Frequently asked questions

Can I order reagents if I work outside the UK?

The COVID-19 Protein Portal is a UK initiative, supported by UK funding bodies for research within UK universities and research institutes. Scientists working outside the UK would be ineligible to receive proteins through current funding.

Can other countries participate in the COVID-19 Protein Portal?

The UK COVID-19 Protein Portal is set up by funding bodies to serve UK-based scientists, however there may be an opportunity to extend or duplicate this initiative for other countries.

What is the cost for COVID-19 proteins?

The COVID-19 Protein Production Consortium provides the proteins free of charge to UK-based scientists, for non-commercial research projects of scientific merit, with the requirement that results will be shared rapidly and openly with the consortium and made publicly available, in line with the Wellcome open data statement

Who funds the protein production?

Leading UK protein production research groups are providing time and reagents in-kind, as part of collaborative COVID-19 research efforts, with agreement from their respective funders. UK research groups additionally interested in contributing reagents to the portal should consult with their funder prior to making commitments.

Can you supply proteins during the COVID-19 lockdown period?

Yes, the laboratories producing proteins are active during the lockdown period, due to the essential services that they provide. All laboratory staff are carefully adhering to health and safety guidelines, including social distancing.

How much protein can I request?

The COVID-19 Protein Production Consortium (CPPC) will endeavour to meet demand for protein reagents, where scientifically justified. Users are advised to request the minimum amount of protein required for their experiments, bearing in mind that others will also be submitting requests. When submitting a request for a reagent, users are asked to describe the intended use of the protein, which will help the CPPC to understand how much is required. Supply of reagents is anticipated for primary research activities; large scale or manufacturing efforts are not appropriate for this mechanism.

What if I need a standardised reagent or tool that is not listed?

Additional reagents are being added to the database regularly. Please contact us if you are seeking a specific protein or reagent that is not listed.

Can I choose a particular laboratory to supply a reagent?

It is not possible to request protein from a particular laboratory; your request will be allocated to an expert protein production laboratory based on available capacity.

Why do I need submit a research proposal?

Research proposals enable the COVID-19 Protein Production Consortium to prioritise and coordinate reagent allocation based on scientific merit, impact and how urgently they are required.

How detailed should my research proposal be?

The scientific case required is brief, with information requested to justify your request for reagents and demonstrate the rationale and feasibility of your approach. You will have an opportunity to upload supporting information, such as publications or data.

How are the reagents shipped?

Reagents will be sent by courier to the UK laboratory address specified on your online research proposal form, under appropriate conditions specific for the reagent. Shipping costs will be covered by the protein provider, unless otherwise agreed.

How long will it take to receive my protein?

Laboratories offering proteins through the COVID-19 Protein Portal are committed to providing reagents as quickly as possible. When a request is submitted, scientific review and allocation to a protein provider should be completed within one week. The time taken to receive reagents after approval will vary depending on the availability of the protein and the delivery time.

Can the protein reagents be used for commercial purposes?

No, the reagents offered free of charge through the COVID-19 Protein Portal can only be used for non-commercial, research purposes. The portal is anticipated to support key primary research; larger scale activities would be better suited to industry independently. However, queries are welcome to the COVID-19 Protein Production Consortium, please contact us.

Should I publish data obtained using reagents from the COVID-19 Protein Portal?

In the spirit of Open Science, it is a requirement that all data from experiments using proteins from the COVID-19 Protein Portal will be published to public data repositories and peer reviewed journals in a timely manner, in line with the Wellcome open data statement

What kind of information about my research am I expected to share back with the COVID-19 Protein Production Consortium?

To maximise the value of the resource and enable research to progress faster, we expect researchers to share back their preliminary research findings and technical information that may be relevant for other researchers working with the same reagents. We also strongly encourage sharing back negative findings (e.g. assay and buffer conditions that are not optimal). Sharing data and expertise in a collaborative way will enable research to progress faster, translating into therapeutics and rapid public health impacts.

How should I acknowledge reagents and collaborations in a publication?

All publications should acknowledge the source of reagents obtained through the COVID-19 Protein Portal, with the following text “Protein [X] was provided by the UK COVID-19 Protein Production Consortium”. Where there is likely to be significant scientific contribution by the protein provider, we advise that any discussions about collaboration and potential authorship happen early on.

Can I offer protein reagents through the COVID-19 Protein Portal?

UK Laboratories with expertise in protein production are warmly invited to join the COVID-19 Protein Production Consortium (CPPC). Please contact us to send an expression of interest to the CPPC. You are encouraged to engage with your research funder in advance.

Other questions

Please contact us if you have any other questions.