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Fight For Sight

Research Award Types

Download a PDF of our Research Awards Program brochure.


Summer Student Fellowships

Summer Student Fellowships are available to undergraduates, graduate and medical students who are interested in pursuing eye-related clinical or basic research. For most students, this is their first exposure to eye or vision research and the experience has resulted in many students choosing academic ophthalmology or eye research as a full-time career. Unrestricted awards of $2,500 are given for two to three months of full-time research, usually during June-August. Students receiving stipends from other sources are generally not eligible.

Post-Doctoral Awards

Post-Doctoral Awards support individuals with a doctorate (Ph.D., M.D., O.D., Dr.PH, or D.V.M.) who are interested in academic careers in basic or clinical research in ophthalmology, vision or related sciences. This funding is intended to offer those interested in an academic career the opportunity to spend a year engaged in vision and eye research under the supervision of a senior scientist/clinician mentor. Clinical post-doctoral researchers are required to spend sufficient time on the funded research project to carry out the proposed objectives while basic researchers are expected to work full-time. One year grants of $22,500 are awarded for start dates between July 1 and September 1. Recipients may supplement their awards with institutional or other funds however any anticipated supplemental support must be disclosed at the time of application. Total combined salary support must not exceed the annual stipend level set by the NIH for National Research Service Award recipients. Fringe benefits are not provided by Fight for Sight. Applications are considered from individuals who are within three years of their doctoral degrees or clinical residency training and have not received a previous Fight for Sight fellowship award.

If at the time of application a doctorate has not yet been obtained, a cover letter must be submitted by the conferring institution advising when such degree is expected to be awarded. Fight for Sight reserves the right to withdraw the award should unanticipated delays occur.


Grants-in-Aid are intended to fund pilot projects and generate preliminary results for investigators who have limited or no other research funding. Grants-in-Aid are awarded to junior faculty members who are developing their independent scientific skills. A majority of Grants-in-Aid recipients go on to successfully compete for larger, multi-year awards from the NIH or other governmental and private sources utilizing data generated by Fight for Sight funded projects.

Support may be used to defray costs of personnel (but not the applicant), equipment and consumable supplies needed for the specific research project. Travel costs are generally not supported. One year awards of $22,500 are provided and may start between July 1 and September 1.

Applications will only be considered from researchers who have received their first faculty or research appointment in eye/vision within the previous three years. Fringe benefits are not included and institutional overhead charges are not covered on any of Fight for Sight grants.

Special Awards

Within the framework of our three types of grants, we also seek applicants for specialized and named awards. These awards recognize specific requests by donors and/or Fight for Sight partnerships with other eye research foundations and ophthalmological societies for research in specific areas or eye diseases.

2018 Awards include:

Two Grants-in-Aid funded in partnership with International Retinal Research Foundation.

A Summer Student Fellowship, Post-Doctoral Award and Grant-in-Aid funded in partnership with the Choroidermia Foundation.

Saving Sight and Fight for Sight co-fund two Summer Student Fellowships annually, available to undergraduate, graduate or medical students conducting research relating to either the cornea or dry eye.

A Post-Doctoral Award in partnership with the Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation.

A Post-Doctoral Award or Grant-in-Aid with The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) focused on vision restoration after traumatic nerve injury.

In partnership with NANOS, the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society, we offer a joint Fight for Sight-NANOS Summer Student Fellowship for neurology or ophthalmology residents or fellows pursuing academic research in neuro-ophthalmology that includes a travel award to present research findings at the annual meeting of NANOS each spring.

We have teamed up with, to create a Summer Student Fellowship for the study of gender-based disparities in vision health, treatment, and/or eye disease prevention.

We have partnered with The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration to co-fund a Summer Student Fellowship related to corneal preservation with preference given to applicants from the Northeast U.S.

We offer Summer Student Fellowships focusing on specific diseases: one fellowship with Aniridia Foundation International and two with the American Macular Degeneration Foundation.

Foundation Fighting Blindness partners with FFS on a Veterinary Clinical Research Award: a $28,000 grant restricted to those with a VMD, DVM or a recognized foreign equivalent degree for projects utilizing animal models.
Fight For Sight partners with Prevent Blindness to fund the  Joanne Angle Public Health Award, a $25,000 grant used for a public health related project relating to vision.

Two additional more general Summer Student Fellowships are offered annually through a partnership with the Earl & Shirley Herbst Eye Research Fund.

A Summer Student fellowship is offered in partnership with Lirot, the Israeli eye and vision research organization, restricted to students studying in Israel.

Fight for Sight awards the Basil V. Worgul Lens Research Summer Student Fellowship to honor the memory of Professor Basil V. Worgul, who was internationally recognized for his work in radiation cataract.

On occasion, a specific award is named in honor or memory of an individual donor. For example, Fight for Sight recently funded a Grant-In-Aid specifically for work in X-linked retinitis pigmentosa in response to a large donation from a concerned family. We are actively interested in and willing to work with other research foundations to find areas of common interest and opportunities for partnership to advance our common goals of funding eye and vision research. A particular grant may not be offered in a given year; If you have questions, always inquire with Fight for Sight.