McDonald-Fellowships

McDonald Fellowships 2022

Application for McDonald Fellowships 2022 is ongoing!

This opportunity is open 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.

MSIF’s McDonald Fellowships fund 2-year research placements, in the memory of Professor Ian McDonald

About McDonald Fellowship

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.

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.

McDonald Fellowships- Benefit

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.

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 for McDonald Fellowships?

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 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 (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 recognized 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).

Expanded eligibility criteria

The 2022 McDonald Fellowship requirements for applicants have been amended. Due to travel restrictions, we are considering alternative ways to carry out research projects, allowing flexibility around how the Fellowship is spent, as well as when and where the project would be carried out.

We encourage potential applicants to think creatively together with their proposed hosts about potential solutions.

A project may be:

  • A) in a research institute/hospital abroad if travel permits (as in previous years)
  • B) in a research institute/hospital in your home country
  • C) a virtual project, either in full or in part with host institution mentoring*

*virtual projects are only possible if the applicant and host are able to demonstrate how to get sufficient mentorship throughout the project duration.

Projects are only accepted if the risk of travel is low; the project can be carried out safely with minimal risk to the applicant; there are sufficient resources and supervision to allow the proposed project to take place, and the project demonstrates sufficient value to the applicant.

Application forms will be revised to include a question asking the applicant to write a plan for how to conduct the work or a part of the work if unable to travel.

The specific Terms and Conditions of the Awards are being drafted and will be communicated as soon as they have been finalized.

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.

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 neighboring 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 upon before commencing the application.

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

How to apply for McDonald Fellowship

  • 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. 

Application 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 statements or references are not received before 30 June.

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

Applicants will be informed in September whether they were successful.

FAQs on McDonald Fellowships

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

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 are 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

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”

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