Germ Defence

Helping people to protect themselves from Covid-19 at home and school

About the substudy

Germ Defence is a website designed to help people protect themselves and people around them from viruses like Covid-19. A research study found that people who follow the advice in Germ Defence are less likely to catch viruses, and less likely to pass it onto members of their household.

Germ Defence logo

When a large number of people have been vaccinated, there will be less of the virus around. But while we wait for the vaccine to roll-out to everyone, it is still important to do all we can to keep schools safe and reduce the spread of Covid-19.

We are inviting students, school staff, and parents to help us make some changes to Germ Defence, so that it can help reduce the spread of Covid-19 in schools.

We need your feedback to make Germ Defence more helpful, easy to use and interesting. Your feedback could also help schools find ways to make dealing with Covid-19 easier and get ‘back to normal’ sooner.

Contact the researchers

If you’d like to speak to a member of the research team, please email

Further information

If you decide to take part, you will speak to a member of the research team on the phone, or a video call for up to 60 minutes – they will ask you for your feedback about Germ Defence. Each participant will then receive a £20 Love2Shop voucher as a thank you for their time.

For more information about this study, and to find out how to take part please select the link which applies to you.

About the research team

Prof Lucy Yardley (University of Bristol)

Lucy Yardley is leading the adaptation of the Germ Defence website. She brings expertise in:

  • patient involvement
  • digital healthcare interventions
  • behavioural psychology
  • reduction of infection transmission

Lucy is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

Dr Rosie Essery (University of Bristol)

Rosie is co-leading the adaptation of the Germ Defence website. She brings expertise in the Person-Based Approach to intervention development and optimisation, health psychology and behavioural science.

Dr Sarah Denford (University of Bristol)

Sarah is a behavioral scientist and uses qualitative methods to develop and optimize interventions. Sarah is co-leading the adaptation of the Germ Defence website.

Dr Becky Ali (University of Bristol)

Becky is a social work researcher. She has experience in conducting qualitative research and is passionate about promoting the voices of service users/consumers regarding the efficacy of interventions.

Georgia Treneman-Evans (University of Bristol)

Georgia is an experienced Research Associate in health psychology who will be assisting the adaption of the Germ Defence website. She brings expertise is appearance psychology, intervention development and evaluation, and qualitative methods.

Dr James Denison-Day (University of Bristol/University of Southampton)

James is a Research Fellow within the Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology (CCCAHP) at the University of Southampton. He is primarily involved in the design and development of digital health interventions for a range of clinical and health areas, and will be responsible for the technical development of the website.