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. Up to £100,000 is offered to applicants proposing research projects which are hypothesis driven, innovative, involve high quality scientific methodologies and are supported by robust preliminary data. Applications are assessed according to the hypothesis, scientific merit of the research project and any supporting evidence. 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. 

Fight for Sight is also pleased to announce the following PhD Studentship partnerships for this round. Eligible applications will automatically be considered for the appropriate partnership scheme. 

Fight for Sight / Nystagmus Network PhD Studentship to support clinical research to address visual impairment associated with nystagmus, focusing on quality of life or causes (including genetic), diagnostic testing / analysis or treatments.

Fight for Sight / Versus Arthritis PhD Studentship to address arthritis and visual impairment. This includes, but is not limited to Bechet’s Syndrome, Giant Cell Arthritis, and Sjögren's syndrome. Any research relevant to inflammation and uveitis are also welcomed. No special eligibility criteria applies.

Masonic Charitable Foundation and Fight for Sight PhD Studentship Prize to fund research aiming to stop or reduce sight loss from degenerative conditions. Please note that this prize is only available to PhD supervisors affiliated with academic or medical institutions (Host Institutions) in England and Wales. The student appointed is required to support the Masonic Charitable Foundation and local Freemasons to publicise the research.

Fight for Sight has partnered with ICAP, the Interdealer Broker, to support research into the progression of AMD, from early stage to late stage, in order to develop potential treatments that target these pathways. This award will be granted under the ICAP Global Challenge Fund PhD Studentship. 

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. For further information about our Strategic Programmes please visit here.


  • 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 a UK institution 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 scheme does not cover funding gaps for studentships already started
  • The proposed project must aim to stop or reduce sight loss

Financial support and duration

  • Grant of up to £100,000 for three years.
  • Includes the costs of
    • stipends (Minimum stipend £16,000 outside London / £18,000 in London per year)
    • PhD fees at UK/EU rate
    • consumables
    • equipment essential for the project
  • Excludes indirect costs and any other non-attributable overhead costs
  • Excludes recruitment costs
For more details on the eligibility criterion or the financial support offered, please see our guidance document below. 


The deadline for abstract applications is 11 June 2020. For shortlisted applicants the closing date for full application submissions will be 22 October 2020. The successful applicants of the 2020 grant round will be notified in March 2021.

Contact us 

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

Applications must be submitted via our online  grants management system 
Late applications will not be considered.

PhD Studentship Application Guidance Terms and Conditions

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