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Funding to user-identified research projects on CFS/ME

The Research Council of Norway is allocating NOK 30 million to four projects on chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). The projects have been selected on the basis of input from over 700 patients, family members and treatment providers regarding relevant research questions.

Among other things, the research projects will investigate the causes of the condition, study the experiences of patients and their family members in their meeting with the public services, and test out a new treatment method.

Project title

Project Owner

Genetic studies in CFS/ME to investigate the potential involvement of the immune system and reveal biomarkers

University of Oslo

Defective energy metabolism in ME/CFS

University of Bergen

Individuals and families affected by CFS/ME: Population characteristics, service use and needs


Fecal microbiota transplant in chronic fatigue syndrome - an RCT

University Hospital of North Norway (UNN) Harstad


The grants are being awarded under a pilot funding scheme for user-identified research in the health research field. Users of health care services have helped to identify the topics to be explored, both by submitting research questions via an open online form and through an advisory user panel.

Read more about the overall process here (in Norwegian)

Researchers at the University of Bergen are seeking to better understand the causes of CFS/ME by studying defects in energy metabolism as a possible factor in the disease mechanism.

Researchers at the University of Oslo will be investigating the role of the immune system in the pathogenesis of CFS/ME via studies of genetic risk variants for autoimmune diseases.

Researchers at SINTEF will be studying the demographic and socio-economic background of CFS/ME patients and their family members as well as their meetings with the public services, working life and the school system.

The project at UNN Harstad involves a randomised control trial of fecal microbiota transfer to change the intestinal microflora of patients in the hope that this will improve their health.

“These projects are the results of a new type of process which has provided the Research Council with very useful insights. In particular, the enthusiasm and commitment shown by patients and their family members exceeded all our expectations. They have helped us to select projects of high scientific quality and major potential benefit,” said Chief Executive of the Research Council, John-Arne Røttingen.

“It has been very rewarding to work so closely with users in an area where the need for knowledge is so pressing and the level of engagement is so high. We thank everyone for their contribution.”

Written by:
Geir Aas. Translation: Victoria Coleman/Carol B. Eckmann.
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