Funding for Motor Neuron Disease research

New fellowship for study into causes and treatments.

The Scottish Government is teaming up with MND Scotland to fund research to investigate potential causes of and therapies for motor neuron disease (MND).

Each partner is contributing £125,000 to provide the opportunity for a clinical professional to undertake a PhD to both enhance MND research and MND clinical capacity in NHS Scotland. The three-year Clinical Academic Fellowship will start in 2024.

According to MND Scotland, in the UK, there is a 1 in 300 lifetime risk of getting MND and there is currently no cure or effective disease modifying treatment available. Average life expectancy following diagnosis is just 18 months.

Deputy First Minister Shona Robison announced the funding in Paris where she welcomed charity cyclists who had travelled from Edinburgh to raise funds for the MND charity My Name’s Doddie Foundation.

Ms Robison said:

“MND is a devastating condition, and we are committed to ensuring that all people living with MND in Scotland are able to access the best possible care and support.

“MND is incredibly distressing for the person with the condition and their family. The research funding in collaboration with MND Scotland will allow vital work to study the progression of the condition and help inform the development of future treatments.”

Dr Jane Haley, Director of Research at MND Scotland, said:

“We are proud of our ongoing partnership with the Scottish Government. This is our third joint funded fellowship and will further build MND research capacity within the NHS in Scotland.

“MND is a brutal disease that affects too many lives. With this joint funding, we are taking a further step towards understanding the causes of MND and the search for effective treatments. We look forward to future collaborations with the Scottish Government, including ensuring that Scotland is equipped to roll out any emerging treatments for MND which may arise from the clinical trials currently underway.” 


MND Scotland and the Scottish Government are each providing funding up to £125,000.

Clinical Academic Fellowship

Since 2015 the Scottish Government has invested around £700,000 into MND research. This has included MND Scotland partnering with the Chief Scientist Office of Scotland to enable joint funding for Clinical Academic Fellowships focused on MND. This announcement will bring the total investment from MND Scotland since 2015, across three partnership fellowships over nine years, to £344,000 (co-funded with the Scottish Government providing an additional £296,000 across the three fellowships over the same period).




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