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The William French Memorial Award

As a legacy to William French, this Award was established to assist and encourage young scientists and early career researchers (including Ph.D. students and post-docs) entering the field of Niemann-Pick disease type C.

The William French Memorial Award offers grants and bursaries to UK based young scientists and early career researchers working in the field of Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC), with preference given to supporting their studies, and to research or activities that may lead to the advancement of progress in the study of NPC.

The Award was created as a lasting legacy in memory of William, who was diagnosed with NPC at just 9 months old. William led a fulfilling life despite his diagnosis and passed away peacefully in August 2023, aged just 22.

In 2011, William’s parents established The Niemann-Pick Research Foundation to fund research into NPC, with their dearest wish being that progress would be made to help William’s generation. The charity raised over £875k, enabling research at the University of Oxford, Cardiff University, the University of Sussex, De Montford University and University College London. Each grant contributed to significant progress over the years, however the goal of a successful treatment for William’s generation remains elusive.

Following William’s passing, the charity closed, and the remaining funds will be used to support the Awards made in William’s name, as tribute to his life and personal battle with NPC.

Application Criteria and Process

The William French Memorial Award will be administered by Niemann-Pick UK (NPUK). Applicants are invited to submit a letter of request plus supporting documents at any time, by email to info@npuk.org.

Awards will take the form of a Bursary: granted on the basis of financial need and good academic standing to support a set period of study, travel to present on NPC at a relevant meeting, to support completion and publication of research that furthers understanding of NPC, living or study expenses, equipment, or consumables, up to a maximum value of £5,000.

Submissions, which must have clear relevance to the aims of the Award, will be reviewed by the Awards Committee on a quarterly basis. Please include the purpose and how this relates to NPC, the amount requested and justification for the request. A lay summary is also required. Please note that the Committee may seek further information prior to a final decision being made.

Terms and Conditions

  • The William French Memorial Award is open to UK based young scientists and early career researchers (including Ph.D. students and post-docs) entering the field of Niemann-Pick disease type C.
  • Applicants are invited to submit a letter of request plus supporting documents at any time, by email to info@npuk.org. Please include the purpose and how this relates to NPC, the amount requested and justification for the request. A lay summary is to be included as part of the application and must show consideration to those who may not have a scientific background. If the application is successful, the lay summary will be included on our website.
  • The project title, research institute and lead applicant’s name will be made publicly available if the application is successful. This enables the Award Committee to promote and share the research that it funds with the Niemann-Pick type C community and the general public.
  • All applications received will be acknowledged by e-mail.
  • The information that you provide as part of your application will be held securely and made available to our Award Committee as part of the grants process. Unsuccessful applications will be destroyed after a period of one year.
  • The amount awarded will be determined by the Awards Committee up to a maximum amount of £5000.00. In exceptional cases, and at the discretion of the Awards Committee, the amount awarded may be increased, up to the amount of £7,500.
  • A scientific and lay report are to be submitted upon completion of the Award period.
  • The support of the William French Memorial Award is to be acknowledged in any relevant papers or presentations and copies forwarded to the Award Committee.
  • The Award is administered by Niemann-Pick UK (NPUK) and the Award Committee consists of members of the NPUK Research Committee – all enquiries to info@npuk.org
  • The Award will be granted in multiple, successive years, until funds are depleted.

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