Four-Year PhD Studentships

Fight for Sight’s mission is to prevent and stop sight loss by funding the highest quality clinical and non-clinical 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 to UK-based institutions on a fully competitive and peer-reviewed basis. 

How much funding is available?

We offer:

  • Up to £135,000 (outside London)
  • Up to £143,000 (in London)

Funding is available over four years to supervisors proposing research projects which are hypothesis-driven, innovative, involve high-quality scientific methodologies and are supported by robust preliminary data and will lead to a PhD qualification.

How are applications assessed?

Applications are assessed according to the hypothesis and scientific merit of the research project and any supporting evidence as well as evidence of a suitable training environment and development opportunities for the PhD student.


Applications are invited for stand-alone projects which aim to prevent or address sight loss caused by any eye disease or condition.

Strategic areas of focus: as part of the new research strategy to be launched later this year, Fight for Sight will be transitioning away from clinical areas of strategic focus outlined in the previous strategy to the following patient pathway themes:

  • Understanding: Increasing understanding of how eye diseases and conditions start and develop
  • Prevention: Preventing eye diseases and conditions
  • Diagnosis: Enabling eye diseases and conditions to be detected earlier
  • Treatment: Developing new and improved treatments for eye diseases and conditions

Applications in all clinical areas will still be welcome, including those highlighted in the last strategy (Age-related Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Inherited Eye Disease, and Multi-morbidity).

Changes to the 2023/24 scheme

Timing of scheme: Fight for Sight will run a one-stage competition in 2023/24 to allow funding decisions to be made by December 2023 to enable successful applicants to recruit PhD students by the start of the next academic year in September 2024.

Duration: Based on feedback from the vision research community, including early career researchers we fund, Fight for Sight will now fund four-year PhD Studentships as part of our new research strategy launched this summer.

PhD stipends: to ensure all Fight for Sight funded PhD students receive the same levels of remuneration, Fight for Sight will mandate the following stipends:

  • Outside London: £19,000 (Year 1), £19,500 (Year 2), £20,000 (Year 3), £20,500 (Year 4)
  • In London: £21,000 (Year 1), £21,500 (Year 2), £22,000 (Year 3), £22,500 (Year 4)


Whilst we would like to be able to fund as much high-quality research as possible, we need to be mindful of the funding that we have available in any one given grant round and are keen to encourage research from as many different scientists/clinicians as possible. Therefore, lead applicants must not currently have more than three active Fight for Sight grants. If an applicant has three active grants and one (or more) is due to end by December 2023, they may still apply for a PhD Studentship.

For more details on the eligibility criterion or the financial support offered, please see our guidance document below.


Applications must be submitted via our online grants management system

The deadline for applications is 13:00 on Wednesday 5 July 2023. Please note applications past the deadline will not be accepted. The successful applicants of the 2023/24 grants round will be notified in December 2023. 

Please note that all the signatories must also have confirmed approvals on the Grant Management system by the deadline.

Contact us 

For any queries relating to your application, including eligibility queries, please contact Fight for Sight at   


Terms and Conditions