McDonald Fellowship

The MSIF McDonald Fellowship was established in 2007 to honour the memory of Professor Ian McDonald, a world leader in MS research and former Chairman of MSIF’s International Medical and Scientific Board (IMSB).

Prof McDonald had a monumental impact on MS research, treatment and understanding, providing invaluable breakthroughs in the field.

Prof McDonald also gave hours of time and expertise to MSIF. He was a member of MSIF’s IMSB from 1980 and its Chairman from 1999 to 2003.

The McDonald Fellowship was formerly known as the Du Pre Fellowship.


  • Every year MSIF offers a number of McDonald Fellowships to young and talented researchers from emerging countries*.
  • The Fellowship enables the recipient to travel to an established research institution to work with leading researchers in MS, with a view to returning to their own country to establish a programme of MS research that involves the application of the newly learned techniques.
  • The Fellowship consists of a two year grant, in the region of UK£30,000 per year, to cover travel and living costs, and an additional contribution of UK£2,000 per year to the host institution.
  • In 2014, we will accept applications from all areas of research related to MS and encourage applications in the areas of symptom relief, rehabilitation and palliative care.

Who is eligible?

  • Candidates must not be older than 35 at the time of application.
  • Candidates must be citizens of an emerging country* as defined by the World Bank.
  • Candidates must be working or studying in an emerging country* at the time of nomination OR working or studying in another country on a project which started within the six months prior to nomination OR studying in another country on a project supported by an MSIF grant.
  • The candidate’s focus of research should be in an area of neuroscience appropriate to MS.
  • Before nomination, candidates need to have identified a suitable project and discussed their involvement with the project supervisor of the institution.
  • It is anticipated that the award may be seen as a contribution to the country from which the candidate comes, as a step toward establishing greater expertise in MS research in that country.
  • 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 for whom there are insufficient funds available to cover the total cost.
  • The research should be in an area that makes it likely that the studies and expertise can be transferred in the candidate’s home country.

* - Emerging countries are all countries with a low, lower middle or upper middle income as defined by the World Bank.

How to apply

University departments must nominate a candidate. This nomination should include:

  • 2014 McDonald Fellowship Nomination Form 
  • Candidate letter - a letter from the candidate detailing their reasons for nomination.
  • Supervisor letter - a signed letter from the candidate’s current supervisor supporting the nomination.
  • CV - the candidate's current curriculum vitae clarifying his or her previous experience.
  • References -testimonies from at least two people with whom he or she has worked.
  • Project proposal - a description of the field of research that the candidate wishes to be trained in or the research project that he/she wishes to carry out. This should be written by the applicant and should be a maximum of four A4 pages including the background to project, aims and methodology to be used and the anticipated outcomes. A list of references should be added as an appendix which may also include figures.
  • Host letter - a signed letter of support from the project supervisor of the host institution, indicating that appropriate facilities will be made available. The letter should be on institution-headed notepaper.
  • Future plans - a one-page statement from the candidate as to what their future plans might be when he/she returns to their country of origin.

Candidates are required to submit all of the above documents by email to
Dr. Dhia Chandraratna by the deadline stated below.

What is the deadline?

The deadline for nominations is 30 June 2014.

Who awards the fellowships?

The members of MSIF's International Medical and Scientific Board Executive Committee consider and select successful candidates.

Fellowship recipient(s) will be announced the week commencing
20 October 2014.

What evidence of results is needed?

MSIF requires a short report at the end of the first year of the Fellowship. Second year funding is dependent on the submission of this report.

Upon completion of the Fellowship, a final report is required. This should detail:

  • What the recipient has gained from the Fellowship
  • Their achievements in the project field
  • The particular area of expertise which is being transferred back to the country of origin

In addition, MSIF requests electronic copies of papers, abstracts and posters resulting from the Fellowship.

Who do I contact?

For more information please contact MSIF’s Head of International Medical and Scientific Research, Dr Dhia Chandraratna.

McDonald Fellowship Winners

McDonald Fellowship news

MSIF news | 20 June 2013

MSIF McDonald Fellowship recipient publishes paper

Dr Suresh Menon from India, who was awarded a MSIF McDonald Fellowship award in 2010 to undertake a two-year fellowship at the UBC Faculty of Medicine in Vancouver, Canada, has published results from the work he did on aggressive types of MS.