The Cohort Coordination Board (CCB) is composed of EU and nationally funded projects conducting COVID-19 cohort-based research alongside representatives from the European Commission and other relevant initiatives such as the European COVID-19 Data Platform, partners from industry and other stakeholders (e.g., European Medicines Agency (EMA), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA)).

The board is organised into two levels, namely with a core group and extended group who participate as the need arises and according to the topic of discussion.




ORCHESTRA is a three-year international research project aimed at tackling the coronavirus pandemic. Their vision is to establish an international large-scale cohort for the conduct of retrospective and prospective studies in order to generate rigorous evidence to improve the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and to be better prepared for future pandemics.



VERDI is a project that prioritises pregnant women, children and high-risk populations in research on new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. It also focuses on preparedness for future infections outbreaks, building on experiences with COVID-19 and monkeypox.



A global approach coupling powerful state-of-the-art virologic and immunologic platforms with large genomic surveillance studies and diverse cohorts in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. They aim to contribute to the early identification of emerging VOC by obtaining in-depth understanding of the risk and protective factors to SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as the evolution of the virus in different risk, gender and age groups.



unCoVer is a functional network of partners capable of harvesting real-world data derived from the response and provision of care to patients by the health systems across Europe, and internationally during the COVID-19 pandemic.



EuCARE studies the COVID-19 epidemics and in particular the newly emerging SARS-COV-2 variants under several aspects of high social impact. With the support of strong immuno-virological and artificial intelligence components, the project studies cohorts of acute and post COVID-19 conditions, of healthcare workers and of schools in Europe, Kenya, Mexico and Brazil to find an answer to urgent issues related to science and society.



Very few antiviral drugs have been approved for treating lower respiratory tract infections caused by influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus and SARS-CoV-2. This paucity underscores the need for a better understanding of host-virus interaction during infection, to identify novel therapeutic targets. To address this unmet need, the EU-funded REACT project will investigate cellular, humoral and innate immunity during infection from these viruses. Using machine learning, researchers will analyse data from different ethnicities and disease severity and provide fundamental insight into immune response dynamics. Results on the identified factors critical for viral control and immune protection will be made widely available to aid the design of novel and personalised treatments against respiratory viruses.



Ecraid’s purpose is to reduce the impact of infectious diseases on individual and population health. The emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance and the (re)emergence of new pathogens, such as SARS-COV-2 causing the COVID-19 pandemic, has further increased mortality and morbidity.



By improving data collection and analysis from a variety of cohorts, END-VOC aims to help the rapid identification and characterisation of emerging variants. Their results will expand beyond COVID-19, impacting the global response to other infectious disease outbreaks.



The RECODID initiative aims to address some of the most pressing issues in the development of personalised medicine approaches to infectious disease with a focus on the global response to emerging pathogens.



The Long COVID project aims to understand mechanisms of Long-COVID Syndrome by combining front-line expertise from the fields of clinical medicine, virology, metabolism, and immunology. The project will also develop and apply a machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI)-informed Long Covid Prediction Support (LCPS) tool to predict and stratify the LSC patients.



VACCELERATE is a clinical research network for the coordination and conduct of COVID-19 vaccine trials. The network is comprised of academic institutions from all over Europe: The consortium is led by the University Hospital Cologne, Germany, and currently includes 29 national partners in 18 EU-member states and 5 countries associated to the EU Horizon 2020 research programme.

COVID-19 Data Portal

European COVID-19 Data Platform

The COVID-19 Data Portal was launched in April 2020 to bring together relevant datasets for sharing and analysis in an effort to accelerate coronavirus research. It enables researchers to upload, access and analyse COVID-19 related reference data and specialist datasets as part of the wider European COVID-19 Data Platform.



The Project: SYNergies for Cohorts in Health: integrating the ROle of all Stakeholders. The results of our work, e.g. from mapping the cohort study landscape, compilations of legal and ethical requirements and methodological concepts, will be shared and translated into strategy briefs to facilitate stakeholder dialogues. We also aim to make sustainable recommendations on standards to improve the compatibility of future data collection, e.g. for data sharing methods towards an international strategic agenda to improve the coordination of cohorts globally.



The Netherlands ME/CFS Cohort and Biobank Consortium (NMCB) aims to establish a patient cohort with a biobank. 750 Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients will be recruited and followed for 8 years. Approximately one quarter of the cohort consists of severely ill patients who are home- or bed-bound. 450 healthy individuals and 500 people suffering from related diseases such as long COVID, Lyme disease, Q fever, and MS will be recruited as controls. In addition, a separate cohort of 180 young patients aged 12 and above, along with 80 controls, will be recruited.



