PhD Studentships

Fight for Sight’s mission is to stop sight loss by funding the highest quality medical research. To help us achieve our goals we are committed to encouraging new and highly motivated graduates to take up and pursue a career in ophthalmic and vision research.

Fight for Sight PhD Studentships are highly prestigious awards made on a fully competitive and peer reviewed basis. Applications are assessed according to the hypothesis, scientific merit of the research project and any supporting evidence. In addition, a focus on the training and development of the PhD student within the research environment provided by the host institution will be considered. The call follows a rigorous two-stage application process. For more details of the assessment please visit our grant making process.


Applications are now invited for PhD Studentships to undertake research that aims to address sight loss caused by any eye disease or condition. Applications are particularly encouraged in the areas of our Strategic Programmes:

Age-related macular degeneration

Fight for Sight welcomes applications that look to address sight loss caused by wet or dry AMD. Research applications that aim to address the progression of early AMD may be evaluated and, if successful, funded in conjunction with Action Against AMD, a collaboration between Fight for Sight and three other sight loss charities.  


Fight for Sight welcomes applications that investigate all aspects of glaucoma from improving diagnostics which could aid early interventions to improved therapeutics.

Inherited eye diseases

Fight for Sight welcomes applications that investigate all aspects of inherited eye disease which would improve our understanding of the molecular causes and lead to better prognosis and novel therapeutics.

Sight loss linked to other diseases (Multi-morbidities)

Fight for Sight welcomes applications that will help increase our understanding of how sight loss co-exists with other long-term conditions and the similarities in disease mechanisms and pathways such as diabetes, inflammatory conditions and Alzheimer’s disease. In particular, applications are invited for the Fight for Sight / Alzheimer’s Research UK PhD Studentship which will fund research addressing dementia and visual impairment.

Further information about our Strategic Programmes can be found here.

In addition we are delighted to welcome applications for the Masonic Charitable Foundation and Fight for Sight PhD Studentship Prize. This studentship will fundresearch that aims to stop or reduce sight loss from degenerative eye conditions. Such degenerative eye conditions may or may not fall within Fight for Sight’s Strategic Programme areas. Please note that this award is only open to applicants from host institutions located in England and Wales.

Applications that look to address sight loss caused by any eye disease or condition will be considered. It is expected that the majority of our funding for PhD Studentships will be allocated to applications that fall within the Strategic Programme areas.


  • Applications must be made by the potential PhD supervisor(s)
  • Please note that Fight for Sight will only accept one PhD Studentship application from the same individual acting either as supervisor or co- supervisor
  • Supervisors must be affiliated with UK academic or medical institutions
  • The student must be attached to UK institutions but the research can be undertaken in the UK and/or overseas
  • Supervisor(s) must have a contract which extends beyond the termination date of the PhD Studentship
  • The student appointed must not be medically or otherwise clinically qualified professionals. Clinically active individuals should consider the MRC / Fight for Sight Clinical Research Training Fellowships
  • The award does not cover funding gaps for studentships already started

Financial support and duration

  • Grant of up to £100,000 for three years from October 2019.
  • Includes the costs of
    • stipends (Minimum stipend £17,000 per year)
    • PhD fees at UK/EU rate
    • consumables
    • equipment essential for the project
    • open access publication costs
  • Excludes indirect costs and any other non-attributable overhead costs
  • Excludes recruitment costs


This round is now closed. The next round will launch in January 2020. 

Online application key steps What to expect online (Abstracts) Terms and Conditions

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