COVID-19: Learning resources

Useful resources to better understand the COVID-19 outbreak and/or expand your scientific and technological knowledge while at home.

Last update: May 6th, 2020

Due to the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak and the latest recommendations provided by the Robert Koch Institute, from March 13th on Helmholtz AI is going virtual until further notice. Objective of this measure is to prevent and to slow down the virus from spreading any further and to maintain daily operations running as smoothly as possible. During this time, you can reach Helmholtz AI science management team through the usual channels. We are also as active as always in social media (Twitter & LinkedIn). We thank you for your understanding.

It is time for everybody to stay in and help flatten the curve; however, there is no need to stay idle. At Helmholtz AI, we would like to take this opportunity to compile and share some useful resources for everybody to better understand COVID-19, join the current research efforts and/or learn more about Helmholtz AI's areas of expertise - applied AI, ML, data science... - while at home.

We will keep this list updated as new initiatives come up. Stay safe, stay home! 



Free online courses on COVID-19

COVID-19: Tackling the Novel Coronavirus

What is COVID-19 and how might the outbreak affect you? Find out more about coronavirus and explore its worldwide implications. Three-week online course, 4 hours of weekly training. Organized by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.


Managing COVID-19 in General Practice

Practical advice and support around how to respond to the Novel Coronavirus pandemic as a front-line healthcare professional. Two-week online course, 2 hours of weekly training. Organized by St George's, University of London.


Fighting COVID-19 with Epidemiology: A Johns Hopkins Teach-Out

5-hour beginner-level course on epidemiology. Organised by Johns Hopkins University.


ELLIS against COVID-19 

Online workshop series by the ELLIS society that will present projects on how to tackle COVID-19 using methods of machine learning and AI, carried out by leading international researchers.Research topics include outbreak prediction, epidemiological modelling, drug development, viral and host genome sequencing, and health care management. All events will be open to the general public via livestreaming and recording. 


Open access resources & publications on COVID-19

COVID-19 Data Portal by EMBL - EBI

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.


Elsevier Novel Coronavirus Information Center 

Here you will find expert, curated information for the research and health community on novel coronavirus (COVID-19). All resources are free to access and include guidelines for clinicians and patients.



LitCovid is a curated literature hub for tracking up-to-date scientific information about the 2019 novel Coronavirus. It is the most comprehensive resource on the subject, providing a central access to 1558 (and growing) relevant articles in PubMed. The articles are updated daily and are further categorized by different research topics and geographic locations for improved access. Powered by NIH.


Lancet Coronavirus Resource Center

To assist health workers and researchers working under challenging conditions to bring this outbreak to a close, The Lancet has created a Coronavirus Resource Centre. This resource brings together new 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) content from across The Lancet journals as it is published. All COVID-19 content is free to access.


New England Journal of Medicine - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A collection of articles and other resources on the coronavirus outbreak, including clinical reports, management guidelines, and commentary. All NEJM content related to the COVID-19 pandemic is freely available.


Science - COVID-19 - Research, commentary and news

The Science journals are striving to provide the best and most timely research, analysis, and news coverage of COVID-19 and the coronavirus that causes it. All content is free to access.


SSHSPH COVID-19 Science Report

Since Singapore saw its first case of COVID-19 on 24 January 2020, the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health has been collating the emerging evidence base and producing a weekly COVID-19 Science Report for researchers, policymakers and regional colleagues. The reports are based on searches of research databases, relevant journals, science reports and expert comment. Although the reports are regularly updated, they are not exhaustive and new research will be added regularly. Research from specialist teams in Singapore is also included.


Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Pathophysiology, Epidemiology, Clinical Management and Public Health Response

Frontiers has launched an interdisciplinary research topic related to the COVID-19 epidemic. Submissions are welcome for the following article types: original research, review, mini-reviews, systematic reviews, research protocol, opinion and hypothesis. Due to the exceptional nature of the COVID-19 situation, Frontiers is waiving all article publishing charges for COVID-19 related research.


Global research on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - World Health Organization (WHO)
WHO is gathering the latest scientific findings and knowledge on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and compiling it in a database. They update the database daily from searches of bibliographic databases, hand searches of the table of contents of relevant journals, and the addition of other relevant scientific articles that come to our attention. The entries in the database may not be exhaustive and new research will be added regularly.


Human Cell Atlas research on COVID-19

The HCA community, in partnership with disease consortia, is committed to contributing their scientific expertise to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. They have acted quickly to analyze their existing data to glean insights into the biology of the disease, and to openly release these data and analyses as rapidly as possible. 



During these challenging times and using our expertise and resources, our goal at Helmholtz Zentrum Munich is to make significant contributions to the fight against the pandemic as efficiently as possible. We have established the fightCOVID@HMGU task force which, under the leadership of Martin Hrabě de Angelis, has the responsibility of coordinating all relevant research projects and support activities. Some of the areas our projects cover include: Diagnostics, Cohorts & Genomics, Therapeutics, Data-based approaches.


COVID-19 Cell Atlas

LifeTime Initiative for COVID-19

COVID-19 Open Research Dataset Explorer CORD-19

Novel coronavirus (Sars-Cov 2) - Institute Pasteur

International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID) COVID-19

Spinger Nature Open Access on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19

PubMed COVID19 and/or SARSCov2

Pre-prints on 2019-nCoV - bioRxiv

Pre-prints on 2019-nCoV - medRxiv

Cambrigde University Press Coronavirus Free Access Collection

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on COVID-19


Computational resources for COVID-19 research 

JSC offer for epidemiology research on COVID-19
Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) offers computing time and support on its High-Performance Computing (HPC) facilities for research on the COVID-19 virus. Resources for studies dealing with the spreading of the virus or with research on a medical or molecular level are offered unbureaucratically and rapidly to corresponding experts.


