January 11, 2021 | News

COVID-19 Database Receives Funding from Volkswagen Foundation

Domantas Jasilionis and Dmitri Jdanov from the Laboratory of Demographic Data received a 119,500 euro grant. © MPIDR

Researchers at the data lab at MPIDR developed the Short Term Mortality Fluctuations database (STMF) – providing internationally comparable Covid-19 related data. To continue this timely work they have now received funding from the German Volkswagen Foundation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed notable shortcomings of existing data collection systems. Of note, these systems suffer from a lack of internationally comparable procedures and definitions,” says Dmitri Jdanov. The Head of the Laboratory of Demographic Data at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany, and his colleague Domantas Jasilionis received a 119,500 euro grant from the Volkswagen Foundation.

With the grant they will be able to continue their work on the Short Term Mortality Fluctuations database (STMF) over the next 18 months. The data the collect is based on weekly excess deaths and mortality rates.Quantifying the all-cause mortality burden based on estimating weekly excess deaths relative to what would be expected based on the experience of previous years is widely used to estimate COVID-19 impact on mortality.  

The main practical outcome of the project is a comprehensive and freely accessible international database that ensures timely and reliable monitoring of the pandemic and other potential health threats in the future. In fall 2022, it is planned to present the outcomes to other grant winners at a symposium.

With the initiation of the funding program Corona Crisis and Beyond,the Volkswagen Foundation has helped to respond to the major challenges and new concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic poses for science. The Foundation received 1,105 applications and approved 102 projects. In total, it is providing funds of 11.7 million euros.

Find out more information about the Volkswagen Foundation and the funding (German only)

Find more information about the STMF database, a part of the Human Mortality Database

Contact person Human Mortality Database

Head of the Laboratory of Demographic Data

Dmitri A. Jdanov


+49 381 2081-246

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.