PhD funding

We recognise how important it is to invest in the ME/CFS researchers of the future by attracting new scientists into the field. Our programme of PhD funding has been established to help institutions provide an early-career pathway for students interested in the illness, and to expand their areas of research.

ME Research UK’s PhD funding is open to institutions in the UK and worldwide. The charity will contribute the cost of a stipend, running expenses and university fees, and funding is for three years.

The topic of research must be in line with our priority of funding novel clinical and biomedical studies that help to unravel the biology of ME/CFS or point towards treatments. It is essential that applicants demonstrate clear translational potential for their proposed research, and how it will benefit patients in the short-to-medium term.

ME Research UK does not normally fund research which involves the use of animals. In common with other charitable organisations, ME Research UK does not pay for the indirect costs of research projects. Please see our Standard Grant Conditions for more information.

How to apply

1. Outline Proposal

Before preparing a full application, we encourage applicants to submit an Outline Proposal via our Outline Proposal Form. This is a brief summary of the proposed project which will normally be reviewed within 2 weeks of receipt. If it is something ME Research UK would potentially support, applicants will be invited to submit a full PhD Funding Application.

2. PhD Funding Application

Application for an award should be made by a suitably qualified PhD supervisor (not a student) at the host institution using our PhD Funding Application Form. Applications can be submitted at any time.

Please read the accompanying Guidance Notes for more information on how to complete each section of the form.

3. Review Process

The application will be sent for external review by experts in the field, and then assessed by our Science Committee, which will make a recommendation on funding.

4. Decision

After review, applicants will be notified whether or not their application for funding has been successful. Applicants may also be asked to respond to questions raised by the reviewers before a final decision is made.

5. Award

The final decision on funding will be made by our Board of Charity Trustees, and award of a studentship is subject to acceptance of our Standard Grant Conditions.

If you have any questions about your application or our procedures, please contact Dr David Newton at