New funds for eye research in our autumn 2015 grants round

27 November 15

written by:

Ade Deane-Pratt

(more articles)

Fight for Sight’s Small Grant Award Schemes for 2015 have funded 21 new research projects at a cost of £0.3 million.

Two researchers poring over results together.

Fight for Sight – the leading UK charity funder of eye research – has again joined forces with specialist sight loss charities. We’re jointly funding 4 new research projects that total £57,000 together with the Birdshot Uveitis Society, Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust and Nystagmus Network.

The awards were made through our Joint Small Grant Awards Scheme. Researchers can apply for up to £15,000 for clinical research projects in ophthalmology or vision science. The projects must involve patients, either as participants or by using samples from patients or their medical history.

Fight for Sight has also awarded over £183,000 to another 14 studies under this year’s Small Grant Awards Scheme. These have to involve patients in the same way as the joint awards.

A network for clinical research

All of our clinical projects that will involve patients as participants are registered in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network database. NIHR is the government body that coordinates and funds NHS research. Registered studies receive support from the Clinical Research Network to find potential participants and NHS staff where needed.

Finally, we’ve also given 3 grants, of almost £60,000 in total, in our New Lecturers' Small Grant Awards. These go to newly-appointed lecturers who want to develop a cutting-edge idea for eye research.

From virtual reality to choroideremia

“We have some incredibly innovative and potentially very important lines of research that will be set in motion as a result of this seed funding,” said Dr Dolores M Conroy, Director of Research at Fight for Sight. “For example, using virtual reality to test people’s visual ability to do everyday tasks could become an essential tool in ophthalmology clinics.

“These awards also help bridge the gap between lab research and information that’s useful for people. For instance, being able to predict how fast choroideremia will progress for individual patients will help them to plan for the future and well as feed into the design of future clinical trials.”

In total, Fight for Sight’s Small Grant Award Schemes for 2015 have funded 21 new research projects at a cost of £0.3 million. Learn  schemes.