RPB's emphasis is on high-potential investigators. There is an RPB grant category available to a scientist at any stage in his or her career--from a medical student considering academic eye research to a seasoned investigator extending the frontiers of vision science.
Grants are awarded not only on the merits of the proposed project, but on the demonstrated independence of a researcher and the vibrancy of the environment within which the proposed work will be conducted.
Applications for RPB grants must be submitted by the chairman of a department of ophthalmology and are then evaluated via a three-tiered review process. RPB Ad Hoc Committees, which are comprised of selected national vision research leaders, conduct initial grant reviews and forward their recommendations to the standing RPB Scientific Advisory Panel for further evaluation. The Advisory Panel includes some of the nation's most distinguished scientists representing a broad range of scientific disciplines and interests. Their recommendations are presented to the RPB Board of Trustees for final approval.
At many research institutions, RPB's support creates a multiplier effect. Unrestricted grants are used to acquire larger government grants. At the same time, the flexibility of RPB support allows government-supported investigators to pursue additional research. The successes generated by these scenarios can attract donors to support university research and capital projects, further expanding capacity across the vision research community.
Some RPB-supported studies affect societal issues, such as the adequacy of eye care in nursing homes, or factors that influence an individual's decision to stop driving. Still other advances have implications for the treatment of illnesses beyond those of vision.
|"For many departments of ophthalmology, being able to count on RPB in the form of an unrestricted grant literally allows the research program to survive through bad times," notes Peter J. McDonnell, M.D., Chairman, The Wilmer Eye Institute.|
Please note: Grant applications are not available on RPB's website. For complete grant guidelines and applications, or if you have any questions regarding RPB's Grants Program, contact RPB's Grant Administrator at 212.752.4333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
RPB accepts grant applications twice a year, January 1st and July 1st, for the grant categories listed below. Guidelines and application forms must be requested by the chair of the department of ophthalmology or the department's grant coordinator. Departments of ophthalmology must have an RPB Unrestricted / Challenge Grant in order to apply for individual grants, and only permanent, full-time department chairs are eligible to apply for an Unrestricted / Challenge Grant.
New chairs should speak with RPB's President prior to the submission of an application. If a proposal for an Unrestricted or Challenge Grant is rejected, the chair must wait two years before reapplying, so RPB strongly encourages thorough preparation and planning before an application is submitted.
If you are interested in any of these grant opportunities, first consult with your Department Chairman, Grant Coordinator and/or Director of Research. Click on a grant category for a fuller description.
RPB UNRESTRICTED GRANTS provide maximum flexibility in developing and expanding eye research programs. These annual $110K grants provide opportunities for creative planning that go beyond the scope of restricted project grants that scientists normally depend upon for their principal support. Only departments of ophthalmology with a full-time, permanent chair at university-connected medical schools are eligible for support.
RPB CHALLENGE GRANTS encourage growth for newly-emerging eye research programs and recently appointed research directors at non-grantee ophthalmology departments at university-connected medical schools. These unrestricted $220K grants are awarded over a 4-year period.
JULES AND DORIS STEIN RPB PROFESSORSHIPS help attract exceptionally talented basic scientists to devote their careers to eye research. RPB Grantee department heads may recruit from basic science departments outside of or within their own institution. The nominee must be recruited into a primary appointment in the ophthalmology department, with a secondary appointment in a basic science department (which must provide a small portion of salary support). RPB funds these professorships with $625,000 over a five-year period, and offers a matching grant of up to $150,000 to help renovate and equip lab space to be utilized by the Awardee. After the fourth year of funding, RPB will accept applications to extend support for an additional two years, bringing the total potential support to $1,025,000.
RPB SENIOR SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATOR AWARDS in the amount of $150,000 a piece support well established scientists functioning with primary appointments as full Professors in departments of ophthalmology. Candidates must be recognized as national leaders in their field of scientific interest and be actively engaged in eye research. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the nominee's ongoing research activities – this is not a prize for past achievements. Only one nomination per school may be made each year.
RPB PHYSICIAN-SCIENTIST AWARDS help to strengthen and promote clinical and/or basic research done by clinicians in RPB Grantee ophthalmology departments. Three to five $100,000 grants will be awarded each fall, offering support for early or mid-career MDs or MD/PhDs holding primary positions as Assistant Professors through full Professors in ophthalmology departments. PhDs are ineligible. Candidates should be nationally recognized in their subspecialty and actively engaged in research. Only one application in this category will be accepted from any RPB Grantee chair.
RPB Innovative Ophthalmic Research (IOR) Awards provide funds to basic scientists actively engaged in innovative, out-of-the-box research and collaborating with the Department of Ophthalmology with the common goal of understanding the visual system and the diseases that compromise its function. RPB-supported ophthalmology chairs can nominate one PhD or MD/PhD with a primary appointment in a basic science department (Associate Professor through full Professor) for this $100,000 grant. This grant will support new areas of research that bring basic science into ophthalmology and/or new collaborations between ophthalmology/visual science and other scientific disciplines. The proposed research requires a commitment of at least 50% of the candidate's time to research and should not be funded – previously or currently – by others (NEI, NIH, nonprofits, private funders, etc.).
RPB WALT AND LILLY DISNEY AWARD FOR AMBYLOPIA RESEARCH was initiated to strengthen and promote research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of amblyopia. Grants will be offered to assist exceptional ophthalmic scientists [MD or PhD], doing research of unusual significance and promise in this area. RPB grants a total of $100K each spring, to be divided among one or two awardees at a time. This award is available through spring 2013. The nominee's primary appointment must be in ophthalmology, and may range from Assistant Professor to full Professor. Although this Award is meant to support amblyopia investigators at various stages of their academic careers, be advised that proposals should reflect independent research. Only one nomination per school will be considered in this grant category.
RPB SPECIAL SCHOLAR AWARDS, ranging in amount from $25K to $75K, are granted each spring to encourage promising young ophthalmic researchers. Nominees must be Assistant Professors, with primary appointments in the department of ophthalmology. Proposals should reflect independent research. Only one Scholars Award candidate per school may be nominated per spring review cycle.
RPB CAREER DEVELOPMENT AWARDS help recruit young MDs &/or PhDs to eye research and support promising junior ophthalmology faculty. The $250,000 grant is payable in equal annual installments over four years. Candidates may be sought from either ophthalmology or basic science departments within one's own institution or from other institutions. Nominees must have, or be recruited to, primary appointments in ophthalmology with academic positions up to and including Assistant Professor. Nominations must be made during the last year of the candidate's most recent postdoc training (residency or fellowship), or within the ensuing three years. MDs will be required to devote at least 60% of their time to research activities. PhDs must have secondary appointments in basic science departments (which must provide a small portion of salary support).
NEWS FROM RPB GRANTEES
Human eye movements for vision are remarkably adaptable (Harvard, USC)
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