Research grants

ME Research UK awards research grants for novel clinical and biomedical studies that help to unravel the biology of ME/CFS or point towards treatments. We particularly welcome pilot studies or seed-corn projects that could lead to larger-scale research supported by a government funding agency.

We currently have an open call for applications from researchers wishing to investigate the viral causes of ME/CFS.

For this latest phase of funding, a total of £200,000 is available to support scientifically robust biomedical research studies at appropriate host institutions worldwide.

More details on how to apply are below.

Many people affected by ME/CFS report that their symptoms began after a viral infection, and there has been significant research into how specific viruses might act as a trigger for the illness, although no association has yet been confirmed. In addition, the emergence of post-COVID syndrome (or long COVID), which parallels many of the symptoms of ME/CFS, has highlighted the potential importance of this association.

This call for applications has the financial support of The Gordon Parish Charitable Trust. The late Dr Gordon Parish had a life-long interest in viruses and their role in ME/CFS, and the funding from his Trust is available specifically to support more research in this area.

As with all our research grants, 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 Grant Application, we encourage researchers 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 Grant Application.

2. Full Grant Application

A Full Grant Application should be submitted using our Grant Application Form. The deadline for submissions for this call is 5 p.m. BST on Friday 30 July 2021.

3. Review Process

Applications 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. This is likely to be in January 2022. 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 grant is subject to acceptance of our Standard Grant Conditions.

Please send completed forms by email to Dr David Newton at, who can also be contacted if you have any questions about your application or our procedures.