Up to 4 Pre-Fellowships are available as part of the new virtual MND Research Institute.

These Pre-Fellowships are designed to attract and retain early career researchers wanting to establish a career in MND translational research and become MND research leaders of the future. The intention is to bridge the pre-fellowship funding gap by providing the opportunity to obtain the pilot data required for securing a fellowship.

The MND Pre-Fellowship Scheme provides 12-18 months of “pump priming” funds to non-clinical and clinical researchers. It forms part of the objectives of the new virtual institute to train future leaders in MND research by providing funding and a collaborative research environment that encourages early career scientists to continue their training and careers in MND translational research.

Projects proposed for these Pre-Fellowships should align with the aim and objectives of the virtual institute which are to accelerate the discovery of effective therapies for MND by:

  • developing better tests to measure MND progression
  • improving MND registers so doctors can collect better data about the disease, and understand which patients are most likely to respond to a particular drug and therefore recommend them for the trials most likely to benefit them
  • supporting people to take part in clinical trials more easily
  • developing better and more robust laboratory tests to support a pipeline of potential therapeutic agents that could ultimately be used as MND treatments, and fast-track the most promising therapies to clinical trial

Pre-Fellowship proposals should promote collaboration with partners within the institute network, and can also include industry and charities (e.g. for science communication skills).

As part of these Pre-Fellowships, the researcher will participate in a buddy scheme between researchers and patients. This will allow fellows to understand the disease from the perspective of those affected. It also allows the people affected by MND to understand in more depth the work of the researcher. This mutual relationship will also aim to improve the fellow’s ability to communicate their research to a wider audience, not just their peers.

At the end of the scheme, candidates will be expected to prepare fellowship applications to the relevant funding bodies.

Funding - How much and for how long?

Funding of up to a maximum of £90,000 per post can be requested, with flexibility for the following costs:

  • A salary for up to 18 months (including London weighting as needed)
    • For clinical pre-fellowships - matched to the NHS scale point (including any standard NHS scale increments that would have applied over the pre-fellowship period)
    • For non-clinical pre-fellowships - Grade 7 (postdoc equivalent)
  • Research consumables (but not equipment >£5K or personal computers e.g. laptops)
  • Up to £500 to support travel for presentation of data arising during the award
  • Where the project incorporates collaborative exchange, we will support:
    • Travel costs to support moving between two labs,
    • Living costs of £1,330 outside London, £1,500 inside London, per month (where individuals were not at their home site)

Am I eligible?

This funding call is open to all MND researchers in the UK but the applicant must:

  • Be a Principal Investigator (PI) based at a UK research institute
  • Have an employment contract that exceeds the proposed end date of the funding
  • Either be based at one of the six core virtual institute network centres (University of Edinburgh, King’s College London, University of Liverpool, University of Oxford, University of Sheffield, University College London) or have a named co-applicant from one of these centres.


Application projects:

  • Can be 12-18 months in duration
  • Must align with the aim and core objectives of the virtual institute
  • Should be collaborative in nature and involve at least two laboratories/partners, where possible, for sharing skills and training (bearing in mind location costs)
  • Can name the Pre-Fellowship fellow but this is not required, and the fellowship can be advertised locally once awarded.
  • PIs can apply for one clinical and one non-clinical Pre-Fellowship per funding call



Fellows appointed to the Pre-Fellowship award can be either clinical trainees at a pre-PhD level, or non-clinical scientists at a postdoctoral level who must have submitted PhD by time of application AND have PhD awarded by time of taking up the position and are committed to continuing their career in research.

  • Clinical: applicants must be fully licensed to practice with the GMC and have completed Foundation training (or equivalent).
  • Non-Clinical: applicants must be within 5 years of PhD award at the time of taking up the position.
  • In addition, all candidates must be eligible to work in the UK.

How do I apply?

Please download and complete the application form and email it to [email protected] by 31 March 2023.


Download the application form


The projects are reviewed by a bespoke panel of MND Scotland, MND Association and MND expert participants.


If a project application is successful, it is up to the PI and their university to recruit a suitable fellow. Alternatively, a candidate may be named in the application.


Please note: While MND Association are providing the funding for these Pre-Fellowships, MND Scotland will be administering this funding call. Please ensure all queries and completed applications are sent to [email protected].

Anything else I need to know?

If your research proposal requires input from people affected by MND, your application must be accompanied by a completed 'Involving People in Research' form. This will allow us to assess what support and assistance could be provided by MND Association and MND Scotland. Should your research project be funded you will automatically be given the assistance you require.

2023 Deadlines


Funding call opens 1 February 2023
Funding call deadline 31 March 2023