Following our reveal of the world’s top medical schools in 2021 – part of the QS World University Rankings by Subject – we have taken a look at recent research activity at universities around the world, to see which institutions are at the forefront of the global research effort into COVID-19. \r\n\r\nUsing data compiled in collaboration with our research partners Elsevier Scopus, we were able to identify some of the top medical schools which are producing the most cited scientific papers into the virus. \r\n\r\nMainland China \r\n\r\nPerhaps unsurprisingly, given it was the first location to encounter the virus, Mainland China is home to several universities which are leading the global research efforts. 11 percent of the global research into COVID-19, as indexed by Elsevier Scopus, originates from China. While this will be partly due to the fact Chinese researchers have had more time to study the virus than other nations, the speed and quality of the research being done at universities such as Tsinghua University, Peking University and Wuhan University is impressive. \r\n\r\nThe most widely cited academic paper on COVID-19 was a multi-author paper published in The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals. The three Chinese universities mentioned above, in addition to the Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Peking Union Medical College, were all collaborators on this paper. \r\n\r\nUnited States \r\n\r\nOver a quarter of the global research papers into COVID-19 were published with involvement from American institutions. Given half of the top 10 universities in our medicine subject ranking were based in the US, this is hardly surprising. In fact, those five medical schools – Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, UCLA and Yale – account for 20 percent of all COVID-19 papers in the world. \r\n\r\nOther notable universities to have collaborated on highly cited COVID-19 research papers are Princeton University and the University of Washington. \r\n\r\nUnited Kingdom \r\n\r\nBritish universities have also contributed significantly to the research into understanding COVID-19 and how to treat it. Imperial College London, UCL, the University of Oxford and King’s College London all feature within the top 20 of our medicine ranking and have also collectively contributed to nearly one-third of all published papers on COVID-19. \r\n\r\nWhat does this mean for me? \r\n\r\nIf you’re considering which university is the right fit for you, learning more about the types of research conducted at each institution can be a useful way to gauge if the teaching focus will match your interests. \r\n\r\nAlso, the speed and effectiveness of the leading research into COVID-19 has been remarkably impressive, perhaps revealing which medical schools are truly working at the cutting-edge of developments in medicine.