Researchers from low- and middle-income nations can apply for the McDonald Fellowship if they want to study multiple sclerosis (MS) in a research facility outside of their own nation.
Applications are now being sought for local or online initiatives where participants can advance their knowledge or complete sections of collaborative research projects.
In order to continue their MS research and/or patient care in low- and middle-income nations, applicants can benefit from their newly gained knowledge and networks.
The fellowship consists of a two-year grant worth around £30,000 per year to cover travel and living expenses, as well as a £2,000 contribution to the host institution.
A portion of the second-year grant to the host institution is expected to be used to cover the candidate’s expenses for attending the annual congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS.
Who is eligible?
All candidates must:
- Be educated to post-graduate level (at least MSc, preferably Ph.D./MD) in an area relevant to multiple sclerosis
- Be citizens of a low- or middle-income country
- Focus their research on an area relevant to multiple sclerosis
Candidates must also be in one of the following situations:
- Working or studying in a low- or middle-income country
- Working or studying in another country on a project which started within the six months prior to the nomination
- Studying in another country on a project supported by an MS International Federation grant
Candidates are expected to return to their home countries at the end of the study period to contribute to the advancement of MS care and research.
The fellowship may also be used as a supplement for MS-related work by a candidate who has been accepted for training in a recognized institute (within six months of nomination) but does not have enough money to cover the total cost.
Expanded eligibility criteria
The 2023 McDonald Fellowship now allows for flexibility in research projects. Potential applicants are therefore encouraged to brainstorm creative solutions with their proposed hosts.
The project could be in a research institute/hospital abroad if travel permits (as in previous years) or in your home country, or a virtual project, either entirely or partially supported by the host institution.
Projects are only accepted if the risk of travel is low, the project can be completed safely with minimal risk to the applicant, there are enough resources and supervision to allow the proposed project to take place, and the project demonstrates sufficient value to the applicant.
For assistance with identifying possible host institutions, the research team can be contacted using this form, selecting “Research grants and awards”.
Other things to note
This is a joint application from the applicant and host. Therefore, prior to being nominated, candidates must have found a suitable project and host supervisor at a facility outside of their own country.
For the 2023 fellowship, the host can also be found in the applicant’s home country or nearby country (if local travel laws permit it), provided there are enough resources (such as equipment, reagents, etc.), mentorship, and opportunities to pick up new skills and techniques.
A project host must be agreed upon before commencing the application.
The deadline for the host statement is the same as the entire application: June 30, 2023.
Process of application
- Identify your project and field of interest.
- Contact and agree on a project proposal with a host (project supervisor in a lab or clinic).
- If you do not have a host, contact the research team for advice as soon as possible.
- Complete all sections of the online application form
- After the Applicant submits, the Host is contacted to submit a supporting statement using the same application
- Request for three references from referees
- Applicants must read the Terms and Conditions of the Award to understand requirements around reporting and payments.
- The deadline for the online application form, reference letters, and supporting statement from the host, is June 30, 2023.
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