Bequests & Donations

Since Medical Research Scotland was set up in 1953, we have awarded over £35 million in grants for research in Scotland. One of the earliest was to Professor Ian Donald, for his pioneering work on obstetric ultrasound - diagnostic technology that has touched the lives of many millions of people. That grant and all which have followed, are made from the income received from our endowment fund, which originated in the £2.5 million of public donations to Scotland's hospitals before the creation of the NHS and which were brought together into one 'national' fund for research.

We continue to be fortunate enough to receive gifts, donations and legacies every year. These, coupled with prudent investment, help to maintain and augment the original endowment fund, ensuring that we continue to be able to support young biomedical researchers as they work to improve the health of the nation. All donations, large and small, are welcome, received with gratitude by the Members and acknowledged both here and in our Annual Review and Annual Report & Accounts in the year they are received.


£100,000 Legacy for general medical research

The late Ms Mona Margaret Yule of Aberdeen bequeathed the sum of £100,000 to the Trust. This will be invested and income arising will be used to support general medical research.

£564,564 Legacy for Multiple Sclerosis research

Research into MS is the specified use for the substantial legacy from the estate of the late Dr Bryan Ashworth of Edinburgh notified to the Trust at the end of 2012.
Dr Ashworth had practised as a consultant neurologist in Edinburgh, but as a young man diagnosed with testicular cancer, he had taken part in a groundbreaking clinical radiotherapy trial aimed at treating the disease. Professor David Harrison, Trust Chairman, commented:
"A consultant neurologist, who had taken part in a pioneering clinical trial in his youth, Dr Ashworth knew both the challenges of treating MS patients and also the value of research into such diseases. We are very grateful for his generosity and will use his gift wisely."

Vacation Scholarships Donation

In the early summer 2012, the Trustees were delighted to receive a donation of £10,000 from the Mann Foundation to support the continuation of the Undergraduate Vacation Scholarships.

Generous Donation

In late August 2011, Medical Research Scotland received a donation of £25,000 from Mr W.D. Duncan of Edinburgh, who indicated that he wished his gift to be used to support young people carrying out medical research in Scotland.

Donaldson Legacy

In June 2011, the Trust learned that it will be the beneficiary of part of the estate of the late Miss Jean Donaldson, to be used to support medical research.

Horsman Legacy

A legacy of more than £70,000 has been left to the Trust by the late Mr John Horsman, who stipulated that it be applied for research into the condition known as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis).

McCabe Legacy

In September 2010, Medical Research Scotland learned that it was to receive a legacy amounting to more than £220,000 from the estate of the late Mrs Annie McCabe of Edinburgh. (The final total will be known once the administration of the estate is finalised.) In the terms of her will, Mrs McCabe had stipulated that half the funds should be used for research into rheumatoid arthritis and the other half for cancer research.

Vipiana Award

During 2006, Medical Research Scotland learned it was to receive a donation of approximately £180,000 from a Trust Fund of Monsieur Richard Vipiana, Baron of Elie & St Monans. The funds were received in 2010, when it was agreed that, in recognition of his generosity and in keeping with his existing interests in supporting medical research, a suitable research project grant would bear his name. M. Vipiana selected the three-year grant awarded in February 2010 to Dr Carl Goodyear (Clinical Neurosciences, Glasgow University) and colleagues, whose project is entitled "Inhibition of osteoclastogenesis by immunomodulatory complexes".

Pain Management Research

In February 2007, we received a substantial legacy from benefactor who wished to remain anonymous, but had who had stipulated that the funds be used for research into heart disease and into pain management. We regularly receive funding applications related to heart disease, however we receive relatively few applications for work in the difficult, but very important field of pain management. As a result, the Members took the unusual step of actively publicising (for one year only) the availability of earmarked funds for work in this field and a number of high-quality research proposals resulted. We now receive and consider pain-related applications routinely.

One bequest - Two pilot schemes

Mrs Mary Tyson lived in Dumfries and, following receipt of a generous legacy from her estate, the Members decided to use the income to support research by those working in the Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Professions. These professions have always fallen within the funding remit for Medical Research Scotland, but few applications had been successful in reaching the required standards. It was felt that by creating a dedicated funding stream, on a pilot basis for up to three years, more higher-quality proposals might be forthcoming. The pilot started in 2006 and an award was made in each of the first two years. As no applications were received by the closing date for the third year, the Members decided to reconsider the future use of Mrs Tyson's bequest.
In 2009, an opportunity arose to work in partnership with the Scottish Government on its new Senior Clinical Research Fellowship Scheme by offering, again on a three-year pilot basis, to provide additional support to those appointed under the Scheme, in a form which would also encourage young scientists to become involved in medical research. An award was made in 2009-10, but the Members decided not to make an award in the following year and, in light of the comprehensive review of the Trust's funding strategy initiated at the end of 2009, to discontinue support for the scheme.

Clinical Research Fellowship

In 1997 a substantial part of the estate of the late Miss Violet C. Nasmyth of Edinburgh was bequeathed to the Trust and, after much detailed consideration of how best to mark this, the Members decided to use the income from its investment to fund a two-year travelling clinical fellowship. This was at a time when the future of clinical research seemed insecure as a result of major changes to post-qualification clinical training and career structures throughout the UK, which were failing to provide both time to learn and any structured research training opportunities for medically-qualified individuals. Awards were made biennially for several years, until a combination of falling investment income and further changes in medical training and career paths made their continuation inappropriate in that form.


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