Home > Research


The Ramsay Research Fund

The ME Association has always regarded the promotion and funding of medical research to be a key priority.

We fund research through The MEA Ramsay Research Fund (RRF) which was named after Dr Melvin Ramsay who brought this disease to the attention of the medical profession following an outbreak at London’s Royal Free Hospital in 1955.

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

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 clinics,
  • Safe and effective forms of treatment.

ME/CFS is a complex illness 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.

Further information relating to the kind of research we believe should be supported can be read for free in ‘What do we know about the causes of ME/CFS?’ written by ME Association medical adviser Dr Charles Shepherd.

ME Association Clinical and Research Guide to ME/CFS

The ME Association’s authoritative clinical and research guide provides a thorough and fully updated review of current clinical knowledge and research evidence.

The guide is written by Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser to the ME Association and Dr Abhijit Chaudhuri, consultant neurologist at Queen’s Hospital in Romford.

The new 2018 edition can be ordered from our website shop and will be sent to you in the post. It is priced at £8.00 for UK residents.

Free copies to GPs and researchers
We are also pleased to be able to offer free copies of this booklet to medical professionals. Contact head office to nominate your GP or to order a free copy if you are working in healthcare.

ME Association Index of Published ME/CFS Research

This is an A-Z index of the most important published research studies and selected key documents and articles, listed by subject matter, on myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). It is correct to 30th June 2018.

At the end of each month we will update the Index and accompany it with a website blog of research abstracts to help keep you informed of the latest research developments.

The Index adopts the subject headings used in the ME Association’s authoritative clinical and research guide (see above).

The ME Association is very grateful to Dr Barbara de Barros, Charlotte Stephens and Russell Fleming, for producing such an excellent free resource.

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

The ME Association was set up to support people with ME/CFS. We believe that a key part of our role is to offer hope to the estimated 250,000 people with M.E. in the UK who desperately want to return to a normal way of life.

Research into ME/CFS is appallingly underfunded when compared to other serious conditions. So we want to do more. Much more.

Medical research is very expensive – so finding the underlying cause of ME/CFS and effective forms of treatment isn’t going to be easy.  But that is not going to stop us 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 ME/CFS 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 support even more biomedical research, please donate now:

  • Donate to us through BT MyDonatewith either a single online donation, or click the button opposite
  • 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)

Or, if you would like to fundraise for The Ramsay Research Fund, please start your online giving page, here.

How much do we spend on administration?

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.

What is our position on animal testing?

The MEA Ramsay Research Fund is not funding any research that involves the use of animals nor do we have any plans (or applications) to fund research that involves the use of animals.

We would not completely rule out the use of animal research if we were convinced that information from this could lead to an effective form of treatment for ME/CFS and that there was no other way in which this research could be carried out.

But this is clearly a hypothetical situation that is very unlikely to occur because research into the treatment of ME/CFS is being conducted through clinical trials involving human volunteers.

How do I apply for a research grant?

We would encourage any researcher to first contact our medical adviser Dr Charles Shepherd (via for an informal discussion.

If you would like to submit a proposal for consideration, please do so by providing the necessary information on our research proposition 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.

Visit the other pages in this section:

Current Research: including PACE trial critiques, and ‘patient evidence’ research

Published Research: from 2000 to present

Volunteering for Research: studies requiring volunteers

CFS/ME Research Collaborative: including the MEGA project

^ Return to Top

Follow by Email
Visit Us