Our research funding process
Our research funding assessment process has been developed to provide clarity, transparency and a clear governance framework for key stakeholders which includes researchers, universities, donors, Action for M.E. supporting members and other people affected by M.E.
All funding applications we receive are put through a five-stage funding assessment process, overseen by our Research Panel, with input from our Scientific Advisory Panel and the people affected by M.E. who sit on our Voice Committee.
Chaired by Trustee Jane Young, Action for M.E.’s Research Panel reports to the Board of Trustees and holds delegated responsibility to:
- support the development of Action for M.E.’s research strategy
- oversee implementation of the research strategy
- maintain a watching brief on behalf of the board on the relevance and potential value of research initiatives in the field of M.E.
Jane is joined on the Panel by two additional Trustees, our Principal Medical Adviser, an independent research scientist, our CEO, and a minimum of three patient/carer Supporting Members who have research experience (not necessarily in the field of M.E.).
Scientific Advisory Panel
Our Scientific Advisory Panel is made up of researchers with a proven track record in their field and ideally with a specialism or interest within the M.E. field.
Members of the Panel are volunteers, and are appointed for a term of two years (they can serve for up to six years consecutively). We ask that they:
- have published papers in peer-reviewed journals
- have experience of reading and reviewing written documents and experience of assimilating a large volume of written information
- have an understanding of the impact of research in practice
- consider the research requirements and implications for all patients with M.E./CFS (and associated illnesses, where appropriate), without having a pre-set agenda.
The Chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel is appointed by the Chair of our Research Panel and our Chief Executive. The Chief Executive supports the Panel and attends meetings in a secretariat capacity.
The purpose of the Voice Committee is to ensure that people with M.E. are an inherent part of decision-making about research projects that we do and don’t fund. Along with people with M.E. and carers, the committee includes clinicians and healthcare practitioners not currently active in research.
Voice Committee members are volunteers with a keen interest in research, health and/or consumer-related issues, who have a broad and balanced understanding of M.E. and the experiences of those living with the condition. The committee scrutinises, from a stakeholder (patient and clinician) perspective, applications for research funding and advises our Scientific Advisory Panel and Board of Trustees on their importance and relevance.