The National Irish COVID-19 Biobank is a nationwide project, which began in 2021. The project involves hospitals and universities across Ireland working together to create one large biobank to help research on COVID-19 in Ireland and overseas. The establishment of the National Irish COVID-19 Biobank is part of the state’s strategic response to COVID-19. The provision of a biobank of biological specimens and linked clinical information (data) will support high impact research into the causes, progression, diagnostics and treatment of COVID-19. The overall objective of the NICB is to create a harmonised, shared platform for COVID-19 research that strengthens national research infrastructure and enables Irish and international researchers to address the research challenges presented by SARS-CoV-2.


The Long COVID Study monitors participants over the course of a longer time period. RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) will be looking at how often symptoms occur after a person tests positive for COVID-19, and which symptoms are reported. The researchers will also investigate whether it is possible to predict which people will have persistent symptoms, and which people will not. RIVM can use that data for scientific research on the long-term health impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Cohort Coordination Board

A brief history of the CCB

February 2022

European Comission Meeting: Cohorts United Against COVID

The idea to create a Cohort Coordination Board (CCB) came as a result of the meeting in February 2022, “Cohorts united against COVID”, organised by the European Commission with EU-funded COVID-19 cohort-based research projects. The idea was to establish a forum of all the EU-Funded COVID-19 cohorts, to enable discussion and collaboration between cohorts.

April 2022

CCB Kick-Off Meeting

The CCB has been active since the Kick-off Meeting on the 29th of April 2022, and has expanded both through the addition of new cohorts, and the inclusion into EU-funded projects.

November 2023

COMECT Grant Agreement

In November 2023 the Grant Agreement for the CoMeCT project was signed, which includes the coordination and expansion of the CCB.

December 2023

CCB Website Creation

In December 2023 the CCB website was developed to present a common voice for cohort research both to the wider scientific community and to the general public as a whole, and to highlight Europe’s capacity and competence as an attractive base for clinical research.

Find our full list of members here

February 2024

First Activity Report Published

At the beginning of 2024, the CCB published its first report detailing activities, updates and developments from April 2022 to the end of 2023. The report covers the CCB’s inclusion into EU-funded projects ORCHESTRA, VERDI and CoMeCT, members, meeting topics and main outputs. Read the report here

More to come

Our objectives

During pandemics, observational studies have a unique ability to enable the rapid exploration of disease epidemiology and effectiveness of interventions. However, the differences in research protocols and the way data are defined and structured can challenge data harmonisation and bias cross-study results. Mechanisms and networks that support the implementation of data harmonisation efforts, such as the Cohort Coordination Board (CCB), are crucial to maximise the success of observational research, especially in the context of pandemic preparedness.

The CCB was established in February 2022, with the support and encouragement of the European Commission (EC), and aims to identify synergies across cohorts, map common tasks, discuss hurdles and solutions, promote collaboration for optimising resources and reaching stronger powered results, and provide recommendations for priority areas to the EC. Originally focused on COVID-19, the CCB has gradually shifted to include projects centred on monkeypox, sexually transmitted infections and pandemic preparedness as part of the VERDI and CoMeCT EU-funded initiatives.

The overarching objectives of the CCB were developed during the first year of activity and are listed below:

1. Update

Provide an update on the status of ongoing cohort studies, including early results and final outcomes.

2. Understanding

Improve understanding of the cohort landscape in the EU and of the role cohorts can play in understanding ID preparedness.

3. Data standards

Improve uptake of data standards and coordination in data standards that have been adopted across cohorts and trials.

4. Cohort data

Promote the use of cohort data to inform randomised controlled trials.

5. Avoid overlapping

Avoid overlapping and duplication of efforts (not only in cohort research but also in the creation of tools and infrastructures).

6. Combine forces

Combine forces to achieve better results (e.g., larger sample sizes, stronger powered results, and wider dissemination).

7. Share approaches

Share approaches to overcome commonly encountered obstacles (e.g., shipment of samples across national borders, lack of common dictionaries, electronic tool to link anonymous patient IDs to multiple samples and Work Packages (WPs)).

8. Train

Organise training activities for best practices within sub-working groups of interest.

9. Share documents

Share documents of relevance for cohorts and with a view to greater harmonisation (Data Management Plans, Data Sharing Agreements, Material Sharing Agreements, Informed Consent).

10. Make recommendations

Make recommendations to the EC for future research in the area of pandemic preparedness.

11. Support CoMeCT

Support the CoMeCT Coordination Board by providing input from cohort-based research.