Mosaic of opportunities

McDonald Fellowship 2020

2020 McDonald Fellowships

The McDonald Fellowship enables young multiple sclerosis researchers from low- and middle-income countries to work in a research institution outside of their own country. 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. 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.

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.

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. A project host must be agreed before commencing the application. The deadline for the host statement is the same as the entire application: 31 August 2020.

Who is eligible?

All candidates must:

  • Be educated to postgraduate 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

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.

Candidates and Host supervisors are required to read and sign the Terms and Conditions of the award (see below).

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

What is the deadline?

The application deadline, including the online form, reference letters, and supporting statement from the host, is 31 August 2020.

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 31 August.

  • Deadline of application: 31 August
  • Deadline of Host Supporting Statement: 31 August
  • Deadline of References: 31 August

Applicants will be informed in November whether they were successful.

How are Fellowships awarded?

MSIF’s McDonald Fellowship panel, which includes scientists and people affected by MS, considers and selects successful candidates.

What evidence of results is needed?

A short report must be submitted at the end of the first year of the fellowship. Second-year funding depends on the submission of this report. Upon completion of the fellowship, a final report and expenditure summary is required. Electronic copies of reports, papers, abstracts and posters resulting from the visit should also be submitted. Papers produced as a result of or in connection with McDonald Fellowship-funded research should acknowledge the fellowship and include the address of the MS International Federation’s website: www.msif.org

Who do I contact?

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”.

Support from organisations

We are eternally grateful to our partner organisations ECTRIMS and ARSEP. Without their support, these awards would not be possible.

More information about ECTRIMS can be found here: ECTRIMS
More information about ARSEP can be found here: ARSEP

Terms and Conditions

Please note: these are due to be updated for 2020 due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The Terms and Conditions of the Award must be agreed and signed by both the Award holder and the Host supervisor. The Du Pré Terms and Conditions can be found here.

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