Small Grants Awards

Small grant awards offer competitive funding to support small feasibility studies and pilot studies as well as facilitate the generation of preliminary data. The aim is to make novel research ideas more competitive for larger follow-on funding.

Small grant awards offer up to £15,000 to clinical or research scientists to conduct stand-alone research projects for up to 12 months. Fight for Sight and research partners intend for small grant awards to support early career research and should be used to collect preliminary / pilot data to develop follow on applications. Researchers currently working in fields outside of vision research are welcome to apply.

For the 2021/22 round, there will only be a single submission deadline. Applications must be submitted via the online management system by 5pm 5 August 2021. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by the end of November 2021.


Fight for Sight is very pleased to be collaborating with other research partners in the sector. Applications are being invited for the following:

The Fight for Sight Small Grant Award
One award to address sight loss caused by any eye disease or condition. It is expected that funding will be prioritised to applications that fall within our Strategic Programme areas. 

The Fight for Sight Blue-Cone Monochromatism Small Grant Award
One award for research addressing blue cone monochromatism. Applications progressing knowledge into potential treatments are particularly encouraged.

The Fight for Sight Charles Bonnet Syndrome Small Grant Award
One award for research addressing Charles Bonnet Syndrome. This award is provided with the support of Esme's Umbrella.

The  Tommy Salisbury Choroideremia Fund Small Grant Award
An exemplary award to address any aspect of sight loss caused by choroideremia. This award will continue to build on our knowledge of the condition and push forward further studies.

The Fight for Sight / AZOOR Society Small Grant Award

One award for research addressing sight loss associated with AZOOR, to build understanding of the disease. Applications investigating the potential link between bacteria and the immune response in AZOOR are particularly encouraged.

The Fight for Sight / Glaucoma UK Small Grant Award 
One award for research addressing sight loss associated with glaucoma.

The Fight for Sight / Nystagmus Network Small Grant Award 
One award 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.

The Fight for Sight / Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust Small Grant Award 
One award for research addressing sight loss associated with thyroid eye disease

Applicants should indicate in their application under which award their proposal should be considered. For any queries regarding the schemes, contact Fight for Sight at

Fight for Sight is a National Institute for Health Research Partner Organisation which means that clinical studies that we fund are eligible for inclusion in the NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio. This allows the study team to have access to clinical infrastructure/NHS Service Support through the NIHR Clinical Research Networks.

Small Grant applications will be reviewed by the Fight for Sight Grant Assessment Panel (GAP). Approval of research partner will be obtained prior to any funding decision. 


  • Lead applicants can either be clinical scientists or research scientists and projects can be clinical or non-clincial
  • Lead applicants must be affiliated with UK academic or medical institutions, but the research can be undertaken in the UK and/or overseas
  • Lead applicants are expected to have a PhD or MD and must have a contract of employment which extends beyond the termination date of the award
  • Early career researchers are encouraged
  • Small grant awards are not intended to top-up existing grants

Financial support and duration

    • Small grant awards support projects with funding up to £15,000 for up to 12 months.
    • These awards are to support preliminary work which will lead on to further future research.
    • Applications includes costs for
        • consumables
        • equipment essential for the project
        • other expenses, including animal costs if required
        • where relevant, contribution towards salary for the person(s) carrying out the research (e.g. research nurses, statisticians). Clinical applicants are expected to have protected research time in their NHS contracts
    • Exclude salary contribution to the lead applicant
    • Exclude indirect costs and any other non-attributable overhead costs
    • Exclude conferences and open access publication costs


Applications must be submitted before 5 August 2021. Successful grants will be announced by the end of November 2021.

All applications must be submitted via Fight for Sight’s Grant Management System. 

Small Grant Scheme Application Guidance Terms and Conditions