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Research to Prevent Blindness

Research to Prevent Blindness Opens Applications for up to $4.7 Million in Vision Research Grants

NEW YORK – May 1, 2002 – Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) is pleased to open a new round of grant funding for high-impact vision research. With a focus on scientific excellence, RPB funds grants into research across all sight-threatening conditions, including glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, ocular cancer, amblyopia, low vision, and many more. In this award cycle (one of two award cycles per year), RPB is offering grants of up to $4.7 million for individual researchers, as well as Unrestricted Grants and Challenge Grants to high-performing departments of ophthalmology. RPB provides a total of approximately $10 million in grant funding annually.

All award applications for this funding cycle are due July 1, 2022, with nomination forms due no later than June 15. 

The list of individual researcher awards is available below.

RPB Career Development Award

The Career Development Award helps RPB-supported ophthalmology chairs support promising early-career ophthalmology faculty who have demonstrated their potential for independent research with significant research projects. The $350,000 grant is payable for up to four years.

RPB Career Advancement Award

The Career Advancement Award (CAA) assists outstanding early-career vision scientists in pursuit of ongoing research of unusual significance and promise. This one-time award of $150,000 is available to candidates who have already received their first NIH R01 and are collecting new data to apply for a second R01. This award is open to researchers at any institution of higher education in the U.S. 

There are several CAAs available in this award cycle:

  • The RPB / David Epstein Career Advancement Award in Glaucoma Research sponsored by Aerie Pharmaceuticals will focus on a research project in glaucoma.
  • The RPB / TGF Career Advancement Award will focus on glaucoma research, specifically on degeneration of human ganglion cells with openness to connectomic, genetic, imaging, and epidemiologic approaches, as well as regeneration approaches, for glaucoma research.
  • The RPB Career Advancement Award is open to any topic within vision research.

Catalyst Awards for Innovative Research Approaches for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

The Catalyst Awards will provide funds to researchers who are working on novel approaches to understanding or treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  RPB is partnering with:

  • American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF)
  •  Dr. H. James and Carole Free
  • International Retinal Research Foundation (IRRF)

to co-fund up to three Catalyst Awards (one award with each partner) in the amount of $300,000 each. Translational projects – clinically relevant research that could lead to therapeutics or treatment for AMD that is not yet in clinical trials – are encouraged. This award is open to researchers at any institution of higher education in the U.S. 

RPB International Research Collaborators Award

The International Research Collaborators Award promotes international collaborations through which researchers in the U.S. and outside the U.S. gain new knowledge and skills.  Under a reciprocal arrangement, supported by this $75,000 grant, a U.S.-based researcher or team will be funded to go for a period of time to an institution outside the U.S. to deepen collaborative relationships with researchers there. In turn, the institution outside the U.S. will send a researcher or team members for a period of time to the U.S. institution from which the U.S. researcher/s came. This award is open to researchers at any institution of higher education in the U.S.

RPB Medical Student Eye Research Fellowships

The RPB Medical Student Eye Research Fellowships allow gifted students to take a year off from allopathic or osteopathic medical school and devote time to the pursuit of a research project within an RPB-supported department of ophthalmology. RPB is currently partnering with three organizations to provide Fellowships in specific areas. RPB encourages medical students who are under-represented in medicine and women to apply to these awards to help bring needed diversity to the field of ophthalmology. The available awards are:

  • The RPB / AOCOO-HNS Foundation Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship for a Student of Osteopathic Medicine will offer one award to a student of osteopathic medicine focusing on any topic in vision research within an RPB-supported department of ophthalmology. Open to students of osteopathic medicine only.
  • The RPB / Castle Biosciences Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship in Ocular Cancer will focus on a research project in ocular cancer within an RPB-supported department of ophthalmology. Open to students of allopathic medicine (MD) only.
  • The RPB / Janssen Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship is open to any topic in vision research within an RPB-supported department of ophthalmology. Open to students of allopathic medicine (MD) only.

RPB Physician-Scientist Award

The RPB Physician-Scientist Award promotes the clinical and/or basic science research of clinicians. This $300,000 award is open to MDs or MD/PhDs.

RPB Stein Innovation Awards – Outside Ophthalmology

RPB Stein Innovation Awards provide $300,000 to two groups of researchers (those inside ophthalmology departments and those outside ophthalmology departments), both with a common goal of understanding the visual system and the diseases that compromise its function. During this award cycle, RPB is accepting applications from researchers outside ophthalmology departments. These awards are intended to provide seed money to proposed high-risk / high-gain vision science research which is innovative, cutting-edge, and demonstrates out-of-the-box thinking. This award is open to researchers at any institution of higher education in the U.S. 

To review more information on any of these grants, including eligibility criteria and application guidelines, please the RPB Grants webpage

If you have questions regarding the RPB Grants Program, please contact RPB's Director of Grants Administration, Pattie Moran, at 646-892-9566 or pmoran@rpbusa.org.

About Research to Prevent Blindness 

Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) is the leading nonprofit organization supporting eye research directed at the prevention, treatment or eradication of all diseases that damage and destroy sight. As part of this purview, RPB also supports efforts to grow and sustain a robust and diverse vision research community. Since it was founded in 1960 by Dr. Jules Stein, RPB has awarded more than $393 million in research grants to the most talented vision scientists at the nation’s leading medical schools. As a result, RPB has been associated with nearly every major breakthrough in the understanding and treatment of vision loss in the past 60+ years. Learn more at www.rpbusa.org.

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