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New funding for neurodegenerative research

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Researchers in neurodegenerative conditions from universities across Scotland will benefit from a new funding pool administered by the University of St Andrews.

The Scottish Government and the RS Macdonald Charitable Trust are each contributing £75,000 of funding this year to help further strengthen Scotland’s research capacity in this area.

Researchers from across Scotland’s Universities will be able to apply for seed-corn grants of up to £15,000 to support clinically relevant research into conditions including Alzheimer’s, Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis.

The fund will provide an opportunity for researchers working in different academic centres with the chance to test out ideas that could lead to future funding or development of further collaborative working.

Applications will be assessed by an expert panel of clinicians, academic researchers and lay representatives chaired by University of St Andrews Professor Frank Gunn-Moore, who established and initially chaired the Alzheimer’s Research UK network for Scotland.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Research is essential for the development of new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of neurological conditions, which affect the lives of over a million people living in Scotland.

“We launched the consultation for the first Scottish National Action Plan on Neurological Conditions at the end of last year as we work to transform care for people affected by neurological conditions and raise awareness more broadly.

“The plan covers common themes that are important to people living with neurological conditions, ranging from everyday conditions such as migraines to rare and life-limiting illnesses such as Motor Neurone Disease and Huntington’s Disease.”

Rachel Campbell, Director of the RS Macdonald Charitable Trust, said: “We are delighted to support this strategic initiative and are hopeful it will bring together early career researchers from across academic centres, and disciplines, to further our understanding of neurological conditions.”

Professor Frank Gunn-Moore said: “One of the best things about working in Scotland is that our universities and research institutions have always worked together: this is imperative when trying to tackle these diseases. This type of seed-corn funding is imperative for researchers to try out new ideas and concepts, and we are exceptionally grateful to the Scottish Government and the RS MacDonald Charitable Trust.”


View the Consultation on the draft National Action Plan on Neurological Conditions which is open until 8 February 2019.

The RS Macdonald Charitable Trust awards around £3m to charities in Scotland every year.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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