SCC provides powerful resources for distributed computing in protein research @ KIT

Since the end of March, computers of the Grid Computing Centre Karlsruhe (GridKa ) and the HPC systems of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are supporting the distributed computing projects Folding∂Home  and Rosetta∂home , for example, to improve the understanding of the proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Free 90-day license to NVIDIA Parabricks for COVID-19 research

To understand the spread of the disease and who is most affected, researchers are sequencing both the coronavirus and the genomes of people afflicted with COVID-19.  To help with this, NVIDIA has made Parabricks, its GPU-accelerated genome analysis software, free for 90 days to any researcher in the worldwide effort to fight the coronavirus.


Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) - Computing time available at EU level

While medical professionals are working around the clock to help those affected by COVID-19, PRACE partners, HPC centres, and research infrastructures are doing their bit by opening up their facilities for urgent/priority access to the HPC systems and other resources to support the research to combat the coronavirus. 


Extreme Science Engineering and Discovery Environment (XSEDE) - Computing time available at international level

The COVID-19 HPC Consortium encompasses computing capabilities from some of the most powerful and advanced computers in the world hoping to empower researchers around the world to accelerate understanding of the COVID-19 virus and the development of treatments and vaccines to help address infections. Consortium members manage a range of computing capabilities that span from small clusters to some of the very largest supercomputers in the world.


Galileo - Free cloud computing resources

Galileo is an application that makes it easy to scale up simulations and analyses to the cloud. Galileo is offering giving free cloud computing resources to anyone studying public health and/or COVID-19. All researchers and labs are welcome to sign up for a free cloud computing station.


Real-time maps and statistics 

COVIDsim: Pandemic Preparedness Planning for COVID-19

Interactive simulator for COVID-19 infections developed by Martin Eichner (Epimos GmbH) and Markus Schwehm (ExploSYS GmbH), supported by IMAAC NEXT Association.


Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center 
Interactive web-based dashboard hosted by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, to visualize and track reported cases of COVID-19 in real-time. 


Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation World Health Organization

Genomic epidemiology of novel coronavirus (hCoV-19)

The Wuhan Virus COVID-19_virus by Thebaselab

Geographic distribution of COVID-19 in the EU/EEA and the UK

Coronavirus COVID-19 Googlemaps



Data science / Statistics / Programming / AI / ML courses

Core Facility Statistical Consulting courses (for HMGU personnel)

As long as the Corona-pandemic is active, the HMGU Core Facility Statistical Consulting will provide its courses (on R, statistics, reproducible and open research...) in an online version. Please consider the requirements at the course homepages.


Introduction to Machine Learning (I2ML)

Our colleague Heidi Seibold, from Helmholtz Zentrum Munich's Institute of Computational Biology, is teaching two "Introduction to Machine Learning" courses completely online. Join #intro2ml!


HarvardX Biomedical Data Science Open Online Training

MOOCs for biomedical data science funded by the NIH BD2K initiative. The courses are divided into the Data Analysis for the Life Sciences series, the Genomics Data Analysis series, and the Using Python for Research course.


John Hopkins University Data Science Lab MOOC courses

Active programmes: Data Science, Genomic Data Science, Executive Data Science, Mastering Software development in R, Advanced Statistics


Data Ethics, AI and Responsible Innovation

Predictive policing, medical robots, smart homes and cities, artificial intelligences - we can all think about how any of those could go wrong. Discover how we can build a future where they are done right through this MOOC by University of Edinburgh.


Free MOOCs by Ivy League schools

Ivy League schools (Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, and Columbia universities, and the University of Pennsylvania) are among the most prestigious colleges in the world. They are also highly selective and extremely hard to get into, but the good news is that all these universities now offer free online courses across multiple online course platforms. Here is a curated selection, including courses on computer science, data science, programming, science and engineering. 


Other courses and initiatives of interest

DeltaX MINT2Go (by Helmholtz Centre Dresden-Rossendorf) - IN GERMAN

For students, teachers and parents: Experiments and online courses for at home. Thematically structured learning materials, from worksheets, experiments, videos, remote labs to online learning courses and app recommendations - free access for everyone.


mSTEAM teaching unit: Artificial Intelligence

Hands-on activities to help children (aged 8-14) think like scientists, mathematicians or engineers with free didactic units and materials.


15x4 Youtube channel

15x4 is a series of non-commercial science communication events happening in different countries around the world. Here you can browse across many different research fields for inspiring, insightful 15-minute talks. 


Munich Science Slam

Engaging scientific talks from the Science Slam events - speakers are scientists who have been trained in a workshop to be able to clearly and precisely communicate their findings in order to advance their personal careers, scientific knowledge and public awareness.


#SciDipTalks: Science Diplomacy in a Changing World

SciTech DiploHub has partnered with other organizations to put forward 5 online sessions with leading world experts that will explore the role of international cooperation in the current crisis: the European response to COVID-19; the impact of cities in global mitigation efforts, the responses to pandemics and the threats and opportunities of new technologies. 


Updated information about the COVID-19 outbreak from official sources

SARS-CoV-2 in Germany - Robert Koch Institut

Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation reports WHO

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Centers for Disease Contol and Prevention CDC

European Comision - Public Health - 2019-nCoV



Media and general information sources

The Guardian Coronavirus Outbreak

New York Times - Coronavirus

Coronavirus Outbreak BBC

Euronews Coronavirus

Thomson Reuters COVID-19 Resource Center

CNN Coronavirus

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance