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​Latest research projects announced, plus new funding available

May 13, 2016

Action for M.E. is delighted to announce that we are funding two new research studies totalling £42,000, made possible by donations to our Clare Francis Research Fund and match-funding with respective universities. Marking M.E. Awareness Week, we are also making further funds available for a new research call (see below).

Our new funded study, the severe paediatric M.E. British national surveillance study, will measure the incidence, demographic and clinical features of severe paediatric M.E. in the UK.

“This will tell us how common severe paediatric M.E is, how it presents and what treatments are offered, to help inform future research, and current and future service provision,” says lead researcher Dr Esther Crawley, University of Bristol.

This study was prioritised by our supporters in 2013, when we asked them to vote for the three projects in which they would most like us to invest. (In first and second place were studies into immune responses in M.E. and patterns of mitochondrial DNA variation, both of which we have already funded.)

The other new funded project is a feasibility study which will determine the suitability of a using a standardised intervention to manage the autonomic dysfunction frequently seen in M.E.

“We believe this study will provide important pilot data, enabling us to submit an application to the National Institutes of Health Research’s Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation programme for a large randomised control trial,” says lead researcher Prof Julia Newton, Newcastle University.

Our new research call

In addition, we are inviting proposals for more high-quality research pilot projects Researchers who apply must ensure that their proposal fits with at least one of the priorities identified by people with M.E. as set out in our research strategy.

We have £25,000 available for one or two projects by UK-based researchers with proven expertise in relevant areas of science. All applications will be put through our research funding assessment process which includes expert peer-review and consideration by our Scientific Advisory Panel and Voice Committee.

The deadline for applications is Friday 1 July 2016, and we expect to announce the new projects we will fund in the autumn.

None of this would be possible without the generosity of our supporters and donors and we would like to thank everyone who has given so generously.