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

McDonald Fellowships enable early-career scholars from low- and middle-income countries to work overseas at a research center. Applications are encouraged for regional or online programs that work around the COVID-19 pandemic’s travel restrictions. During the visit or virtual project, participants can learn new skills or finish aspects of joint research projects. The organization believes that awardees will be able to use their newly gained networks and experience to carry on their MS research and/or patient care in low- and middle-income countries after obtaining the funding.

Details about the Scholarship:

Scholarship Sponsor: MSIF/ECTRIMS

Study level: Fellowship


Number of awards: Two

Host Institution(s): MS International Federation (MSIF)

MSIF McDonald Fellowships – Aims

McDonald Fellowships provide a two-year grant for about £30,000 per year to cover living and travel expenses as well as an extra £2,000 per year payment to the host institution. If virtual initiatives are presented for 2023, the organizations are more open-minded about how the money is used.

The organization anticipates that the applicant will spend a portion of the second-year award to the host institution to attend the annual conference of ECTRIMS, the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS, if it is safe to travel amid the epidemic.

One fellowship, known as the MSIF-ECTRIMS McDonald Fellowship, is given in collaboration with ECTRIMS. Another Fellowship is given in collaboration with ARSEP, The Fondation pour l’Aide à la Recherche sur la Sclérose En Plaques, a member of the MSIF. The MSIF-ARSEP McDonald Fellowship is what this is known as.

Eligibility Criteria for MSIF McDonald Fellowships

Each applicant must:

  • possess 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 medium-income nation (defined by the World Bank as any nation with a low, lower-middle, or higher-middle income)*.
  • Concentrate their study on a subject that is related to multiple sclerosis

The following conditions are also required of candidates:

  • Working or pursuing education in a low- or medium-income nation at the time of nomination (all nations with a low, lower middle, or higher middle income as determined by the World Bank).
  • working on a project that was initiated six months before nomination while working or studying abroad
  • studying abroad on a project funded by an MS International Federation scholarship

A McDonald Fellowship can only be applied for by those who have previously held a Du Pré award; vice versa is not permitted.

After the study session, candidates are anticipated to return to their home nations where they will advance MS-related medical treatment and research.

An applicant who has been approved for training at an accredited institution (within six months of nomination) but lacks the funds to meet the full cost may also use the fellowship as supplemental funding for work relevant to MS.

The Terms and Conditions of the award (see below) must be read by candidates and host supervisors, and they must be signed.

Expanded Eligibility Standards

Application standards for the McDonald Fellowships have changed. Due to travel limitations, the organization is looking into alternative methods of doing research. This would provide the organization with more flexibility in how the Fellowship is used as well as when and where the study would be conducted.

The fellowship invites prospective candidates to brainstorm creative solutions with their suggested hosts.

If travel is permitted, a project might take place at one of the following locations: 

A) a research institute or hospital overseas; 

B) a research institute or hospital in your own country.

C) a virtual project, either entirely or in part, with mentoring from the host institution* 

*Virtual projects are only viable if the applicant and host can show how to obtain enough mentoring during the project.

Projects are only approved if there is little danger of travel, the project can be executed safely with little risk to the applicant, there are enough resources and supervision to enable the proposed project to proceed, and the project provides the applicant with enough value.

A new item on application forms will require applicants to provide a strategy for how they would complete the job—or a portion of it—if they were unable to travel.

The McDonald Fellowships must start no later than the end of 2023 to be eligible.

Please use the contact us form and choose “Research grants and awards” to get in touch with the research team for further details, including help locating potential host universities.

Please note:

The applicant and host are submitting this application together. Candidates must have chosen an appropriate project and host supervisor in a facility outside of their home country before being nominated. For 2023, the host can also be found in the applicant’s own country or nearby nations (if local travel rules let it), providing there are enough resources (such as equipment, reagents, etc.), mentoring, and opportunities to pick up new skills and methods.

Before starting the application, a project host must be chosen. The host statement must be submitted by June 30, 2023, the same date as the rest of the application.

Interview Date, Process, and Venue for MSIF McDonald Fellowships

The online application form, reference letters, and the host’s supporting statement must all be submitted by June 30, 2023.

You must submit your application with enough time for the potential host to review it and offer a statement of support. It is advisable to let your host at least two weeks to finish this. Additionally, before the deadline, you must request that your references write a letter of recommendation to research @ If the host statement or references are not sent by June 30th, applications will be denied.

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

In September, candidates will learn whether they were chosen.

How are McDonald Fellowships awarded?

Candidates are evaluated and chosen for McDonald Fellowships by the MSIF’s team of scientists and MS patients.

What proof of results is needed?

The first year of the fellowship requires a brief report to be presented. Submission of this report is necessary for second-year funding. A final report and expense summary are necessary following the fellowship’s conclusion. Additionally, you should send electronic versions of any reports, articles, abstracts, or posters that came out of the visit. 

Who to contact?

Please use the contact us form and choose “Research grants and awards” to get in touch with the research team for further details, including help locating potential host universities.

Support from organizations

The organization will always be thankful to ECTRIMS and ARSEP, two of their partner organizations. These prizes would not be achievable without their help.

You may learn more about ECTRIMS here: ECTRIMS

You may learn more about ARSEP by visiting this website: ARSEP

Application Procedure

Are you qualified for and interested in a McDonald Fellowship? Click here.

  • Tell the organization about your project and area of interest.
  • Contact the project supervisor in a lab or clinic to discuss the project proposal.
  • If you don’t have a host, get in touch with the research team right once for guidance. The applicant has to complete the online application form in its entirety.
  • The Host is requested to provide a supporting statement using the same application form once the applicant submits it.
  • The applicant requests that the three referees email their letters of recommendation to well in advance of the deadline of June 30.
  • To comprehend the guidelines for reporting and payments, applicants must read the Terms and Conditions of the Award. The application’s plain summary should be carefully read by applicants. At the bottom of this page, there is advice on how to construct a lay summary.

*After the applicant has filed their application, the host supporting statement is filled out. The potential host will subsequently get an email with instructions on how to complete the application form’s supporting statement in text alone. Before the deadline, this must be completed. 

The Application Deadline is: June 30, 2023

Not interested in this particular scholarship? See other UK scholarships here.