Our key objective is for the research we fund to reduce the number of adults and children affected by sight loss, and to realise this aim our Research Strategy has three key strands:
A. Maximising outcomes
1. Setting clear research priorities
In consultation with Fight for Sight’s research advisers we have set 6 research priority areas for 2012-2017, to help us maintain a clear strategic direction and consider grant applications.
In 2013, we – together with other organisations – also surveyed patients, carers and eye health professionals about their desired research priorities.
2. Offering a range of funding streams
Our main stream of funding is an annual round of grants open to researchers based in the UK. Each year we intend to make an open call for research project proposals that look to address one or more of our research priority areas.
3. Working in partnership
Current partnerships include MRC/Fight for Sight Clinical Training Fellowships, Fulbright Fight for Sight Research Award, Fight for Sight Award (Royal College of Ophthalmologists)
4. Maximising dissemination of research findings
Researchers funded by Fight for Sight will be encouraged to publish their research in open access journals, to present their research at national and international conferences, and engage with patients and the media. We will also work directly with researchers and their institution to ensure that important advances resulting from our funded research are actively communicated to the public and eye health professionals.
We currently have an active dissemination programme for our funded research which includes annual reports, press releases to the media and other organisations in the eye sector, new items on this website, in our newsletters and patient events.
5. Monitoring research outputs and outcomes
The results from research include both outputs (new knowledge, publications, patents) and outcomes (development of new therapies, improvements in healthcare provision). In order to maximise both, it is essential that we are systematic in monitoring our funded research. We have developed a policy of monitoring current grants through annual and final reports. We also meet regularly with the researchers.
B. Ensuring scientific quality
In order to ensure that the research funded by us is of the highest quality, applications for Fight for Sight's awards are subjected to open competition and a rigorous peer-review process, which is fair and transparent. Fight for Sight is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and complies with its guidelines for best practice. Fight for Sight passed the AMRC’s 2011 Peer Review Audit.
C. Supporting eye researchers
For the period 2012 – 2017, we aim to commit £20 million to eye research. These funds are awarded through a wide range of grant application types in order to support researchers at different stages of their careers; to ensure that eye research in the UK attracts and retains top quality biomedical scientists, clinical researchers, as well as those looking to start their career in eye research. We are also keen to recruit scientists from other disciplines to apply their knowledge and techniques to study sight loss and eye disease.
Further details are available in Fight for Sight’s Research Strategy 2012-2017.Download our Research Strategy 2012-2017