Fight for Sight funds basic or clinical research in ophthalmology, vision or related sciences by individuals with limited or no other research funding.
All applications, including Post-Docs, Grants-In-Aid, and Summer Student Fellowships (except for FFS-NANOS award applications, due June 30), must be completed and submitted online by midnight Eastern Time, February 1. You may begin your online application on our Grant Applications page.
All material submitted becomes the property of Fight for Sight. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
Citizenship and Research Location
Grant applicants are eligible to apply regardless of citizenship, but should be affiliated with a North American institution for their research.
Most research by Fight for Sight grant recipients is to be conducted within North America, although in rare circumstances research in other countries is permitted when needs demand it. Grant recipients are expected to pay for their own travel expenses to the location where research is conducted.
The grants program is administered by the Scientific Review Committee. This volunteer committee, co-chaired by Curtis R. Brandt, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin Medical School, and Edward Chaum, M.D., PhD, of the Univ. of Tennessee-Hamilton Eye Institute, is composed of more than 90 experts, many of whom are Fight for Sight alumni, who review applications and recommend the top proposals for funding.
Each applicant is asked to choose the specialty section that would be best qualified to review the research project. The three sections consist of:
- Visual & Motor Pathways
Each proposal is reviewed by at least two experts within the assigned section. Applications for Grants-in-Aid and Postdoctoral Fellowships are ranked at a meeting of the section members. Final awards are determined by the Fight for Sight Board of Directors based on the recommendations of the Scientific Review Committee.
Grant recipients are notified of their award by June. Within two weeks following notification of the award, a letter of acceptance must be returned to Fight for Sight, signed by the grant recipient, the department chair or sponsor, and administrative officer. The letter includes assurances that all IRB and animal protocol requirements have been met. Recipients are expected to submit a lay description of the research project accompanied by a photo suitable for publication purposes on Fight for Sight’s web site, in our newsletters, and in other publicity.
Summer Student Fellowship stipends are made payable to the institution and forwarded to the sponsor in June. Applicants must be matriculated at the institution where the research is conducted during the precise time the Fight for Sight grants is awarded. These awards should be paid to the student in a manner consistent with the institutional policies, however no fringe benefits or overhead may be charged against this award.
Payments for Grants-in-Aid and Postdoctoral Fellowships are made semi-annually (June and January) to the institution, in care of the Department Chair. Depending on the approved budget,up to 60% may be paid in the first installment. Any equipment purchases budgeted for the first half of the project must be made before the second payment is issued. Changes to the budget require prior approval from Fight for Sight.
All applicants proposing to conduct research involving human subjects must obtain appropriate approvals from the Institutional Review Board where the research is to be undertaken before funds will be transferred.
Investigators using animals must adhere to the ARVO resolution concerning the use of animals in research (IOVS 31:781, 1990). Approval date and number must be indicated before funds will be transferred.
Reports & Acknowledgements
An interim progress report is required from all Postdoctoral Fellows and Grant-in-Aid recipients in December. If, for some reason, the fellowship has not commenced, or the project has not started, a report must still be submitted with the reasons for the delay. If the progress report is not received by January 10, Fight for Sight reserves the right to withhold the final payment and terminate the grant.
A final report and financial statement must be submitted by August 1 or within 30 days of the conclusion of the grant. Recipients will receive a reminder and a form to complete prior to the deadline. Institutions may be denied additional grants where, after proper notification, an investigator has not submitted a final report. Unexpended funds must be returned to Fight for Sight.
Individuals with a Summer Student Fellowship are expected to complete a summary of accomplishments and future plans when their fellowship is completed.
In some cases, a no-cost extension will be granted if the applicant submits a provisional progress report and written request for extension.
Investigators are encouraged to make the results of their research available to the scientific community. All manuscripts, abstracts, posters, reports and other publications resulting from Fight for Sight-supported research must acknowledge that the study was funded (in whole or in part) by Fight for Sight. Copies of the Fight for Sight logo are available to be incorporated into posters or slides, which you can request when you contact us.
Relocation and Transfers
Fight for Sight does not permit the transfer of a Postdoctoral or Summer Student Fellowships to other institutions. Fight for Sight should be contacted immediately if a student or fellow will be ineligible or unavailable. Generally, these grants are terminated and the awards returned to FFS.
In some cases, Grants-in-Aid may be relocated if the investigator moves to a new institution. A written request must be submitted with a report of the work accomplished and expenditures to date, co-signed by the department chair and administrative officer. Any unexpended funds must be returned to Fight for Sight. A letter accepting the project by the chair and administrative officer at the new site is required before a check with the balance of the grant is forwarded to that institution.
A grant may be terminated or cancelled by Fight for Sight upon notice to the grant recipient and the chair at the discretion of Fight for Sight. Termination of a grant may occur: (i) if circumstances prevent completion of the grant or fellowship; (ii) if any member of the research team is found to have committed scientific misconduct or fraud, (iii) if appropriate IRB or administrative approvals have not been secured; or (iv) if Fight for Sight has determined that the recipient has received overlap funding or that the Fight for Sight grant is not being used for the purposes originally proposed. A report on the work conducted to the date of termination and a financial accounting are required. Any unused funds must be returned with the final expense report.
Should you have technical problems concerning the electronic grant submission process, please contact the help desk of Manuscript Central at 434-817-2040 ext. 167.
For all other questions about the grant program, including deadlines, payment and reporting, please contact us directly.
Updated March 2011