Food systems are faced with increasingly difficult challenges from COVID-19 and future climate, socioeconomic, health and other shocks. To build forward better from these shocks, effective responses are needed. These responses rely on accurate and timely data and evidence on the multifaceted effects of the pandemic or other shocks to food systems and on the diverse women and men affected. Equally, reliable and timely information is also needed regarding which local to regional innovations and responses are working, which ones are not, for whom and why. Yet research and development organizations, including multi-actor research partnerships, face multiple challenges to data collection and research during health, socioeconomic or environmental shocks, including periods of extraordinary restrictions on movement and social interactions. The Brief presents 10 strategies and tips for effective, inclusive and ethical research during COVID-19 social distancing, particularly with phone surveys in mind, and for distance research during future shocks. These strategies are particularly relevant to research on the effects and innovations in response to COVID-19, but are broadly applicable to any research-for-development work during these conditions. The 10 strategies have been developed with reference to various global guidance and frameworks -- in particular the One CGIAR QoR4D Framework.