are at the heart of our local economy bouncing back from the Covid-19 pandemic.

(27 May 2021) » More about Helping our region bounce back


Meet the dogs that can sniff out Covid-19

Asher may just look like a cute cuddly dog but he is much more than that.

He, along with some of his canine friends, have been trained to sniff out Covid-19 in people and the initial results show they can do it very reliably.

(24 May 2021) » More about Meet the dogs that can sniff out Covid-19


Creating a tranquil place for critically ill patients

We’re working with a local hospital to create an intensive care garden for critically ill patients and their relatives.

(20 May 2021) » More about Creating a tranquil place for critically ill patients


Lockdown sees increased demand for male domestic abuse support

Man looking out window

New research by our Department of Sociology shows that calls for help from male domestic abuse victims have rocketed during lockdown and, behind closed doors, many are facing challenges that will continue long after social isolation ends.

(9 Feb 2021) » More about Lockdown sees increased demand for male domestic abuse support


Supporting people with dementia to live well

Recent figures suggest that around 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia, expected to rise to one million by 2025.

Now, our health researchers are developing a new programme to support people living with dementia.

(1 Feb 2021) » More about Supporting people with dementia to live well


Beginning at Durham, changing the world

Durham researchers, students and alumni do outstanding things that change the world. Here’s a few highlights from just the past few months…

(30 Nov 2020) » More about Beginning at Durham, changing the world


Covid-19 technologies must be regulated

Technologies such as track and trace apps, used to halt the spread of Covid-19, have to be thoroughly examined and regulated before they are rolled out for wider adoption to ensure they do not normalise a big-brother-like society post-Covid-19, according to Dr Jeremy Aroles.

(2 Nov 2020) » More about Covid-19 technologies must be regulated


How Covid-19 is affecting the global clothing industry

Smiling female worker in a clothing factory

The Covid-19 pandemic is intensifying challenges to worker protection in the garment sector and the effects on workers have become a global concern.

(16 Oct 2020) » More about how Covid-19 is affecting the global clothing industry


Covid-19 testing needed in schools

Daily Covid-19 testing in schools would keep children in full-time education safe, stop mass spread, and keep the economy afloat, according to Professor Abderrahim Taamouti.

(7 Oct 2020) » More about Covid-19 testing needed in schools


Rationing might be recommended for future pandemics

New research at the Business School has found that rationing could be an effective measure for governments to introduce in future pandemics. This is alongside a number of recommendations revealed by a pioneering forecasting model.

(1 Sep 2020) » More about Rationing might be recommended for future pandemics


Responding to the Covid-19 domestic abuse crisis

Our researchers are leading a national project to better understand the impact of Covid-19 on domestic abuse and help reduce harm.

(11 Aug 2020) » More about Responding to the Covid-19 domestic abuse crisis


Exercise - what the government needs to do next

Young woman in sports wear walking away from the camera with her hands on her head

Daily exercise rules got many people moving during lockdown. Dr Sarah Metcalfe is calling on the government to ensure this positive change continues. 

(7 Aug 2020) » More about exercise - what the government needs to do next


Volunteers needed for Covid-19 detection dog trial

Our researchers who are investigating whether specially trained dogs can sniff out Covid-19 in humans are asking people in England for help with the trial.

(6 Aug 2020) » More about Volunteers needed for Covid-19 detection dog trial


How partnerships help us make a difference

At Durham, we know the value of partnerships. Why? Because they help us make a difference. And because they help to make sure our research makes changes to the way we live, solve complex industry challenges, and even help our graduates find jobs.

(10 Jul 2020) » More about How partnerships help us make a difference


Why the term “Super-spreader” can be stigmatising and unhelpful

Emma Cave from Durham Law School considers the impact of the label ‘super-spreader’.

(7 Jul 2020) » More about why the term “Super-spreader” can be stigmatising and unhelpful


Teachers worried about safety in schools

The majority of teachers do not think that schools can effectively put in place social distancing measures, according to a survey.

(17 Jun 2020) » More about Teachers worried about safety in schools


What archaeological records can tell us about historic epidemics

Infectious diseases have been with us since our beginnings as a species. Professor Charlotte Roberts explains what the archaeological record reveals about epidemics throughout history – and the human response to them.

(17 Jun 2020) » More about what archaeological records can tell us about historic epidemics


The future of women’s football is under threat

two women footballers chasing a football

New research by Dr Stacey Pope has found that Covid-19 is impacting men’s and women’s football differently. She and her fellow researchers believe urgent action is required to stop the coronavirus epidemic from destroying the women’s game, as they explain here.

(16 Jun 2020) » More about the future of women’s football is under threat


Supporting businesses through Covid-19 and beyond

We’re continuing to support the local economy in uncertain times through our student and academic research expertise.

(8 Jun 2020) » More about Supporting businesses through Covid-19 and beyond


The key to unlocking lockdown

Our experts are developing models to help regional health services predict and understand outcomes for Covid-19 patients.

(5 Jun 2020) » More about The key to unlocking lockdown


Coronavirus: how the pandemic has changed our perception of time

Feel like time has stood still under lockdown? Dr Felix Ringel from our Department of Anthropology explains why.

(29 May 2020) » More about Coronavirus: how the pandemic has changed our perception of time


Consumers post-Covid-19

Aarron Toal, from our Business School, explores what the future may hold for consumers after Covid-19.

(22 May 2020) » More about consumers post-Covid-19


UK Government supports Covid-19 detection dogs trial

The UK Government has awarded a specialist team of researchers more than £500,000 to find out if specially-trained bio-detection dogs could be used as a new rapid testing measure for Covid-19.

