MS International Federation (MSIF) McDonald Fellowships in the UK for 2023

About the Fellowship:

The McDonald Fellowships offer early-career researchers from low- and middle-income countries the opportunity to work at research centers overseas or engage in virtual projects. This fellowship is adaptable to regional or online programs to accommodate COVID-19 travel restrictions. Fellows can acquire new skills and contribute to joint research projects during their visit or virtual project. The MSIF aims to support fellows in continuing their multiple sclerosis (MS) research and/or patient care in low- and middle-income countries after receiving funding.

Details about the Fellowship:

  • Scholarship Sponsor: MSIF/ECTRIMS
  • Study Level: Fellowship
  • Number of Awards: Two
  • Host Institution: MS International Federation (MSIF)

Aims of the McDonald Fellowships:

The McDonald Fellowships provide a two-year grant, offering approximately £30,000 per year to cover living and travel expenses, along with an additional £2,000 per year payment to the host institution. In 2023, if virtual initiatives are presented, the organizations are open to more flexible use of the funds.

The organization expects fellows to allocate a portion of the second-year award to attend the annual conference of ECTRIMS (European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS), known as the MSIF-ECTRIMS McDonald Fellowship, if safe travel is possible.

Eligibility Criteria for McDonald Fellowships:

Applicants for McDonald Fellowships must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a postgraduate degree (at least an MSc, ideally a Ph.D. or MD) in a field related to multiple sclerosis.
  • Be residents of a low- or middle-income country as defined by the World Bank.
  • Focus their research on a subject related to multiple sclerosis.

Additional conditions include:

  • Working or studying in a low- or middle-income country at the time of nomination (as defined by the World Bank).
  • Working on a project initiated six months before nomination while working or studying abroad.
  • Having previously received an MS International Federation scholarship, applicants are eligible to apply for a McDonald Fellowship. The reverse is not allowed.

Fellows are expected to return to their home countries after the study period and contribute to advancing MS-related medical treatment and research.

Expanded Eligibility Standards:

Due to travel restrictions, the organization is exploring alternative research methods. This flexibility allows for virtual projects and local collaborations. Applicants and potential hosts are encouraged to brainstorm creative solutions. Fellowship projects can take place at research institutes or hospitals overseas, in the applicant’s own country, or as virtual projects with proper mentoring.

Projects must ensure safety, adequate resources, and the opportunity to acquire valuable skills. Applicants must provide a strategy for project completion if travel is not possible.

The McDonald Fellowships must commence no later than the end of 2023.

Interview Date, Process, and Venue:

  • Online application form, reference letters, and the host’s supporting statement must be submitted by June 30, 2023.
  • Applicants should allow sufficient time for the potential host to review their application and provide a statement of support, ideally at least two weeks.
  • References should submit their letters of recommendation to [email protected] before the June 30th deadline.
  • Successful candidates will be informed in September.

How McDonald Fellowships are Awarded:

The MSIF’s team of scientists and MS patients evaluates and selects candidates for McDonald Fellowships.

Proof of Results:

  • A brief report is required at the end of the first year, which is necessary for second-year funding.
  • Following the fellowship’s conclusion, a final report and expense summary are required.
  • Electronic versions of any reports, articles, abstracts, or posters resulting from the fellowship should be submitted.

Contact Information:

For further details and assistance in locating potential host universities, contact the MSIF research team using the contact us form and choose “Research grants and awards.”

Support from Organizations:

The MSIF expresses gratitude to its partner organizations, ECTRIMS and ARSEP, for their support in making these fellowships possible.

  • Learn more about ECTRIMS here.
  • Learn more about ARSEP by visiting their website.

Application Procedure:

To apply for a McDonald Fellowship, follow these steps:

  1. Qualify and express your interest in a McDonald Fellowship here.
  2. Describe your project and area of interest.
  3. Contact a project supervisor in a lab or clinic to discuss the project proposal.
  4. If you don’t have a host, contact the research team for guidance.
  5. Complete the online application form here.
  6. Once you submit your application, your host is required to provide a supporting statement using the same application form.
  7. Request your three referees to email their letters of recommendation to [email protected] well in advance of the June 30 deadline.

Applicants are advised to carefully read the Terms and Conditions of the Award, as well as the plain summary guidelines at the bottom of the application page.

The host supporting statement must be completed by June 30, 2023, the same date as the rest of the application.

Application Deadline: June 30, 2023

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