PhD Studentships

Fight for Sight’s mission is to stop sight loss by funding the highest quality clinical and non-clinical early 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 is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and complies with AMRC's guidelines on perr review. Fight for Sight PhD Studentships are highly prestigious awards made on a fully competitive and peer reviewed basis. Up to £100,000 is available over three years 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. In addition, it is essential that the project includes evidence of sufficient training and development opportunities for a PhD student


Applications are invited for stand-alone projects which aim to address sight loss caused by any eye disease or condition. Applications are particularly encouraged which are relevant to our strategic priorities:

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Applications that look to address sight loss caused by AMD, including better understanding of disease mechanisms, progression of dry AMD to wet AMD, and novel therapeutic interventions.  


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

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. This includes, but is not limited to, inherited eye conditions of the cornea, lens, and retina.

Sight loss linked to other diseases (multi-morbidities)

Applications that will help increase our understanding of how sight loss co-exists with other long-term conditions and the similarities in disease mechanisms/pathways. This could include, but is not limited to angiogenesis in vascular conditions, diabetes, inflammatory conditions, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Whilst we would like to be able to fund as much 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. Applications that look to address sight loss caused by any eye disease or condition will be considered.


  • Applications must be made by the potential PhD supervisor(s)
  • An applicant can apply once as a ‘lead applicant / supervisor’ and once as a ‘co-applicant / supervisor’ either respectively in the project grant scheme and PhD studentship scheme, or two applications in the same scheme
  • If two applications are submitted in the project grant scheme, no application can be accepted in the PhD studentship scheme and vice versa
  • If an applicant is a ‘collaborator’, there is no limit on the number of applications that can be submitted in the project grant scheme and/or PhD studentship scheme
  • Supervisors must be affiliated with a UK academic or medical institution
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Application includes costs for
    • stipends (Minimum stipend £16,000 outside London / £18,000 in London per year)
    • PhD fees at UK rate
    • consumables
    • equipment essential for the project
    • other expenses, including travel and one international conference costs
    • animal costs
    • open access publication costs
  • Exclude indirect costs and any other non-attributable overhead costs
  • Exclude 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 1 July 2021. For shortlisted applicants the closing date for full application submissions will be 28 October 2021. The successful applicants of the 2021-2022 grants round will be notified by April 2022.

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