The Gordon Aikman Scholarship is worth £50,000; with Scottish Government funding of £25,000 and MND Scotland announcing today that it will match this funding.
It will support individuals affected by MND or their carers and healthcare professionals to research and develop practical improvements in the way people with MND are cared for.
Speaking ahead of a Scottish Parliament debate to mark MND Global Awareness Day, Minister for Mental Health Maureen Watt said:
“I’m really pleased to be able to confirm to parliament today that applications are now being taken for the scholarship fund which, thanks to support from MND Scotland, has been doubled to £50,000.
“Gordon Aikman was deeply committed to advancing the cause of people living with MND in Scotland – raising over half a million pounds for charity as well as persuading us to change the law around voice therapy and double the number of MND specialist nurses in Scotland and to fund them from the public purse.
“The scholarship will continue to drive forward the improvements to MND care that Gordon has kick-started in Scotland and will be a fitting tribute to a truly inspirational person.
“We are especially committed to learning from those affected by MND and a significant amount of the funding will be invested in funding projects led by those with MND or their carers.
“We want to make sure that the momentum that Gordon created – and the good work that followed – continues to be taken forward.”
Craig Stockton, CEO of MND Scotland, said:
“We are thrilled to announce MND Scotland is match funding the Scottish Government’s £25,000 Gordon Aikman Fellowship.
“Gordon’s wish was to improve the quality of life of people affected by MND. A total investment of £50,000 will enable health and social care professionals, and people affected by MND across Scotland, to investigate, develop and implement practical solutions that will improve the day to day lives of those living with this condition.
“We are looking forward to working with the Scottish Government and the University of Stirling to deliver this fellowship and to honour the outstanding achievements of the late Gordon Aikman.”
The scholarship programme will be administered by the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAPH RU) at the University of Stirling, in partnership with MND Scotland. Those awarded a scholarship would be hosted by health and social care organisations or universities in Scotland, or by MND Scotland.
The funding will be split across two scholarship categories, with each receiving up to £25,000, and with the proviso that all funded learning is shared across Scotland, including presentation at an ‘end of award’ event.
The first scholarship will support projects led by those affected by MND and/or their carers.
The second scholarship category will be open to those in the nursing, midwifery and allied health professions working in the NHS, higher education institutions, the third sector or social care.
Craig Stockton | CEO of MND Scotland