iRadio in the Afternoon finds out more about UniCoV in the latest episode of Simplified.


(Source: @nuigalway/Instagram)

A new initiative is being rolled out in an effort to facilitate the safe return to on-campus activity at different third level institutions.

To find out more about UniCoV, Dave and Fionnuala have been speaking to Professor Breda Smyth, Director of Public Health in HSE West, and also Professor of Public Health Medicine at NUI Galway.

Breda has outlined some of the main parts of the initiative:

“UniCoV is a multi-site study across four sites, NUI Galway, UCD, TCD, and UCC and wishes to explore surveillance systems for COVID-19 in further and higher education campuses. Each will carry out comparative analysis of different testing strategies and different testing modalities.

“There are two testing strategies that we’re going to be exploring, one is serial testing.  With that we are asking participants to take a test twice weekly for eight weeks. And then the other strategy is surveillance testing. And in this arm of the study, we are asking participants to take a test twice weekly for two weeks, but we’re also looking at other data like symptomatic referrals from student health units, sewage surveillance of university campuses and also some qualitative data from questionnaires that we’re asking participants to complete.”


UniCoV will also involve two testing modalities, rapid antigen testing and rapid PCR testing, which will be compared across the testing strategies to see what will be the most feasible and effective testing strategy.

The team behind the project is inviting students and staff at NUI Galway, UCD, TCD and UCC to find out more about it and also get involved, through

You can listen to the full iRadio in the Afternoon chat with Professor Breda Smyth here: