Request for proposal | Eye & Vision Research Grants

NOTICE: The following details applied to the 2020-2021 grant cycle. Adjustments may be made for the 2021-2022 cycle, which opens for applications July 13, 2021.

Eversight is pleased to invite proposals from academic, clinical and health services investigators from our partner institutions for funding promising research projects concerned with vision problems with special emphasis on projects utilizing human ocular tissue or research related to corneal surgery, corneal disease and eye banking (including clinical and business practices). Projects relying solely on animal models will be considered only when their aims are directly related to investigating corneal diseases, surgery or eye bank practices. Funding is provided as seed money to develop promising ideas for research, collect initial data, pilot projects and/or carry out preliminary laboratory work that could facilitate the submission of full-fledged applications for more extensive support from private or governmental agencies. Eye & Vision Research Grants are intended for faculty only (assistant professor level or above).

Available funds will be allocated to proposals showing the greatest potential for advancing scientific knowledge regarding the causes and treatments of visual disorders or eye bank practices. The number of grants to be awarded is subject to availability of discretionary funds.

Awarded applicants are required to submit a final report to summarize the basic findings from their work the following year, as well as reports of any publications or presentations at professional meetings that are related to the topic of the funded research as they occur. All publications, presentations and posters resulting from this research must acknowledge Eversight for its financial support with the proper disclaimer. Eversight will provide appropriate logo files and information upon request.

Finally, principal investigators of funded projects that result in a successful commercial enterprise will be encouraged to make a financial contribution to Eversight equal to or greater than the amount awarded to them through the Eye & Vision Research Grant Program.

Proposal Parameters

  • Typical budgets should not exceed $15,000, except for highly meritorious projects that are given exceptionally high scores by the Research Review Committee and who offer special justification for exceeding this limit. No budget will be approved beyond $25,000.
  • These research grants are intended to support the work of young investigators or new research directions for more established researchers, but are not meant to augment support for research that is already funded.
  • Funding will be for a period of one (1) year but, in certain exceptional cases, grants may be renewed for a second year. This requires submission of a competitive renewal proposal. A summary of project progress and initial findings must be included in such a proposal, together with an explicit justification for additional funding.
  • Approved budgets for individual projects will not include indirect or overhead charges, training costs and travel expenses. However, investigators can request approval for funding travel to professional meetings to present findings from the funded project.
  • Applicants will be required to submit a detailed total budget for the proposed project, specifying amounts requested from the Eversight and amounts available from all other sources.
  • No more than 10% of the total grant may be allocated to fund salary costs for principal investigators.
  • If funding for acquisition of equipment is requested, its application to the research objective must be clearly explained.
  • Acknowledgment of Eversight’s support must be included in all publications and presentations of research results together with the appropriate disclaimer.
  • Applicants will be required to provide a brief description of long-term plans for further research on the proposed topic or area of investigation and explain how this will be pursued.
  • Grant recipients pledge to submit to Eversight notice of publications, presentations and any further funding from other sources.
  • Researchers must agree to provide Eversight with a publishable summary report or abstract of the methodology and main findings of the project, presented in layman’s terms, at the conclusion of the 12‐month grant cycle. This may be used by Eversight to stimulate public interest in and support for the Eversight Center for Vision and Eye Banking Research.
  • Failure to meet these requirements could jeopardize future funding in the academic departments or units associated with the investigators.

Review Process

All research proposals that meet the eligibility requirements for the Eye & Vision Research Grant Program will be reviewed and evaluated by the Eversight Research Review Committee. The Committee is an independent, volunteer panel of distinguished scientists, ophthalmologists and health services researchers. They will assess the scientific merit and the extent to which each proposal meets with the explicit objectives of the Eye & Vision Research Grant Program. Specific merit criteria include:

  • The scientific and/or clinical merit of the proposed project and its potential for attracting support from other sources.
  • The extent to which the proposed research meets the explicit purposes of this research program.
  • The appropriateness and feasibility of the proposed methodology, including the choice of research design, subject selection, data collection methods and analytic design.
  • The qualifications of the investigator(s) and relevant experience.
  • The adequacy of the available facilities to carry out the proposed research.
  • The justification(s) for the proposed budget.
  • Appropriate approvals for human or animal use. Application for Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval will be accepted at the time of submission. However, funds will not be disbursed until documentation of IRB or IACUC approval is submitted to Eversight.

After all proposal submissions have been reviewed, the Research Review Committee presents its recommendations in the form of a ranking of meritorious projects to the Eversight Board of Directors. The Board serves the final authority for approving the funding for approved proposals.