IIME Research

Our Research Ethos

Invest in ME Research (IiMER) has, as an objective, to make a change in how ME is perceived and treated in the media, by health departments and by healthcare professionals.

We aim to do this by concentrating our efforts on three main areas - funding for biomedical research into ME, education of healthcare professionals, the media and the public and lobbying for improvement in the treatment of people with ME and their families. We have no membership fees and try to offer as much as possible for free, or at cost price.

Our efforts are focused on setting up a UK examination and research facility (click here) which will provide proper examinations and diagnosis for ME patients and a coordinated strategy of biomedical research into ME in order to find treatment(s) and cure(s).

Together with an ever growing number of resourceful and dedicated supporters we are all working toward the goal of making a positive contribution to progress.

Our Research Strategy

Invest in ME Research supports high quality, biomedical research into myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

The following paragraphs detail our policy and procedures for applying for funding for such research. The charity welcomes applications for grants for projects of 6 months - 3 years duration.

Our priorities are steered by the unequivocal belief that ME is of organic origin and requiring a strategy of biomedical research with international collaboration.

Our Research Priorities

Medical research into:

  • Research associated with Causality

  • Translational biomedical research to provide effective treatments for ME

  • Accurate and comprehensive diagnosis

  • Improved education of healthcare professionals about the disease

  • Telemedicine for use with and by ME patients and their physicians

  • Raising awareness amongst the public, the media and academia

Invest in ME Research Grants Policy

Anyone wishing to apply for a grant from the charity should use the forms on this page to apply, having first appraised oneself of our research strategy described earlier.

It is emphasised that Invest in ME Research’s ethos is to initiate high-quality biomedical research into ME as an urgent requirement. Priority will be given to research which maximises the potential to find causality for ME and/or which promises to provide the greatest improvement for people with ME.

How Funding is Awarded

Due to the way in which Invest in ME Research promotes research and seeks a strategic approach to research we prefer to request ideas for research projects or to identify them ourselves and then perform fund-raising campaigns to raise the necessary funds.

The way we promote the search for ideas is via our conferences, our researchers meetings [5] and our newsletters.

Academic institutions most likely to perform the sort of translational biomedical research into ME that we require are invited to our research meetings and to our conferences. We also circulate our newsletter to many different academic institutions. We also highlight opportunities on this web site.

In this way we believe we build awareness of our requirements and opportunities.

With the gut microbiota research [2], which was our foundation project for a centre of excellence for ME, we directly sought support and assistance from University of East Anglia and Institute of Food Research as those organisations play an important role in the Norwich Research Park, which is the location for our proposed centre.

Peer Reviewing

The charity has a list of external reviewers whom we will ask to peer review any applications for funding and projects.

We will assess all applications based on the relevance and usefulness of the research and in accordance with our research priorities, scientific merit, timescale and cost.

Research Collaboration

Collaboration has been one of the central tenets of Invest in ME’s policy since our 2007 international ME conference in London.

As a founding member of the European ME Alliance we work with international colleagues (advocates, researchers, research organisations and physicians) to make rapid progress in finding the cause of ME and providing treatments for all. Funding applications will be considered from outside of the UK though we do prefer to use collaborations with UK and European organisations and researchers.

Invest in ME Research also initiated and facilitated the formation of EMERG - The European ME Research Group - a collaboration of researchers and institutes within Europe. More details can be found at the EMERG website.

The charity has a preference for involving EMERG members in all research funded or supported.

The charity also has facilitated and encouraged international collaborations and our annual research Colloquiums now attract researchers from around the world

Read More

Our Research Funding Opportunities

Invest in ME Research is committed to funding high-quality biomedical research into myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). This a fundamental part of our strategy for ME which includes creating a UK/European Centre of Excellence for ME (CoE) [1].

The CoE influences our choice of looking for translational biomedical research which can discover causality and provide treatments – in a direct and expeditious way. This therefore means that we are looking for biomedical research applications – covering virology, immunology, endocrinology with particular emphasis on autoimmunity.

Invest in ME Research does not hold large unallocated amounts in a bank for research.

