Skip to main content

Use Your R Skills to Fight COVID-19 – COVID-19 Challenge Funded by R Consortium – Open Now!

By February 3, 2021Blog

Citizen science is a critical engine for creating professional tools that become new standards in epidemic outbreak response. The problem is connecting people on the front lines – “COVID-19 response agents” – and people with R language skills.

You personally can get involved!

Get started now:

About the COVID-19 Challenge

The R Consortium awarded RECON a grant for $23,300 in the summer of 2019 to develop the RECON COVID-19 challenge, a project aiming to centralise, organise and manage needs for analytics resources in R to support the response to COVID-19 worldwide.

The COVID-19 challenge is an online platform whose goal is to connect members of the R community, R package developers and field agents working on the response to COVID-19 who use R to help them fill-in their R related needs. 

Field agents include epidemiologists, statisticians, mathematical modellers and more.

The platform provides a single place for field agents to give feedback in real time on their analytical needs such as requesting specific analysis templates, new functions, new method implementation, etc. These requests are then compiled and organized by order of priority for package developers and members of the R community to browse and help contribute to.

One example is scoringutils. The scoringutils package is currently used by research teams in the UK and US. It is also set to be deployed on a larger scale as part of the evaluation for the US Forecast Hub which is the data source for the official CDC COVID-19 Forecasting page.

Other examples include the suite of RECON packages, nCov2019 and COVID-19 data hub.

There are many ways to get involved:

  • A modification of an existing function
  • Suggestions for a new package
  • Request for a new function/functionality in an existing package
  • A new Rmarkdown analysis template
  • An ad hoc function, not necessarily inside an existing package
  • Training resources (practicals, lectures, videos, …)
  • Code reviews for existing code
  • Testing existing features

Don’t wait! Get started today!

Still not sure where to start? Contact project manager Matthieu Rolland to start the discussion: