Participant information sheet

Study Title: Track-COVID Study: Elucidating the Social and Behavioural Dimensions of SARS Coronavirus type 2 (SARS2) infection control and transmission




Research Ethics Reference: FMHS 96-0920

Version 1.0    Date:  26/09/2020


Dear participant,


The University of Nottingham is committed to keeping its students and staff safe during this pandemic. As part of these efforts we have launched a university-wide research programme called ‘Track-COVID’ and we would like to invite you to take part.

Before you decide to take part, we would like you to understand why this research is being done and what it would involve.

What is this research about? 

We know that to keep our staff and students safe during this pandemic we need to understand better the key challenges you are facing in living with the risk of COVID-19, and find ways to support you in dealing with them.  


Research shows that some of the main difficulties are around the behaviours we are all being asked to do to keep ourselves and others safe. This includes: social distancing, getting tested for COVID-19 and having to self-isolate. By taking part in this research you will be able to help us understand these challenges better and what we need to do differently to support you in keeping well and safe.


What will it involve?

If you agree to participate we will ask you to do three simple things:

  1. Complete a short online survey 

The survey will tell us a little about who you are and some of the factors that we think are important in helping us deal with the threat of COVID-19.

 2. Download an app

This app has been designed to work in the background of your phone. This means you don’t have to do anything once it has been installed and activated/paired with our system. It uses Bluetooth and GPS to collect information not on you, but the context around you (for example the number of Bluetooth enabled devices around you; how long they are in your vicinity etc.). We will combine the information we get from every participant’s phone to help us understand which situations pose more or less risk. This is so that we can develop a way to help people monitor their own social distancing if they want to. We will not be using the app to monitor you as an individual. Nor will it be used to identify you.


3. Take part in an interview or focus group

We will be asking a small number of people to talk to us about how they have felt about being part of this research and different aspects of the University of Nottingham COVID-19 testing programme. Interviews and focus groups will take place remotely (by Microsoft Teams or telephone); at a time that is convenient for you and will be recorded so that we can consider in detail the comments being made. We expect these to last between 30-60 minutes.


Who can take part?

Anyone can take part as long as you are:

·      Aged 18 years or older

·      A student registered at Nottingham University 

·      Able to confirm you have understood what the study is about and agree to being involved


Do I have to take part?

No. Your participation is voluntary. You may withdraw at any point without giving a reason or without it affecting your rights or education. However, the information you have already provided will continue to be used in the analysis. 

What will happen to the information I give you?

Once you consent to the study a unique ID will be generated which will be used to keep all your information anonymous. Interview/focus group recordings will be transcribed and also anonymised. Direct quotes may be used in reports and publications, but always using pseudonyms. Your information will be stored anonymously by the University of Nottingham for 7 years after the end of the research. At this point the data will be reviewed, and if they are still deemed to be of public interest, they may be retained for longer. The analysis of your data will be conducted by the study team led by the University of Nottingham. Your data will be stored in password-protected files and may be used in academic publications. Your IP address will not be stored.

Who has reviewed this study?

This study has been reviewed and given favourable opinion bythe Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee (Reference number: FMHS REC ref no 96-0920).



If you have any concerns about the study, you can contact the study team at If you feel your concerns have not been handled satisfactorily, you can contact the Ethics Committee Secretary on

Thank you


We hope you will be interested in taking part. If so, please click below to join.