McDonald Fellowships| Fully Funded | Grant (up to £60,000 GBP)

The McDonald Fellowship enables early career multiple sclerosis researchers from low- and middle-income countries to work in a research institution outside of their own country. We are open to applications for virtual or local projects to overcome the travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the visit or virtual project, participants either gain expertise or carry out parts of joint research projects.

Following the award, we expect applicants will be able to use the newly developed expertise and networks, continuing to undertake MS research and/or patient care in low- and middle-income countries.

The fellowship consists of a two-year grant, around £30,000 GBP per year, to cover travel and living costs, and an additional contribution of £2,000 GBP per year to the host institution. *For 2022 we are more flexible on the use of funds if virtual projects are proposed.

Provided that it is safe to travel amid the pandemic, we expect that part of the second-year grant to the host institution will be used to cover the candidate’s expenses to attend the annual congress of ECTRIMS, the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS.

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One Fellowship is awarded in partnership with ECTRIMS and is known as the MSIF-ECTRIMS McDonald Fellowship.

Another Fellowship is awarded in partnership with MSIF’s member, ARSEP, The Fondation pour l’Aide à la Recherche sur la Sclérose En Plaques. This is known as the MSIF-ARSEP McDonald Fellowship.

Who is eligible?

All candidates must:

  • Be educated to post graduate level (at least MSc, preferably PhD/MD) in an area relevant to multiple sclerosis
  • Be citizens of a low- or middle-income country (all countries with a low, lower middle or upper middle income as defined by the World Bank)*
  • Focus their research in an area relevant to multiple sclerosis

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Candidates must also be in one of the following situations:

  • Working or studying in a low- or middle-income country (all countries with a low, lower middle or upper middle income as defined by the World Bank) at the time of nomination
  • Working or studying in another country on a project which started within the six months prior to nomination
  • Studying in another country on a project supported by an MS International Federation grant

Candidates are expected to return to their own countries at the end of the study period where they will contribute to advancing care and research in MS.

The fellowship may also be used as a supplement for work related to MS by a candidate who has been accepted for training in a recognised institute (within the six months prior to nomination) but who doesn’t have enough money to cover the total cost.

The McDonald Fellowships are conditional on commencing no later than the end of 2022.

For more information, including assistance with identifying possible host institutions, please contact our research team using the contact us form, selecting “Research grants and awards”.

These conditions will only change for the 2022 Awards round.

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Please note:

This is a joint application from the applicant and host. Before nomination, candidates need to have identified a suitable project and host supervisor at an institution outside of their own country.

*For 2022, the host can also be identified within the applicant’s home country or neighbouring countries (if travel laws allow it in the country), provided there are sufficient resources (e.g. equipment, reagents…) and mentorship as well as an opportunity to learn new expertise and techniques.

A project host must be agreed before commencing the application.

The deadline for the host statement is the same as the entire application: June 30, 2022.

How To Apply?

  • Complete all sections of the online application form
  • The Host needs to provide a supporting statement at the end of the application*
  • Add names and contact details of 3 referees, including the applicant’s current supervisor or employer
  • Ask referees to submit reference letters to research{at}msif{dot}org before the deadline

*The host supporting statement is filled in once the Applicant has submitted their application. The proposed host will then be emailed with instructions to fill in the supporting statement in the application form in text only. This must be done before the deadline. 

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What is the deadline?

The application deadline, including the online form, reference letters, and supporting statement from the host, is June 30, 2022.

You must submit your application with sufficient time for the proposed host to read through your application and provide a supporting statement. It is advised to give at least two weeks for your host to complete this. Equally, you must ask your referees to send a reference letter to research{at}msif{dot}org before the deadline. Applications will be rejected if host statement or references are not received before 30 June.

  • Deadline of application: 30 June
  • Deadline of Host Supporting Statement: 30 June
  • Deadline of References: 30 June

Applicants will be informed in September whether they were successful.

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