Project volunteer

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There have been a huge number of volunteering projects and charity initiatives begun over the past few months. It’s been incredible to see the diverse ways our community is contributing to the pandemic.

That being said, when you’re looking for ways to help, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, so here are three studies from our staff that are actively looking for volunteers.


This study, known as the Edinburgh and Lothians Viral Intervention Study, or ELVIS, is recruiting adults in Scotland with Covid-19 symptoms or a confirmed case of Covid-19 to investigate if a simple salt water solution may help to reduce the early symptoms and progression of the virus.

Those who join the trial will be asked to follow government advice on hygiene and self-isolation, with one group asked to gargle and clear their nose with salt water.

The study is funded by BREATHE – the Health Data Research Hub for Respiratory Health.

Find out more.


Anyone can volunteer for Coronagenes, a project which aims to find out why some people who catch coronavirus have no symptoms while others become very ill. The team are particularly keen on people who have used DNA testing services – such as Ancestry DNA, FTDNA and 23andMe – to gain ancestry or health insights.

By providing this data, volunteers will help the team avoid the costly, time-consuming task of collecting the hundreds of thousands of DNA samples that would otherwise be needed to map the genes involved.

Those taking part in the study will complete online questionnaires about their health, lifestyle and any symptoms they have experienced, such as fever or a persistent cough.

Find out more.

Lothian Lockdown

The team behind this project are based in the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences and are building a bank of individual experiences of the lockdown in Edinburgh and the Lothians. All you need to do is to upload a video or audio recording of yourself talking through the impacts this lockdown has had on your life, and then fill out a short survey. You can find more information (including questions prompts) on their website.

Find out more.

Do you run a project that’s looking for volunteers? Let us know by emailing