(16 May 2020) » More about UK Government supports Covid-19 detection dogs trial


Grief in the time of Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought massive changes to our lives including how we say goodbye to our loved ones.

(14 May 2020) » More about grief in the time of Covid-19


How will Covid-19 affect productivity in the UK?

Professor Richard Harris from our Business School uses the 2008-09 recession as a benchmark for assessing the possible impact of Covid-19 on productivity in the UK.

(12 May 2020) » More about how will Covid-19 affect productivity in the UK?


Should we wear face masks?

Claire Horwell in our Department of Earth Sciences and Fiona McDonald in the Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia, consider the mixed messages behind face mask use during the Covid-19 pandemic.

(5 May 2020) » More about should we wear face masks?


29% of Scottish businesses at high risk of collapse due to Covid-19

Almost a third of businesses in Scotland are at high risk of collapse due to Covid-19 impacting on their supply chain.

(4 May 2020) » More about 29% of Scottish businesses at high risk of collapse due to Covid-19


How emotional memories of Coronavirus will affect our future

Graffiti image of mask with the words covid 19

 Elena Miltiadis from Anthropology considers the way our emotional memory of this pandemic will affect our future behaviour

(1 May 2020) » More about how emotional memories of Coronavirus wiill affect our future


Young people’s experiences of life under lockdown

What is life like for young people during the current crisis? How do they feel and what impact is the Coronavirus pandemic having on their education, job, housing, finance and relationships?

(29 Apr 2020) » More about young people’s experiences of life under lockdown


Helium supplies at risk from plunging oil prices

Professor Jon Gluyas from our Durham Energy Institute explains why this is bad news for the coronavirus effort.

(28 Apr 2020) » More about helium supplies at risk from plunging oil prices


To lockdown or not to lockdown

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact societies around the world, Professor Parantap Basu from the Business School argues that indefinitely extending lockdown in India could cause more harm than good.

(24 Apr 2020) » More about to lockdown or not to lockdown


Free advice available for local businesses at risk from Covid-19

Almost a third of businesses in the Midlands and the North of England are at high risk of collapse due to Covid-19 impacting on their supply chain.

(9 Apr 2020) » More about free advice available for local businesses at risk from Covid-19


Valuing ‘unskilled’ work

Dr Jo McBride from our Business School and Professor Miguel Martínez Lucio from the University of Manchester explain how Covid-19 is changing the way we value “unskilled” work in our society.

(8 Apr 2020) » More about valuing ‘unskilled’ work


The UK Government, businesses and unions are cooperating during Covid-19

Professor Bernd Brandl explains why it is vital that the UK Government, business groups and trade unions continue to cooperate as they tackle the impact of Covid-19.

(6 Apr 2020) » More about the UK Government, businesses and unions are cooperating during Covid-19


Airlines, Covid-19, climate change and risk reporting

Professor Carol Adams examines how airlines have been reporting risk, how global pandemics like Covid-19 fit into this and how this may affect their futures.

(3 Apr 2020) » More about airlines, Covid-19, climate change and risk reporting


How to avoid pension scams and fraud during Covid-19

Dr Anna Tilba suggests how we can protect ourselves against the scams and frauds, which are increasing during Covid-19. 

(3 Apr 2020) » More about how to avoid pension scams and fraud during Covid-19


Changing strategy quickly during Covid-19

Tom Shanks is Finance Director for Blueline Taxis, a firm based in the North East which was founded over 60 years ago by his grandparents. Tom graduated with an MSc Finance degree from Durham in January 2020, and we caught up with him to see how he and his firm have adapted to such a challenging time.

(31 Mar 2020) » More about changing strategy quickly during Covid-19


CO₂ emissions are plummeting – here’s how to keep them down

A positive result of the world’s response to Coronavirus, means that CO₂ emissions have been slashed. Professor Simone Abram looks at how we can maintain this environmental benefit.

(27 Mar 2020) » More about CO₂ emissions are plummeting – here’s how to keep them down


Dogs could join fight against Covid-19

New research will look into whether man’s best friend could play a role in preventing the spread of Coronavirus.

(27 Mar 2020) » More about dogs could join fight against Covid-19


The deadly hour

Aarron Toal from our Business School explores the impact of the UK Prime Minister’s daily announcement on our wellbeing.

(26 Mar 2020) » More about the deadly hour


The lockdown is a dangerous time for victims of domestic abuse

As the coronavirus lockdown continues in the UK and many other countries Professor Nicole Westmarland and Rosanna Bellini provide a guide on what we need to consider in relation to domestic abuse. 

(26 Mar 2020) » More about the lockdown is a dangerous time for victims of domestic abuse


Football and Covid-19: competition, jobs and finance

Neil Graney from the Business School explores the impact of Covid-19 on sport, particularly football.

(20 Mar 2020) » More about football and Covid-19: competition, jobs and finance


How will Covid-19 impact small businesses?

Dr Joanna Berry suggests ways we can help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) avoid the detrimental impact of Covid-19.

(19 Mar 2020) » More about how will Covid-19 impact small businesses?


Why are we panic buying?

Aarron Toal from the Business School looks at the emotions driving us to panic buy.

(18 Mar 2020) » More about why are we panic buying?


Will remote working become the new normal?

Working remotely offers many advantages according to Dr Mariann Hardey from our Business School. She explains why, and provides tips for successful remote working.

(13 Mar 2020) » More about whether remote working will become the new normal?