We are not a membership charity as we believe ME patients should have access to free information and we try always to offer our products or services for free or at cost price.

We campaign for the interests of patients and carers to try to ensure that those most vulnerable are not taken advantage of.

A list of current opportunities can be seen at this link .

How to Apply for Funding

If potential researchers wish to first enquire informally about a project and grant request then please contact us using the contact details at the end of this article. Application Forms are available here –

  • Word

  • PDF

Medical Ethics

Projects funded by Invest in ME Research are to be conducted in accordance with the guidelines and principles described by the Declaration of Helsinki [3].

It is expected that the research will be verified and approved by the appropriate research & development and ethics committees related to the research team.

Dissemination of results

Results from Invest in ME Research-funded projects would be expected to be published in professional scientific journals. Invest in ME Research will expect frequent reports on progress of the research which would be disseminated though our web site, newsletter and Journal.

IIMER Advisory Board

We would expect our advisory board to be involve din assisting us in deciding the best research choices as part of our strategey of biomedical research into ME.

Our advisory board is described here - read more

Our Research Colloquiums

An essential part of our research strategy involves bringing into the field of ME research new experiences and ideas. This has formed part of our staretgy since we formed our first international research colloquium in 2010. More details of the Biomedical Research into ME Colloquiums here .

Let's Do It For ME

Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing Ideas for ME Research

Let’s do it for ME is a patient-driven campaign to raise awareness and vital funds for a centre of excellence for translational biomedical ME research being proposed by Invest in ME. Such a centre will provide clinical assessment, diagnosis and treatment for patients and training and information for healthcare staff and work collaboratively with international biomedical researchers.

The campaign was set up and is run by ME patients who want the findings of high quality research to result in a better understanding of the underlying pathology and in the development of appropriate treatments.

Many people spend vast sums of money on unproven treatments for ME, often without any improvement being gained. This is entirely understandable but the only way to get treatments that help everyone safely via public health services is to get clinical trials performed. Biomedical research into of ME leads to better patient care and better doctor patient relationships.

Funding will usually follow discoveries but it is important that charities keep raising funds for strategic initial projects and encourage researchers to stay in this field.

The Let’s Do It For ME campaign has helped raise the £100,000 required for the foundation project to be initiated at the University of East Anglia (UEA) as part of our efforts to establish an examination and research facility which could lead to a UK Centre of Excellence for ME - click here.

The charity has recently announced plans for a UK clinical treatment trial of rituximab, an immune modulating monoclonal antibody used in treatment for autoimmune diseases and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and found to result in major or overall improvement in all ME symptoms in 67% of patients in research in Norway.

Together we are trying to improve the future for people with ME and their families.

The Let's Do It For ME team have achieved an enormous benefit for this patient community through imaginative ideas, selfless efforts, dedication and positivity - a Can Do approach to a disease where so many before have been content to allow no progress to be made. It is patients and carers who are making things happen, making a difference.

At the Invest in ME IIMEC8 conference in London in May, and especially at the IiME/AHMF Biomedical Research into ME Collaborative meeting the day before, the atmosphere was positive and optimistic. We certainly feel there is a change occurring and momentum is building for real change and proper research.

This is not thanks to those who have been content to maintain the status quo for so long.

It is because of you, the patients and carers (and friends and relatives), who have campaigned for change and forced action to be taken.

It is the Let's Do It For ME spirit.

Empowerment of patients and their families comes from action, a Can Do approach and positive campaigning.

The name says it all - Let's Do It For ME!

Here is a statement from the Let's Do It For ME team -

Research FAQs

We welcome your support in the form of donating, fundraising, spreading word of the project and other research being proposed and initiated by IiMER, or simply letting us know that you are behind us in this effort.

Invest in ME Research is run entirely by volunteers. There are no salaries and no funds will be used for administration costs. All funds raised will be used in full for financing the biomedical research projects which are initiated. We need to raise awareness and interest from as many sources as possible.

Invest in ME Research will maintain ring-fenced funds for those projects which require dedicated campaigns to support the fund-raising activities.

Invest in ME Research also maintains a general Biomedical Research Fund [4] which is used for many activities associated with biomedical research.