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UK Covid-19 Crowd Forecasting Challenge

UK Covid-19 Crowd Forecasting Challenge


A unique opportunity for members of the public to help researchers from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Imperial College London & Public Health England forecast (predict) COVID-19 infection & death rates to inform public policy.

  • Monday 24th May 2021 00:00
  • Citizen Science
  • Influence

Taking Part

This opportunity has already taken place

What is the UK COVID-19 Crowd Forecasting Challenge?

The UK Covid-19 Crowd Forecasting Challenge is part of an ongoing research project by the epiforecasts group at the Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in collaboration with Public Health England (PHE) and Imperial College, London.

Crowd (public) forecasts in the past were often able to beat model-based approaches when it comes to predicting the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths.

Over the past few months we have used our two forecast apps to collect crowd (public) forecasts from a small group of participants, first in Germany and Poland and now across 32 countries in Europe. These forecasts have been submitted to the European Forecast Hub and the German and Polish Forecast Hub.

In both countries, our crowd forecasts were among the top models (predictions) submitted. We therefore believe that crowd forecasts can be a valuable contribution to public policy and want to expand our approach to other members of the public.

Who can get involved?

Anyone and everyone can get involved in the challenge - it is open to all members of the public.

What will I be asked to do?

You will be asked to predict (forecast) both:

  • the number of Covid-19 infections and
  • the deaths resulting from Covid-19 in the United Kingdom

which you think will occur in the next 1-4 weeks. 

You will need to make your predictions using one or two 'apps' which can be accessed via your computer, tablet or phone. Further details about how to submit a forecast is provided on the Crowd Forecasting website.

When and where?

All activity relating to the crowd forecasting challenge is online.

The challenge will run over the course of twelve weeks (Monday 24th May 2021 until Monday 16th August 2021).

Ideally you should submit a forecast every week, but you don’t have to. You can miss a week or join part-way through the 12 week challenge.

Will I get anything for taking part?

The researchers will be running a competition over the 12 weeks with a cash prize. They will collect and score your personal predictions (forecasts) of the number of Covid-19 infections (which have been reported) and the deaths resulting from Covid-19 in the United Kingdom. The most accurate forecasters will receive a cash prize of up to 100 GBP.

To be eligible for the competition you must:

  •  join the contest from the beginning, you will need to submit your first forecast before 8pm on Monday 24th May
  • submit at least one forecast for both measures (number of Covid-19 infections and number of deaths resulting from Covid-19 in the UK) 
  • provide your contact details (either by providing your email address in the app user account, or by sending a message to [email protected] if you don’t want to register your email address on the app

Further information regardingthe competition can be found here

In addition to the competition you also have a chance to make a real world impact through your forecast by providing valuable insights to policy makers and public health officials.

How do I get involved?

If you are interested in taking part, please click the 'I would like to take part' button at the top of the page. This will take you to the Crowd Forecasting Challenge Webpage which has further details and information on how to sign up.

Imperial College London

Privacy Notice

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (the “College” or “Imperial”) is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information. This privacy notice describes how we collect and use personal information about you during and after your relationship with us, in accordance with the applicable data protection legislation and the College’s Data Protection Policy.

Please find the Privacy Notice here.

Get In Touch

If you have any queries or would like further information about the opportunity please refer to the UK COVID-19 Crowd Forecasting Challenge Webpage. If you still can't find an answer to your query please contact the team at

Taking Part

This opportunity has already taken place