05 February 2021

Advancing scientific cooperation on pandemic research

IIASA and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) are proud to announce the winners of their joint call for research proposals around the COVID-19 pandemic.

© Jamesteohart | Dreamstime.com

© Jamesteohart | Dreamstime.com

In September 2020, IIASA and the RFBR launched a joint call for research proposals on pandemics to support international scientific cooperation through research partnerships between representatives of Russian research institutions and scientists at IIASA. Researchers were asked to submit proposals around three research themes: Modeling virus propagation, diagnostics, and neutralization; Exploring the secondary impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, environment, and society; and Increasing the resilience of societies and enhancing international cooperation on future pandemics.

Numerous criteria were considered in the evaluation process, including the relevance of the proposed study and the novelty of the expected research results, the qualifications of research teams, and the planned level of interaction and coordination between scientists from Russian research institutions and IIASA.

The following research proposals were selected for funding: 

1.        Methods for intelligent risk analysis and multi-criteria assessment of the effectiveness of COVID-19 counteraction using a combined approach to identifying the dynamics model

IIASA coordinator: Nadejda Komendantova, Cooperation and Transformative Governance Research Group Leader in the Advancing Systems Analysis Program.

Russian coordinator: Gregory Royzenson, Senior Research Scholar, Federal Research Center “Computer Science and Control” of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Systems Analysis.

The project will focus on the development of metrics and indicators to assess different scenarios and their impact on changing hazards, as well as the potential impact of different scenarios on the hazards posed by different models. In addition, the research team will undertake observed and projected modeling based developments, taking into account geospatial and demographic data for Russia by modeling different conditions for a range of scenarios. This will in turn be used to create a digital basis for analyzing decisions on different mitigation criteria and strategies based on feedback from stakeholders on risk attitudes and value trade-offs. The aim is to develop an automated, integrated advisory system to address both current and future pandemic issues, and that can be widely used to make decisions on mitigation measures associated with the management of any other crisis that may arise.  

2.         Systems analysis of patterns of COVID-19 spread in Europe and Russia

IIASA coordinator: Elena Rovenskaya, Advancing Systems Analysis Program Director.

Russian coordinator:  Alena Rybkina, Deputy Director, Geophysical Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The project aims to systematically reveal patterns of COVID-19 spread across European countries and Russia (at the level of territorial units within countries) in space and time; and to better understand the effects of governmental policies and other relevant socioeconomic events on the spread of COVID-19.  The research team will analyze data describing the spread of COVID-19 from the onset of the epidemic to the present in Russia and Europe. A systems approach will be used to juxtapose the key milestones of the governmental and societal response across a number of countries with the time series of the pandemic spread in order to derive robust conclusions regarding the impact of anti-COVID-19 policies. 

3.        Short and long-term consequences of COVID-19 on population dynamics in Russia and its regions

IIASA coordinator: Sergei Scherbov, Project Leader, Social Cohesion, Health, and Wellbeing Research Group in the Population and Just Societies Program.

Russian coordinator: Sergey Shulgin, Vice-Director, International Research Laboratory for Demography and Human Capital at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).

This project will develop multiregional population projections to evaluate the short- and long-term consequences of COVID-19 on the Russian population at national and regional levels. The research will focus on 85 Russian regions, taking into account the heterogeneity of urban and rural areas, as well as of male and female populations. To prepare population projections, the research team will develop fertility, mortality, and migration scenarios for each region of Russia and for the first time evaluate the prevalence of COVID-19 and loss of human life resulting from the pandemic that has until now been uncertain.

Congratulations to all the winners! We are looking forward to increased collaboration between IIASA researchers and Russian colleagues, as well as the valuable insights resulting from these research projects. 

Click here for the announcement from the RFBR (in Russian).

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Last edited: 05 February 2021


Sergey Sizov

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