Can a pandemic evidence-synthesis group become a model for student development and enhanced learning?

Can a pandemic evidence-synthesis group become a model for student development and enhanced learning?

School:  Edinburgh Medical School

Team Members: Ruth McQuillan, Neneh Rowa-Dewar, Harry Campbell, Harish Nair, Evropi Theodoratou, Marshall Dozier, Gwenetta Curry, Emilie McSwiggan, Durga Kulkarni, Kayla Ostrishko, Madhurima Nundy, Thulani Ashcroft, Damilola Iduve, Ashmika Motee, Jasmin Rostron, Farirai (Farrie) Nzvere.


UNCOVER was established at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide reliable, good-quality evidence summaries to inform UK/Scottish government decision-making. UNCOVER became part of a global collaborative endeavour, forming active links with international organisations including WHO, Cochrane Collaboration and COVID-END (led by McMaster University). Initially, this involved intensive work to produce reviews within exceptionally short timeframes, with staff, students, emeriti and alumni working together in a flat management structure. This structure has been greatly appreciated by UNCOVER members. It provides a sense of academic community; an opportunity for first-time researchers to make a difference in the real world; and a chance for students to rapidly develop their skills and take on leadership and mentorship roles.

This grant has two main aims:

  • To explore how we can integrate UNCOVER’s working model with dissertations and projects by piloting approaches within relevant undergraduate and postgraduate programmes
  • To work together with students to identify desired skills and attributes, and to cocreate a development pathway for current and new students who become involved with UNCOVER

This would enable us to embed UNCOVER’s model within student teaching programmes in ways that enhance learning and contribute to the achievement of graduate attributes; helping to make this innovative, inter-disciplinary approach a sustainable part of the University of Edinburgh student experience. It would provide a direct connection between student dissertations and the work of national and international policy-makers,  strengthening the links between the University and the local and global community it operates within.

Final project report and appendices

Download the final project report (PDF)

UNCOVER - Appendix 1 (PDF)

UNCOVER - Appendix 2 (PDF)

UNCOVER - Appendix 3 (PDF)

UNCOVER - Appendix 4 (PDF)

Other project outcomes