Applying for research funding from the MS Society

We're the largest charitable funder of MS research in the UK. Through our application and review process we aim to fund the highest quality MS research that can make a real difference to the lives of people with MS.

>> Learn more about our funding process

Current opportunities

2018 grant round for research

We are pleased to announce that the call for applications to our 2018 grant round is now open.

As the largest charitable funder of MS research in the UK, we welcome applications for projects that will increase the understanding of, and find new effective treatments for MS, as well as improve care and services for people affected by MS.

Grant round details

  • Opening date: Monday 29 January 2018
  • Deadline for applications: 12 noon, Tuesday 17 April 2018
  • Deadline for lay help Application development: 12 noon Monday 19 February
  • Online application platform: http://research.mssociety.org.uk
  • Decisions and Start Dates: Most funding decisions will likely be communicated in October 2018 with an earliest start date of January 2019.  Funding decisions for our care and services Junior Fellowships will likely be communicated in August 2018, with an earliest start date of October 2018.

What do we fund?

The MS Society will consider any application that is relevant to MS in our grant round.

Our research programme is organised into two streams, Biomedical research and Care and Services research.

We will have four types of award in the 2018 grant round:

  • PhD studentship
  • Innovative awards
  • Project grants
  • Junior fellowships (Care and Services research only)

Applications should be relevant to MS, fit with our new 2018-2022 research strategy and applicants are encouraged to consider our top 10 JLA research priorities and organisational goals when developing an application.

For further information on what we fund, please see the 2018 grant round applicant guidance document.

Who is eligible to apply?

All lead applicants must be based at an UK university or NHS institution. 

How do I apply?

All applications must be submitted via our online grants management system, CC Grant Tracker. All information for completing your online application can be found in our 2018 Grant Round applicant guidance document

Application Development with people affected by MS

Applicants can receive informal comments from people affected by MS before submitting their application. This does not form part of our review process, but is intended to help applicants improve their applications by taking into account the views of people affected by MS.

To take advantage of this opportunity, you will need to submit a completed Application Development application form to researchnetwork@mssociety.org.uk by 12 noon Monday 19 February 2018.

Guidance notes and an application development form are available here: https://www.mssociety.org.uk/ms-resources/research-network-application-development-guidance-and-request-form-researchers

For more information call the research team on: 020 8438 0822 or email: research@mssociety.org.uk.

Connect Immune Research

The MS Society along with Arthritis Research UK and JDRF invite collaborative applications to investigate common mechanisms or other grand challenges facing autoimmune conditions.

Full details can be found in the Call document and Call Guidance.

Brief details:

  • Opening date: Monday 29 January 2018
  • Value up to £150,000 for up to 18 months
  • Deadline for applications: 4pm, Thursday 19 April 2018
  • Decisions and Start Dates: funding decisions will likely be communicated in July 2018 with a start date of Autumn 2018.

What do we fund?

There are more than 80 autoimmune conditions and it is estimated that over four million people in the UK live with an illness because their immune system does not work properly. Research into autoimmune conditions is often pursued in a disease-specific manner, according to clinical presentation, and focusing on later stages of disease. There are significant opportunities to drive forward our understanding of the root causes of individual diseases by encouraging research that works across, or learns from, other autoimmune conditions.  

Over a series of workshops, JDRF, Arthritis Research UK, Wellcome and the MRC brought the research community together to discuss common mechanisms underlying these conditions and to catalyse new collaborations, research ideas and proposals in the area. At the last meeting, held in February 2017, the autoimmunity community explored and defined “Grand Challenges” in this area as well as identifying gaps and opportunities for future research. 

Arthritis Research UK, JDRF and the MS Society now propose to assist the autoimmunity research community to come together as a consortium to address these grand challenges. Together we will provide pilot funding to enable this community to work together closely and effectively. Our funding shall enable researchers to develop research proposals as a consortium, identifying research questions that can be tackled most effectively by collaborating across different conditions, and setting out how these questions may be answered. By providing these pilot funds it is expected that the consortium will be in a stronger position to apply for longer-term funding from non disease-specific funders such as the MRC, Wellcome, industry, EU and other bodies.  

Who is eligible to apply?

  • This call is open to teams, with the lead applicant affiliated to a university, hospital or other recognised research institution in the UK. 
  • The lead applicant should have previous experience of leading multi-disciplinary research and should be tenured for the duration of the award. 
  • Co-applicants should have expertise in a number of autoimmune conditions and related research.
  • Applications from researchers involved in immune condition research other than arthritis, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis are welcome. However it will be important to show how the outputs from the award could lead to benefit patients with these conditions. 

How do I apply?

This is a single stage application process. Before starting an application please read the Call document and Call Guidance thoroughly for further information and guidance on applying.

Applications must be submitted online via Arthritis Research UK’s grants management system.

For help please email: research@arthritisresearchuk.org.

Tissue Bank 2019 - 2024

We are pleased to announce that the call for running the MS Society-Parkinson’s UK joint tissue bank is now open.

Since 2009, we've partnered with Parkinson's UK to fund a Tissue Bank at Imperial College London. The bank provides high quality tissues (brain, spinal cord and cerebrospinal fluid) that can be used by researchers around the world to advance the understanding of both conditions.

To date, the tissue bank has made a vital contribution to the international fight against MS and Parkinson's.

It represents one of the major sources of post-mortem human brain and spinal cord material for research in the world, supplying tissue via an open access peer review system to both academia and industry, and plays an important role in both the European and UK brain banking networks.

Beyond 2019...

The current contract, which is held by Imperial College London, runs until July 2019.

The funder charities are committed to ensuring this vital work can continue and will be holding an open call for the next five year phase of funding (2019-2024).

How to apply

Outline application forms and funding briefs are available by emailing research@mssociety.org.uk.

Outline applications are due by 4pm on Wednesday 28 February.

Eligibility

Grants are tenable only at a UK host institution.

Principal applicants should hold employment contracts that extend beyond the period of the grant.

If you would like more information please email research@mssociety.org.uk

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Contact us
If you have any questions about our funding schemes or the review process, please contact us on 020 8438 0822 or research@mssociety.org.uk
Public involvement

We believe that involving people affected by MS will strengthen the quality and relevance of your research. Read more information on public involvement.

Documents

All applications should fit our Research Strategy.

In 2013 we completed a James Lind Alliance Partnership (JLA) to identify the research priorities for people affected by MS and healthcare professionals. Applications that specifically address these priorities will be considered more favourably. Find out more about this process.

Information on what we fund and how to apply can be found in our 2018 Grant Round Applicant Guidance.

Information on our Award Terms and Conditions can be found here.

Collaborative funding

We seek to develop new collaborations with other organisations to support our research strategy.

If you're considering applying for a collaborative research project please read our Collaborative Funding Request Guidance. To submit your request or for further information, please email research@mssociety.org.uk.

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