Primer Fellowship Awards

Fight for Sight’s mission is to stop sight loss by funding the highest quality medical research. To help us achieve our goals we invest in early stage ophthalmologists and health care professionals to undertake original and ground breaking ophthalmic and vision research. The Primer Fellowships are aimed to provide successful applicants with experience and exposure to a research environment in order to increase their competitiveness for the MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowships and other clinical research opportunities.

Fight for Sight Primer Fellowships are prestigious awards, made on a fully competitive and peer reviewed basis. The call follows a one stage application process and shortlisted applicants are required to attend an interview as part of the final assessment stage. For more details of the assessment process please visit our grant making process.


Awards will be offered to support trainee ophthalmologists, ophthalmic nursing or allied health professional graduates (including optometrists and orthoptists) to undertake ophthalmic and vision research. Joint funding from Fight for Sight and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists is available for members of the College. This award will be called the Fight for Sight / John Lee, Royal College of Ophthalmologists Primer Fellowship.

Applications must be made and submitted by the intended recipient of the fellowship. It is expected that applications will be submitted in close collaboration with the research Mentor.


Applicants are invited 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.

For further information about our Strategic Programmes please visit our Research Strategy.

Applications that look to address sight loss caused by any eye disease or condition will be considered. Fellowships are primarily assessed according to the quality of the applicant however, funding may be prioritised for applications that fall within the Strategic Programme areas in instances where the quality is equal.


  • Applicants must be affiliated with UK academic or medical institutions but the research can be undertaken in the UK and/or overseas.
  • Fight for Sight will not normally agree to more than eight hours each week spent in routine clinical duties, except when additional clinical time is essential to the research project, or essential to the minimum requirements for the maintenance of clinical skills in the candidate’s specialty;
  • Mentors must have a contract which extends beyond the termination date of the award.

Financial support and duration

  • Grant of up to £60,000 for one year
  • Includes the costs of 
    • salary for the successful applicant;
    • consumables;
    • equipment essential for the project;
    • other expenses (including travel).
    • open access publication costs
  • Excludes indirect costs and any other non-attributable overhead costs.


The deadline for applications was 5pm on Monday 5 November 2018. Interviews will take place on Friday 18 January 2019. Successful applicants will be notified in early February 2019 with fellowship expected to start in October 2019.

Contact us

For any queries relating to your proposal please contact Fight for Sight at

Application must be submitted via our online Grants Management system 
Late applications will not be considered.

Guidelines for Applicants ,
Terms and Conditions


Share this page