NEWS10 February 2021

Research to explore pandemic impact on ethnic minority groups

Covid-19 Healthcare News Public Sector UK

UK – Funding of £4.5m has been secured for four research projects to study the disproportionate social, cultural and economic impact of Covid-19 on people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds.


The projects are funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) via the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The first, led by a team from the University of Manchester, will assess the impact of the pandemic on ethnic minority communities across issues including health, housing, welfare, education, employment and policing.

In another piece of research, a consortium led by the University of Leeds will focus on the combined impact of Covid-19 and racial discrimination on wellbeing and resilience across black, Asian and minority ethnic families and communities.

Two smaller studies will assess the effects on Birmingham’s ethnic minority Muslim communities and the impact on mental health in black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, chief executive of UKRI, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated longstanding inequalities in health, employment and education in the UK.

“Emerging evidence suggests that people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds have experienced the hardest economic shocks. We cannot ignore the social, cultural and economic factors that have shaped the experiences of black, Asian and minority ethnic communities throughout the pandemic.”

The studies are set to begin in the coming months and will each run for 18 months.

Professor Iyiola Solanke, who is leading the University of Leeds project, said: “There are two viruses affecting people from black and minority ethnic communities across the UK. One is Covid-19 and the other is discrimination. We want to illustrate that the way in which Covid-19 is exacerbating the experience of inequality for those in these communities.”