Fight for Sight calls for new round of applications for its Small Grant Awards with charity partners

13 June 19

written by:

Alice Mitchell

(more articles)


Fight for Sight is partnering with other national charities with shared research interests to offer our Small Grant Awards, for which we now invite applications. 

Each Small Grant Award will be jointly funded by Fight for Sight and the respective charity partner, and will 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, as are researchers currently working in fields outside of vision.

Each Small Grand Award has been designed in partnership with the chosen organisation to cover sight loss research relating to their specific fields. The charity partners are AZOOR Society, Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, International Glaucoma Association, Keratoconus Group, and the Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust. Fight for Sight will also be independently funding two Small Grant Awards of its own.

Dr Neil Ebenezer, Director of Research, Innovation and Policy, says:

"We’re proud to announce that we are working with a range of charities to jointly offer our Small Grant Awards. Collaboration in research is so important and we’re hoping that by focusing on our shared research interests and jointly funding research into these areas, we can improve our existing understanding that can lead to benefits for patients.”

The names of the jointly funded Small Grand Awards are as follows:

  • The Fight for Sight / AZOOR Society Small Grant Award: One award for research addressing sight loss associated with AZOOR (Acute zonal occult outer retinopathy), 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 / Childhood Eye Cancer Trust Small Grant Award: One award for either i) clinical research into treatments and outcomes for retinoblastoma so that treatment is more effective and the negative impact on those affected is reduced; or ii) laboratory-based basic science research to improve the understanding of the molecular mechanisms and genetic basis of retinoblastoma
  • The Fight for Sight / International Glaucoma Association Small Grant Award: One award for research addressing sight loss associated with glaucoma
  • The Fight for Sight / Keratoconus Group Small Grant Award: One award for research addressing sight loss associated with keratoconus
  • The Fight for Sight / Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust Small Grant Award: One award for research addressing sight loss associated with thyroid eye disease

In addition to these jointly funded awards, Fight for Sight will also offer two of their own independently funded Small Grand Awards, which are:

  • The Fight for Sight Small Grant Award: One award to address sight loss caused by any eye disease or condition. It’s expected that these will be awarded primarily to those whose applications fall within Fight for Sight’s Strategic Programme areas – the areas into which the charity aims to prioritise its research. These programme areas are age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, inherited eye diseases and sight loss linked to other diseases (multi-morbidities)
  • The Fight for Sight Achromatopsia Small Grant Award: an award for research addressing achromatopsia

Though the Small Grants scheme is open for applications all year, applications are assessed at two defined deadline dates. Applications submitted before 22nd August 2019 will be notified in November 2019 and applications submitted between 22nd August and 31st December 2019 will be notified in March 2020.

Small Grants offer competitive funding to support small feasibility studies and facilitate the generation of preliminary data, with the aim being to make novel research ideas more competitive for larger follow-on funding.
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 us on at for any queries relating to this scheme.

Why do research with Fight for Sight?

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. Due to the volume of applications, Fight for Sight is unable to provide feedback for this scheme.


Lead Applicants can either be clinical scientists or research scientists, but must be affiliated with UK academic or medical institutions. 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.

More information on how you can apply can be found here.