About the Ramsay Award Program
The Ramsay Awards are named after ME/CFS pioneer Dr. A. Melvin Ramsay, the recognized authority from 1955 until his death in 1990, whose sound descriptions of the disease have stood the test of time. We embrace his determination and spirit to find the answers to this disease.
This investment in seed grants through an open competition reflects our commitment to quality research and inclusivity to advance the field. Each grant award typically ranges between $35,000 and $55,000 for a one-year period, with the possibility of renewal for projects yielding promising results.
The Ramsay Award Program Has Three Main Objectives:
- ATTRACT RESEARCHERS to the field of ME/CFS and ensure they stay engaged
- Facilitate applications for LARGER GRANTS based on promising pilot data
- Add to the cumulative, SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE
Applications are run through a rigorous, double-blind peer review process in order to ensure projects of the highest quality are selected. Each grant application receives two independent reviews and proposals are ranked numerically on a defined scale based on relevance, significance, innovation, and quality of the methodology.
In 2018, we implemented changes to strengthen the impact and reach of the Ramsay Program
- To accelerate discovery, investigators from the 2018 class have been asked to share both positive and negative results to allow other researchers to build on their findings.
- The Ramsay 2018 class will also complete a visibility or advocacy action (e.g. writing an op-ed or visiting with a lawmaker to advocate for an increase in research dollars) as part of their projects.
- As part of SMCI’s goal to meaningfully integrate patients into our research initiatives, the 2018 cycle included two individuals with ME/CFS on the peer review panel.
Remembering Dr. Jonas Blomberg
Jonas Blomberg, MD, PhD, a leading virologist in Sweden deeply involved in moving ME/CFS research forward, passed away in February 2019. His many valuable contributions to the field were amplified by his collaborative, interdisciplinary approach and a passionate dedication to people with ME/CFS.
A prolific researcher, Dr. Blomberg devoted much of his career to the study and characterization of human retroviruses using bioinformatic approaches. He developed powerful multiplex methods to study pathogens and applied this methodology to the study of ME/CFS. He was twice funded through SMCI’s Ramsay Award Program to examine infectious triggers, autoimmunity, metabolic abnormalities and biomarkers of mitochondrial dysfunction and signaling in ME/CFS.
The scope of his involvement went far beyond the research bench. He served on the Board of Directors of the Gottfries Clinic in Sweden and as an advisor to the Open Medicine Foundation. Dr. Blomberg was also a member of the Biomarkers Working Group of EUROMENE, a European organization that seeks to increase collaboration and funding for ME/CFS research in Europe.