McDonald Fellowships for Early Career Multiple Sclerosis Researchers in London 2021

The Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) invites applications for the McDonald Fellowships for Early Career Multiple Sclerosis Researchers in London in 2021.

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. For 2021, applications are open for virtual or local projects to overcome the travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Thus during the visit or virtual project, participants either gain expertise or carry out parts of joint research projects.

Following the award, applicants will be expected to 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.

Provided that it is safe to travel amid the pandemic, it is expected that part of the second-year grant to the host institution will be used to cover the candidate’s expenses. That is to attend the annual congress of ECTRIMS, the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS.

Worth of Award

  • In view of this, the fellowship consists of a two-year grant, around £30,000 GBP per year which will cover travel and living costs.
  • There will also be an additional contribution of £2,000 GBP per year to the host institution.
  • Rest assured, for 2021,  the McDonald Fellowships are more flexible on the use of funds if virtual projects are proposed.


In order to be eligible, all candidates must be/focus

  • educated to postgraduate level (at least MSc, preferably PhD/MD) in an area relevant to multiple sclerosis
  • citizens of a low or middle-income country. (this includes all countries with a low, lower-middle or upper middle income as defined by the World Bank)
  • 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 at the time of nomination. (this includes all countries with a low, lower-middle or upper middle income as defined by the World Bank)
  • 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

As a matter of fact, candidates are expected to return to their own countries at the end of the study period. They, in turn, will be expected to contribute to advancing care and research in MS in their home countries.

It would interest you to know that the fellowship may also be used as a supplement for work related to MS. It can be used by a candidate who has been accepted for training in a recognised institute but who doesn’t have enough money to cover the total cost. However, this acceptance should be within the six months prior to nomination.

How to Apply

By way of application for the McDonald Fellowships,

  • 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.

Very Important 

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 2021, the host can also be identified within the applicant’s home country or neighbouring countries. That is if travel laws allow it in the country and provided there are sufficient resources. e.g. equipment, reagents… This also applies where there is mentorship as well as an opportunity to learn new expertise and techniques.

Deadline: The application deadline, including the online form, reference letters, and supporting statement from the host, is June 30, 2021.

Click here for more details and to apply

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