Representation of the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community in randomised trials is often poor.  As we have seen in the news, the BAME community is disproportionately affected by COVID-19, which means it is essential that trials of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 include people with BAME backgrounds.  It is not clear that this is currently the case.  A review in June 2020 found that of 1518 COVID-19 studies registered on, a register of trials, only six were collecting data on ethnicity.  Considering ethnicity is not routine in trials.

This project will complete a tool (called the INCLUDE Ethnicity Framework) that trial designers together with patient and public partners  can use to make sure they think about factors that affect BAME involvement such as disease, culture, treatment being tested and trial information and procedures.  It will also help people interpreting and reporting COVID-19 trials to make judgements about the applicability of trial results to BAME communities.  The INCLUDE Ethnicity Framework will be equally useful for helping to make sure that non-COVID trials consider ethnicity too.  

This stage of the INCLUDE work project to improve our understanding of the links between COVID-19 and ethnicity has been funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).


Shaun Treweek;




Related publication
Treweek S, Forouhi NG, Narayan KMV, Khunti K. COVID-19 and ethnicity– who will research results apply to? Lancet 2020, June 12th.