Small Grants

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

Small Grants offer up to £15,000 to clinical or research scientists to conduct stand-alone research projects for up to 12 months. Applications from new investigators are encouraged. Researchers currently working in fields outside of vision research are also welcomed.

The Small Grants scheme is open for applications all year. Applications will be assessed at two defined deadlines. Applications submitted before 11 June 2020 will be notified in August 2020. Applications submitted before 10 December 2020 will be notified in March 2021. If an application is successfully awarded in the first submission window, it is at the discretion of Fight for Sight and the respective partner charity whether to fund awards.


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

The Fight for Sight / Acanthamoeba Keratitis Small Grant Award 
One award for research addressing Acanthamoeba Keratitis to build a knowledge base on the disease. Applications looking into the prevention or treatment of this condition are particularly encouraged. This work is supported by the AK community. 

The Fight for Sight Achromatopsia Small Grant Award
One award for research addressing achromatopsia.

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  Tommy Salisbury Choroideremia 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 / British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS) Small Grant Award 
One award to an orthoptist, with BIOS membership, to lead or carry out research in a topic which would increase the scientific evidence-base of relevance to orthoptic patients and the profession. Applications can include, but are not limited to: binocular vision and strabismus; orthoptic aspects of paediatric ophthalmology, neuro-ophthalmology or vision science; orthoptic patient care; within-hospital or community orthoptic practice, or orthoptics in a multi-professional setting, or orthoptic service delivery and evaluation.  Please refer to the guidance document for further specific eligibility and criteria.

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 whose research falls into one of the areas covered by this scheme should indicate in their application under which Joint Small Grant Award their proposal should be considered. For any queries regarding the schemes, contact Fight for Sight at for any queries relating to this scheme.

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 partner charities will be obtained prior to any funding decision. 


  • Lead Applicants can either be clinical scientists or research scientists
  • 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.
  • Small Grants are open for clinical and non-clinical research projects.
  • Small Grants are not intended to top-up existing grants.

Financial support and duration

    • Small Grants support projects up to £15,000 for up to 12 months. These awards are to support preliminary work which will lead on to further future research.
    • Includes the costs of:
        • 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
    • Excludes salary contribution to the Lead Applicant.
    • Excludes indirect costs and any other non-attributable overhead costs.
    • Excludes conferences and open access publication costs, which can be requested via formal requests to


Applications are open all year round. Grants submitted before 11 June 2020 will be reviewed in July 2020. Successful grants will be announced in August 2020. Grants submitted after 11 June 2020 and before 10 December 2020 will be reviewed in January 2021. Successful grants will be announced in March 2021.

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

Small Grant Scheme Application Guidance Terms and Conditions


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