RS MacDonald Seedcorn Fund

RS MacDonald Seedcorn Fund


Photograph of patient in MRI scanner

Supporting the development of neuroscience research and collaboration

Photograph of researcher using  electrophysiology equipment

Small amounts of funding to develop new techniques and ideas

Aim of the fund

The RS MacDonald Seedcorn Fund has been created to support the development of neuroscience research projects and collaboration at the University of Edinburgh. Projects that enhance links between the philanthropically funded centres are especially welcome. This new fund has been established as a result of an award from the RS MacDonald Trust. The annual budget to be disbursed will be £75,000 in 2017 and 2018.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for an award from the Edinburgh Neuroscience RS MacDonald Seedcorn Fund:

  • You should be working as a principal investigator or postdoc at the University of Edinburgh (clinical staff should have an honorary contract with the University), or be a member of one of our Philanthropic Centres (if not at the University of Edinburgh)
  • Applications will be given preference if they:
    • Support new/increased collaboration across life course areas (i.e. linking our different philanthropic centres) or further research addressing shared life course mechanisms
    • Foster new collaborations
    • Are likely to lead to substantive future funding from grants or investment
  • Requests for awards of up to £5,000 (£10K in exceptional circumstances, which must be justified) will be considered.
  • Matched funding is welcome but is not required.
  • You will be required to produce an interim report within 3 months, and a final report 11 months, after the funding award date.

Previous Successful Applications

The inaugural call (March 2017) for the new RS MacDonald Seedcorn Fund resulted in a large number of applicants and congratulations go to the successful awardees:

  • Maqsood Ahmed (Regenerative Medicine), Defining the role of extracellular matrix proteins in the glioblastoma stem cell niche.
  • Javier Escudero, Michael Young, Ailsa McLellan and Mark Richardson (Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre), EEG networks as a potential predictor for treatment response to antiepileptic drugs.  
  • Alfredo Gonzalez-Sulser (Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre), Wireless Optogenetics for Epilepsy.
  • Ewout Groen (Euan MacDonald Centre), Developing a novel method for cell type-specific analysis of local translation.
  • Mandy Jackson (Euan MacDonald Centre), Investigating a link between glutamate transporter dysregulation and translational control.
  • Paul Skehel (Euan MacDonald Centre), Proteomic characterization of new rat MND model.
  • Anna Williams and Colin Smith (Euan MacDonald Centre), The Macro-Imager - recording the gross pathology of donated human brains and spinal cords in the post mortem room.
  • Sergiy Sylantyev, Noboru Komiyama and Melanie Stefan (Patrick Wild Centre), Experimental investigations and modelling of NMDA receptors potentiation generated by mGluRs via different pathways
  • Tomonori Takeuchi (Cognitive & Neural Systems), Optogenetic activation of potential novel drug-target genes for memory enhancement
  • Thomas Theil (Patrick Wild Centre), Characterising INPP5E‘s role in human forebrain development using brain organoids

Participating Philanthropic Centres

You do not need to be a member of one of these centres in order to apply for an RS MacDonald Seedcorn award but applications that engage with members of these centres will be given special consideration.

If you have  questions

The reviewing committee will comprise of members drawn from the following pool:

How to apply

  • The next call will open on 01 October 2017, deadline 31 October 2017 (*extended to 06 November 2017).
  • Download the application form here
  • Submit the completed application via email to Edinburgh Neuroscience by midnight on the deadline date
  • Successful applicants will be notified within 4 weeks of the deadline
  • Any funds awarded should be spent within 6 months of the award date or they will be forfeited.


The next deadline will has been extended to 06 November 2017.