For Researchers

If you're a researcher and want to find out more about MND Scotland's research approach and project funding opportunities, this section is for you.

At MND Scotland, our vision is of a world without MND. The only way that this vision can be realised is through progress in MND research.

Our 2017-2020 research strategy seeks to build partnerships, involve people affected by MND, and monitor the impact of our investment. We’re putting an extra £1.2 million on the table to boost our efforts to beat MND. That takes our total commitment to research so far to £2.4 million.

Our Projects

We currently have five research funding schemes:

Research Projects

Awarded annually, at least one research project will be dedicated to large research projects not exceeding £75,000 per annum and £225,000 in total. These grants will be made available for scientific or clinical projects and social research designed to generate a strong evidence base. We are currently reviewing our funding portfolio timings.

PhD Studentship

Awarded annually, at least one PhD studentship will be awarded up to a maximum of £25,000 per annum (£75,000 in total over three years) to cover the costs of student stipend, fees and justified consumables. Our 2022 PhD studentship scheme will open 01.08.2022 and close 31.10.2022

Clinical Fellowship

Co-funded with the Chief Scientist’s Office, clinical research fellowships are designed to encourage clinicians to undertake academic research in MND. Fellowships are typically awarded for three years, with projects sponsored by a multidisciplinary research group in a UK University department, Hospital or other research institute. The fellowships provide training in clinical and/or laboratory techniques leading to a higher degree – usually a PhD. This scheme runs every three years. We will not be recruiting for another Clinical Fellow until 2022.

Gordon Aikman Scholarship

This is an annual award to facilitate initiatives to improve the lives of people affected by MND. It is available to clinical researchers and healthcare workers in NHS Scotland or Scottish Higher Education Institutions, for projects directly relevant to the care or management of people with MND.

The Gordon Aikman award is an annual sum of £50,000, which is funded equally by MND Scotland and the Scottish Government, and is administered by the University of Edinburgh. The award is made in recognition of the outstanding contribution MND campaigner Gordon Aikman made to improving the clinical care of MND in Scotland and passion for delivering clinical trials.

Clinical Trials

As outlined in our current research strategy, one of our goals at MND Scotland is to attract clinical trials to Scotland. We are key funders for the biggest MND clincial drug trial in the UK, MND-SMART. 

Our Approach

It is our view that our funding of research should be on an ‘open’ basis in response to competitive calls. We will not seek to dictate which specific areas of work researchers should be concentrating on but rather we will consider all appropriate projects which are of sufficiently high quality and which have the potential to impact on the lives of those affected by MND.

Annual calls will be made at the same time each year for our four schemes (details above); Research Projects, PhD Studentships, Clinical Fellowships and Gordon Aikman Scholarship.

Peer Review

Applications are subjected to rigorous peer review process, with application materials initially screened by MND Scotland’s Research Committee and on the basis of scientific and/or research quality, applications are then sent to external peer reviewers. Reviews are then sent to the Research Committee, with the highest scoring applications put forward to the Board of Trustees who make the final decision on which applications we will fund.

MND Scotland endeavour to inform applicants as to the outcome of their submission within 2 months of the respective research funding scheme closing date. Due to the nature of the peer review process, this may not always be possible.

Animal Testing

Only where there is no alternative and where the outcomes of the research will be of benefit to those affected by MND, will MND Scotland provide funds which involves the use of animals. Those institutions that are supported by a grant from ourselves must demonstrate that they are adhering to the 3Rs principles of Reduction, Replacement, Refinement. We support the AMRC principles on the use of animals in research as outlined in this statement.

Additional Financial Support

Our Professional Development Grant helps MND professionals meet the costs of attending training courses or conferences.

The purpose of this grant is to enable researchers, as well as Health and Social Care professionals, to attend conferences and training courses which, for financial reasons, they would not otherwise be able to attend.

Find Out More

For more information on our research portfolio, including information on applying for funding from us, please get in touch with us at or call us on 0141 332 3903.



As members of the Association of Medical Research Charities we have achieved eligible funding status.