At the moment, scientists and researchers all around the world are continuously making new discoveries about COVID-19 and its impact on the world.
While there has been a lot of focus on clinical trials for potential vaccines or pharmaceutical treatments, there are still many research studies that are looking for volunteers to participate via website or app, without being required to leave the house.
Here are 7 easy ways that Australians can help support researchers from home:
1. Prolific Prolific is a website that connects researchers with participants from around the world. It is open to Australian residents, and participants are paid to take part in each study.
Research studies can be about a wide variety of topics, however, at the moment I've found that there are quite a few studies that are focused specifically on COVID-19 research.
Some surveys only take a couple of minutes, others are longer (~20 minutes), and some require participants to take part over several days.
Image Source: Prolific.co
Signing up is fairly straightforward, and it's a good idea to complete the 'About You' section in order to start receiving studies. Payment is in pounds, and you can withdraw your earnings via Paypal once you reach £5.
2. FluTracking FluTracking is an online initiative that uses crowd-sourced data to track influenza outbreaks across Australia and New Zealand. This year, the survey commenced earlier (in February) and is also focusing on COVID-19.
Image Source: Flutracking.net
It's very easy to participate - simply sign up and each week you'll be sent a link to a survey. The weekly survey contains a few quick questions regarding any influenza symptoms you've experienced in the past week, if you've received a flu vaccination, and if you've been tested for COVID-19.
Each weekly survey takes around 10-15 seconds to fill it out.
3. The Tasmania Project
The Tasmania Project is a research project led by Professor Libby Lester, which will look at how the lives of Tasmanians are being affected during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Image Source: University of Tasmania
The project will involve online surveys (~30 minutes each) and optional phone interviews (~30-60 minutes each), however, participants can choose their level of involvement.
The project is open to people aged 18 and above who are currently living in Tasmania.
4. Swinburne University Online Survey and Health Tracker App
Swinburne is currently seeking participants for an online survey that is being conducted in conjunction with several other universities. The survey is open to people from all over the world and focuses on the impact of social distancing, self-isolation, and quarantine on health and wellbeing.
5. Mental Health and Coronavirus study
The Mental Health and Coronavirus study is an online study created by the University of New South Wales and Black Dog Institute, and has a focus on mental health and wellbeing.
Image Source: Black Dog Institute
The study involves completing 3 questionnaires, which should take around 15 minutes each. At the end of each survey, all participants have the option of being entered into a draw to win 1 of 5 $50 Prezzee Gift Cards.
Participants must be aged 18 and above, and live in Australia.
6. University of Sydney/UNSW COVID-19 Survey
The University of Sydney, University of Saskatchewan and The University of New South Wales are currently looking for participants for an online survey titled 'How individuals cope and behave during the COVID-19 pandemic'.
The survey is open to Australians aged 18 and above, and should take around 20 minutes to complete.
7. Twins Research Australia COVID-19 Knowledge, Experience, Reaction and Resilience (TRACKERR).
This study is open to adult twin pairs and Higher Order Multiples (HOMs), and a further study will open within the next month, which will be open to parents of young twins and HOMs.
The project will involve monthly online surveys and will examine various aspects of the pandemic, including knowledge of the virus, the changing impact on participants and their families, and behaviour during social restrictions.