The UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Medical Research Council (MRC) and the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have announced a total of £4.3m in funding for six new projects looking at the disproportionate death rate of people from black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds from Covid-19.

Some of the projects will explore the creation of a new framework to ensure people from BAME backgrounds are represented in clinical trials testing treatments and vaccines for Covid-19.

Chief Medical Officer and Head of the NIHR Professor Chris Whitty said: “With evidence showing that people from BAME backgrounds are more severely affected by Covid-19, it is critical that we understand what factors are driving this risk to address them effectively.

“The diverse range of projects funded by the NIHR and UKRI will help examine this association in detail, so that new treatments and approaches to care can be developed to target the ethnicities most at risk.

“This research will have embedded patient and public involvement with Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups at all stages of the research.”