COVID-19 Rapid Research Information Forum


The Academy is working as part of the Rapid Research Information Forum (RRIF), a group chaired by Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO FAA FTSE FAHMS.

This expert forum provides a mechanism through which the government receives scientific input and analysis of the latest evidence on pressing questions regarding COVID-19, as they emerge.

As a learned Academy, AAHMS is a core member of this group. Our Fellows act as lead and contributing authors of RRIF briefings, alongside Fellows of other Academies and additional experts.

The forum draws on the interdisciplinary expertise of Australia’s peak scientific bodies and further information is available from the Australian Academy of Science, which coordinates the forum’s operations.

To date, the RRIF has produced responses on:

  • Monitoring wastewater to detect COVID-19 (21 April)
  • Re-infection with SARS-CoV-2 (19 April) – led by AAHMS  
  • Seasonality of COVID-19: Impact on the spread and severity (15 April)
  • The predictive value of serological testing during the COVID-19 pandemic (30 April – UPDATED)
  • Learning outcomes for online versus in-class education (1 May)
  • Impact of the pandemic on Australia’s research workforce (8 May)
  • The most promising vaccines for COVID-19 (11 May – UPDATED)
  • The most promising therapeutics for COVID-19 (17 May – UPDATED) – led by AAHMS  
  • The impact of COVID-19 on women in the STEM workforce (17 May)
  • Motivators for use of the COVIDSafe app (17 May)
  • Viability of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces (27 May)
  • Determinants of morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19, and sex-related differences (31 Aug)
  • Changes in public sentiment in relation to data privacy during COVID-19 (28 Nov)


We are grateful to our Fellows and Associate Members who provided valuable input into the forum during 2020.

The responses can be downloaded below.


Image credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH

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