ME Awareness: The MEA Ramsay Research Fund | 12 May 2020

May 12, 2020

Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association.


The ME Association has always regarded the promotion and funding of biomedical research to be a key priority and we have invested more than £1million in recent years.

Help us to fund more biomedical research into M.E.

In 2019/20 we invested a further £200,000 in three studies and today we announced a new study led by Professor Clague-Baker that will examine physiological responses to daily activities in home environments.

We fund research through the Ramsay Research Fund (RRF) which was named after Dr Melvin Ramsay who brought the neurological disease M.E. (myalgic encephalopathy) to the attention of the medical profession in 1955.

Dr Ramsay also helped establish the ME Association which was founded in 1978 and he remained closely involved with the charity until his death in 1990.

  • Download the latest Ramsay Research Fund leaflet to read all about the research we are funding and those studies recently published.

What sort of research do we fund?

We invest only in biomedical research studies and infrastructure projects that will help lead to:

  • A better understanding of underlying disease mechanisms,
  • The development of reliable diagnostic tests for use in surgeries and clinics,
  • Safe and effective forms of treatment.
We actively seek researchers who will examine these underlying disease mechanisms.

ME/CFS is a complex multisystem disease with symptoms that cut across several medical boundaries – genetics, endocrinology, immunology, muscle pathology, and neurology in particular.

So, research into the underlying cause of ME/CFS is rather like piecing together a complex medical jigsaw puzzle.

We actively seek researchers who will examine these underlying disease mechanisms. This must be our top priority if we are to obtain a better understanding of this disease and discover effective forms of treatment.

We have also provided funding from general funds for selected studies that analyse patient survey evidence relating to illness management approaches and that critically review the so-called biopsychosocial model. These studies have been led by Dr Keith Geraghty from the University of Manchester.

Additional information:

For more information about M.E. and the recent advances in research and understanding, please refer to our other FREE factsheets below:

Why is it so important that we raise money for research?

M.E. research is appallingly underfunded compared to other serious medical conditions.

We believe that a key part of our role is to offer hope to the estimated 265,000 people with M.E. in the UK who desperately want to return to a normal way of life, and one of the best ways to achieve this goal is to fund high quality biomedical research.

M.E. research is appallingly underfunded compared to other serious medical conditions and we do as much as we can to address this imbalance.

We also advocate for more funding from other sources e.g. the Medical Research Council (MRC) through active membership of the CFS/ME Research Collaborative (CMRC).

Medical research is very expensive – so finding the underlying cause of M.E. and effective forms of treatment isn’t going to be easy. But that has not and will not prevent us from trying!

How you can help

Please help us to build on our success and continue to expand our vital work. One day we will find the cause of M.E. and have an effective form of treatment. And with your help, that day could come much sooner.

If you would like to help the Ramsay Research Fund invest in even more biomedical research, please donate now:

  • with either a single online donation via JustGiving,
  • by cheque (made payable to: The ME Association Ramsay Research Fund) to: The ME Association, 7 Apollo Office Court, Radclive Road, Gawcott, Bucks MK18 4DF,
  • by card donation over the phone to our head office (01280 818964).

To fundraise for the Ramsay Research Fund, you can create your own JustGiving campaign.

How much do we spend on administration?

Every penny of every donation goes directly to M.E. research.

We make no administration charge. We are very aware that people who give money to research want to see it spent on research – and not swallowed up by administration expenses.

The Ramsay Research Fund is a restricted fund which means that all donations are used exclusively for research activity.

We do not employ any extra staff to deal with routine administration or the research we are funding, and any support that is required is done so voluntarily or is met out of our general funds.

How to apply for a research grant

Researchers who are considering a research grant application should first contact our medical adviser Dr Charles Shepherd (via for an informal discussion.

If you would then like to submit a proposal for consideration, please do so by providing the necessary information on our research proposition form and returning it to us as soon as possible.

The next stage in the process will require submission of a formal grant application, but this should not be completed until your proposition has received approval. We aim to reply to all propositions within four weeks of receipt.

Grant decisions are based on the guidelines produced by the Association of Medical Research Charities and we will normally include both an internal and external peer review of all formal grant applications.

ME Awareness Week Monday 11th – Sunday 17th May 2020

Visit the ME Awareness Media Toolkit and download posters and graphics.

The ME Association

Ramsay Research Fund

We are a national charity working hard to improve the lives of people devastated by an often-misunderstood neurological disease. 

We believe biomedical research offers the best hope to people affected by M.E. If you would like to support our investment then please donate to the Ramsay Research Fund. 

Just click the image opposite to visit our JustGiving page for single donations or to establish a regular payment. You can even establish your own fundraising event.

Or why not join the ME Association as a member and be part of our growing community? For a monthly (or annual) subscription you will also receive ME Essential – quite simply the best M.E. magazine!

ME Association Registered Charity Number 801279

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