ME Association to make six annual medical student awards this year | 23 August 2016

The ME Association is keen to encourage medical students to develop a clinical or research interest in ME/CFS at an early stage in their careers.

Over the years we have assisted a number of students with ME/CFS in relation to both their entry to medical school and their studies while at medical school.

As an extension to this assistance, MEA trustees agreed last year to create a number of annual awards to fund places at the UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative conference – which will take place this year in Newcastle on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th September.

Speakers on the programme for day one include:

* Dr David Patrick, University of British Columbia, presenting on submaximal exercise testing in M.E. and other research areas in relation to the stratification of illnesses through work in public health

* Dr Zaher Nahle, Vice President for Research and Scientific Programs at Solve CFS/M.E., presenting on the Solve CFS/M.E. Initiative biobank and other research programmes

* Prof George Davey Smith, University of Bristol, presenting on the M.E./CFS Epidemiology & Genomics Alliance big data study

More speakers are in the process of being confirmed and oral presentations will be invited following peer review of submitted abstracts.

Plenary sessions on day one will cover:

* clinical trials

* big data, biomarkers and stratification

* workshops which will include: community-based participatory research; severe M.E.; and a joint workshop on Postural Tachycardia Syndrome with PoTs UK

* presentations from researchers funded by the Medical Research Council

Plenary sessions on day two include:

* new and unpublished research

* children and young people

* the Anne Faulkner Memorial Lecture.

More information on conference registration can be found here:

MEA report on the 2015 CMRC conference:


The 2016 award will be up to £350 for each student to help cover the cost of travel, accommodation and registration fee.

This year the MEA will be funding three student awards and – thanks to a very generous donation from a member who helped with this initiative last year –  we are able to top this up with another three awards – making six in total.

To apply for one of these awards, we will require details of where the student is studying, what stage in the degree course they are at (which can be an undergraduate or postgraduate degree), and a short summary – of no more than 500 words – about why they have developed an interest in ME/CFS and why the student wants to go to the conference.

We are primarily seeking to encourage applications from students studying medicine but we are also willing to consider applications from students who are studying diet, nursing, occupational therapy or physiotherapy, or any other health related course.

Following the conference we will require a short review – no more than 500 words – of the conference from a student perspective, which could be published in our ME Essential membership magazine.

We are able to reimburse costs of up to £300 per student as they are paid. The final instalment of £50 will only be paid on receipt of a satisfactory report on the conference.

Applications for these awards should be sent to Dr Charles Shepherd at the MEA via:

There is no closing date at present but we would encourage students to send in applications as soon as possible. We are assessing applications as they come in.


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