Project Grants


  1. Award
  2. Timeline
  3. Max funding / duration
  4. Success rates
  5. Eligibility
  6. Financial support
  7. Application process
  8. Review process
  9. Contact us


For applicants proposing hypothesis driven clinical or non-clinical research projects that aim to address sight loss caused by any eye condition.


  • Applications open (Stage 1 abstracts) – April 2024
  • Deadline – 29 May 2024
  • Stage 1 outcome – September 2024
  • Applications open (Stage 2 invited full applications) – September 2024
  • Deadline – 16 October 2024
  • Rebuttals open – December 2024
  • Deadline – 8 January 2025
  • Funding outcome – March 2025

Max funding / duration


3 years

Success rates

2023/24: 58% (Stage 1), 43% (Stage 2)

2022/23: 35% (Stage 1), 45% (Stage 2)

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  • Lead applicants and co-applicants must be affiliated with UK academic or medical institutions.
  • The research must take place within the UK, although with justification, a small amount of the work can be conducted overseas where this is essential to the success of the project. Plans and costs should be clearly stated and justified in the application form.
  • Lead applicants are expected to have a PhD or MD and will usually have a tenured post or be able to demonstrate that they will have a salary for the lifetime of the grant.
  • Applications are limited to one per lead applicant in either the Project Grant scheme or PhD Studentship scheme. The same applies for co-applicants.
  • Lead applicants must not currently have two or more active grants with the charity. An applicant with two active grants where one (or more) is due to end by the outcome date of this scheme may still apply.
  • Lead applicants can be clinical scientists or research scientists and projects can be clinical or non-clinical.

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Financial support

  • Funding is made in line with AMRC’s position statement on supporting research in universities.
  • Applications can include costs for:
    • Salaries for the person(s) carrying out the research e.g. a named research co-applicant, a recruited post-doctoral researcher, statistician, or research nurse
    • Consumables
    • Equipment essential for the project
    • Animal costs
    • Open access publication costs
    • Conference costs
    • Other expenses, such as PPIE or travel
  • Applications cannot include costs for:
    • Salaries for the lead applicant or co-applicant(s)
    • A PhD student to carry out the work
    • Maintenance of equipment
    • Recruitment costs
    • Indirect costs
    • Non-attributable overhead costs
  • Applications can be made for projects of a shorter duration up to the maximum funding value. However, applicants must be able to demonstrate feasibility, scientific excellence, and value for money.

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Application process

All applications must be submitted via Fight for Sight / Vision Foundation’s Grant Tracker system. New applicants must register for an account to access the application form. Returning applicants can login to their existing account.

You must submit your application for approval by the stated deadline for your submission to be processed.

Following submission, applications [except Project Grant abstracts] will require approval from two authorised signatories of the host institution (Head of Department and Finance Office). We allow 72 hours (three days) from the deadline for approvals. It is recommended to seek the appropriate signatories as early as possible, as these must be added when you submit your application. Please consider any annual leave and double check email addresses, as applications with outstanding approvals 72 hours past the deadline will not be processed.

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Review process

Fight for Sight / Vision Foundation is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and follows their guidelines for best practice in peer review.

Project Grants involve a two-step process, with an abstract and full application stage.

Abstract applications will be scored by three members of the Research Grant Assessment Panel (RGAP).

To ensure that we fund the highest quality research, successful awards must pass a minimum quality threshold as determined by Fight for Sight / Vision Foundation's RGAP.

The following review criteria across three key themes are used when considering the application:

Key theme 1: Scientific merit
Category 1: Project

  • An important, clear and focused research question, which is hypothesis driven and/or a PICO question
  • Achievable in the timeframe
  • Adequate and appropriate methods for the research question
  • Evidence to support the feasibility of the project
  • Adequate and appropriate plans for the evaluation of research outcomes, including a sample size / power calculation

Category 2: Research team and environment

  • A research team with suitable experience and expertise evidenced by a good track record that will contribute to the project's success
  • A research environment with the appropriate facilities and resources

Category 3: Governance

  • Appropriate consideration for risks, budget and ethics

Key theme 2: Importance of research

Category 1: Addressing unmet need driven by public involvement

  • Identification of an important, clear unmet need
  • Public involvement in the development of the research proposal, involvement plans throughout the project and engagement plans upon completion
  • Realistic outline of pathway to potential benefit for people with or at risk of sight loss

Category 2: Potential for progress

  • Avoiding duplication of existing or ongoing work
  • Clear pathway to impact
  • Likelihood of significant new understanding or evidence

Key theme 3: Capacity building

Category 1: Training and opportunities

  • Focus on training and development
  • Support from research team and environment

Category 2: Future in vision research

  • Demonstrated interest in remaining, becoming, or training a vision researcher
  • Clear next steps for future studies and funding

Invitations for full application submissions will be shared with applicants following the triage panel. All applicants will receive feedback at this stage.

Full applications will be shared with three external peer reviewers who are experts in the field. The reviews will be shared with the applicants for rebuttal.

Full applications, reviews and rebuttals will be discussed at a RGAP meeting. The RGAP will make recommendations to Fight for Sight / Vision Foundation's Social Impact and Scientific Research (SISR) Committee on which applications are fundable.

The SISR Committee will then make recommendations to the Board of Trustees considering the RGAP feedback and the strategic interests of the charity.

Outcomes and further feedback will be shared with all applicants who submitted a full application.

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Contact us

For any queries, please contact Fight for Sight / Vision Foundation’s research team at