McDonald Fellowships 2023 | Fully Funded

McDonald Fellowships 2023 | Fully Funded

McDonald Fellowships represent one of the prestigious and highly competitive research fellowship program that provides funding for young researchers from low- and middle-income countries to work in a research institution outside of their home country. The program is funded by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) and is named after Ian McDonald, a leading figure in MS research.

The fellowship provides a grant of up to £30,000 GBP (approximately $41,000 USD) to cover travel and living expenses for a period of up to two years. The program is open to young researchers who are under 35 years of age, hold a degree in a relevant field, and are working in a research institution in a low- or middle-income country.

What are the Benefits of McDonald Fellowships

The McDonald Fellowships 2023 is a fully funded opportunity for researchers of a low- or middle-income country. Here are the benefits :

  • Successful candidates will get a grant of around £30,000 GBP annually. 
  • The host will provide the 30,000 GBP to cover the travel and living costs.
  • The host institution will receive an additional £2,000 GBP per year.
  • Opportunity to get advanced knowledge of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
  • Candidates will contribute to the effective possible solutions to control MS.
  • This fellowship will help in the professional development of the candidate and low-income countries.
  • This fellowship will encourage international collaboration between different countries.
  • Fellowship will help the candidate in social networking at the international level.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the McDonald Fellowships, applicants must meet the following criteria:

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 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

Those who previously have held a Du Pré grant are eligible to subsequently apply for a McDonald Fellowship, but not the other way round.

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.

Application Process

  • Identify your project and field of interest.
  • Contact and agree project proposal with a host (project supervisor in a lab or clinic).
  • If you do not have a host, contact the research team for advice as soon as possible.
  • Applicant completes all sections of the online application form
  • After Applicant submits, the Host is contacted to submit a supporting statement using the same application form.
  • Applicant asks the three referees to send their reference letters to research{at}msif{dot}org well before 30 June deadline.
  • Applicants must read the Terms and Conditions of the Award to understand requirements around reporting and payments.
  • Applicants should pay close attention to the lay summary of the application. Advice on how to write a lay summary can be found here


Benefits of the Fellowship

The McDonald Fellowships offer several benefits for young researchers, including:

  • The opportunity to work in a world-class research institution outside of their home country
  • Funding for travel and living expenses for up to two years
  • Access to resources and expertise that may not be available in their home institution
  • The chance to develop new skills and knowledge that will be valuable for their future careers

Tips for a Successful Application

To increase your chances of success with your McDonald Fellowships application, consider the following tips:

  • Start your application early to ensure that you have enough time to prepare a strong proposal and gather all the required documents.
  • Make sure that your research proposal is clear, concise, and focused on a specific research question or problem.
  • Demonstrate your passion for MS research and your potential to make significant contributions to the field.
  • Choose your reference letters carefully, and make sure that they can speak to your research abilities and potential.

What is the deadline?

The application deadline, including the online application form, reference letters, and supporting statement from the host, is June 30, 2023.

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 30 June.

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

Applicants will be informed in September whether they were successful.

The McDonald Fellowships are an excellent opportunity for young researchers from low- and middle-income countries to gain valuable experience and develop their careers in MS research. If you meet the eligibility criteria, we encourage you to consider applying for the program when applications open later this year. With the right preparation and a strong application, you could be on your way to a fully funded research fellowship in 2023.


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