Applications opened last week for the first-ever Epilepsy Research UK & Young Epilepsy Fellowship Award. This unique and potentially life-saving collaboration aims to improve epilepsy treatment for young people by addressing the causes, diagnosis and clinical management of childhood epilepsies.
There are approximately 112,000 children and young people with epilepsy in the UK, and epilepsies that start in childhood are often linked with significant associated conditions affecting learning, motor control, cognition and behaviour. An epileptic seizure may be the first sign of a brain disorder, but it is the impact of the underlying condition on learning, behaviour, and participation in society that may result in the most disabling consequences for the child and family.
This jointly funded fellowship award is a grant of up to £300,000 which will support an early career researcher working in paediatric epilepsy and fund a project with the aim of reducing the impact of epilepsy on children and their families and carers. The fellowship will enable a researcher to investigate an area of research showing real potential and provide them with the funding to develop their own research group in this area.
Fundamental to this partnership will be engagement with the Young Epilepsy “Young Reps”, a panel of children and young people living with epilepsy, who will be asked to identify areas they believe are a priority for research. The outcomes from the engagement with children and young people with epilepsy will influence the decision-making criteria when awarding the joint fellowship.