Grants

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Thank you for your interest in applying for a Fight for Sight grant. To date, more than 3,000 women and men have received more than $21 million to support eye and vision research. Investigators working at more than 300 leading medical centers, universities and eye research institutes in the U.S., Canada and overseas have received FFS awards. Over the past seven decades, multiple generations of researchers and clinician-scientists have received FFS grants early in their careers and gone on to serve as mentors and guides to the next generation of awardees. Our list of recipients includes many current and past leaders in academic ophthalmology and eye and vision research.

Grant Applicant Information

FFS’s 2019 Post-Doctoral Award, Grant-in-Aid and Summer Student Fellowship applications are being accepted by deadlines specific to each grant. Grant recipients will be announced in the spring. Please watch the website for information about the 2019 grant program. 

Our Grant-Making Philosophy

FFS was founded in 1946 by Mildred Weisenfeld, a young woman with retinitis pigmentosa, to encourage and fund research in ophthalmology, vision and related sciences. The goal of our research program is to support and inspire eye and vision research by funding promising scientists early in their careers.

We seek to promote the development of scientific skills and facilitate obtaining preliminary results necessary to successfully apply for more substantial additional federal or private funding such as that provided by the National Eye Institute or other divisions of the NIH. For many of our summer students and post-doctoral fellows, a FFS funded research project may be their first exposure to ophthalmology or eye research and our support often results in their choosing academic ophthalmology and/or eye and vision research as a career path. Indeed, for many young scientists, it can be the much-needed first step to a successful academic career devoted to seeking major advances in prevention, detection, treatment and cures for blindness and visual disability.

Scientific Review Committee (SRC)

The Scientific Review Committee is charged with evaluating each proposal with respect to 
1.) qualifications and accomplishments of the applicant, 2.) scientific merit of the research proposal, 3.) clinical relevance of the project and 4.) resources, facilities and institutional support.

The SRC is composed of prominent research scientists, academicians and clinical researchers representing many disciplines in ophthalmology, vision and eye research. Many were themselves previous FFS awardees and/or now serve as mentors to the next generation of scientists. We strive to create a diverse group of reviewers, representing many of the best academic and clinical institutions across the country, to enable us to make awards to a broad spectrum of the best and the brightest young students and scientists. Our review system is modeled on the peer review methods utilized by the National Institutes of Health study sections, which evaluate and rank each application on a variety of scientific criteria. The SRC convenes annually to evaluate grant applications during roundtable discussions of its members. The SRC is one of our greatest assets and we are extremely grateful for their assistance, dedication and hard work.

Once each grant is reviewed, scored and ranked, SRC findings are reviewed and recommendations for funding forwarded to the FFS Board of Directors for review. The advice and recommendations of the SRC provide the scientific basis for the final decisions regarding the number of grants awarded each year.