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National Glaucoma Research Grants

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Post-Doctoral
Investigators for Glaucoma Research

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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BrightFocus Foundation

Deadline Date:

11/09/18 11:59 PM EST


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Grants of up to $100,000 per year to USA, Canada, and International post-doctoral investigators at nonprofit organizations or institutions for research on the development of preventions, treatments, and cures for glaucoma. Preference is given to junior researchers with new laboratories and projects, or alternatively, to more established investigators with particularly innovative projects.

Although preliminary data is required for all awards, BrightFocus considers its awards as “pilot funding”. BrightFocus prefers to fund innovative proposals for which there are few alternative sources of funding, and to support the ability of investigators to generate the data needed to receive governmental or other third-party funding after the expiration of the BrightFocus award.

BrightFocus Foundation awards grants for basic, translational, and clinically oriented research on the causes of, or treatments for glaucoma. Grants are awarded on the basis of the scientific merit of the proposed research and the relevance of the research to understanding aspects of the disease that lead to improved treatments, prevention strategies, and diagnoses of the program disease.

The scientific plan should be well focused and able to stand alone. It is understood that more senior investigators will have other funding in related areas of research, but the application to BrightFocus should not be used to simply subsidize these other efforts or to compensate for grant cutbacks. Therefore, the applicant is advised to focus on a specific project that can be addressed in terms of a hypothesis and two or three specific aims. The proposed project should be distinct from other investigations and grant awards. Please keep this in mind when preparing the research plan section of this application.

BrightFocus budgets are divided into the following categories:

- Personnel: The Principal investigator, CO-PI, key investigators, and any support personnel (usually postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, or technicians) actively involved in research may request salary and benefits. Such requests should be justified and include indications of the percentage of time the personnel will devote to the proposed project (percent effort).

- Supplies: The amount of money requested for supplies should be divided into major research supply categories (e.g., cell biology reagents, test fees, etc.) If animals are to be involved, the justification should state how many are to be used, their unit purchase price, and their unit care cost.

- Equipment: Any major item of equipment valued over $1,000 USD should be included in the budget. BrightFocus will not fund the purchase of large capital equipment. Requested equipment must be directly related to and enabling of the proposed research.

- Contractual Services: The Budget should specify any major support services required under the proposed research, such as preparation or laboratory testing of biological materials. The justification should indicate the period of contractual service.

- Travel: Travel must be relevant to the accomplishment of the project or dissemination of results of the supported research. The purpose of the travel and destination should be clearly indicated, justified, and may not include premium ticketing packages (i.e., first class or other luxury travel).

- Other: Other expenses should be itemized by category. This category is often used by investigators seeking funding to defray costs of publication or registration at conferences where the results of the proposed research are to be presented. Please note that tuition reimbursement for undergraduate and graduate students is an allowable budget item, but tuition remission is not an allowable budget item.

Note on open access publications: BrightFocus does not require publication in specific journals or attendance at specific conferences. However, as a publicly supported charity BrightFocus recognizes the contribution of open-access model journals to the scientific community. BrightFocus grant applicants may request reasonable funds to allow publication in such journals.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162013

Number of Grants:

In FY18, 13 out of 79 applications were funded.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum budget is $200,000, with a maximum request of $100,000 per year for a maximum of two years

Term of Contract:

The maximum project duration is 2 years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

BrightFocus will fund grants for research at non-profit organizations or institutions only. Each Grantee Institution must submit evidence of its tax-exempt status to BrightFocus prior to the distribution of any Grant including but not limited to, a tax determination from the Internal Revenue Service.

For foreign institutions: Each Grantee Institution must submit evidence of its tax-exempt status to BrightFocus prior to the distribution of any Grant, including but not limited to, a determination of tax-exempt or nonprofit status from their home country of origin.

Funds shall be awarded to the Grantee Institution and not to individual Principal Investigators.

Traditionally, in order to be eligible for grant funding from the BrightFocus’ National Glaucoma Research (NGR) Standard Award Program, the Principal Investigator (P.I.) must have held an academic rank equivalent or higher than Assistant Professor.

In recent years, many outstanding junior faculty have taken non-tenure track positions that in earlier years might have been developed as tenure-track positions. Though BrightFocus continues to encourage innovative proposals from all career stages, BrightFocus’ guidelines have evolved with the field to extend eligibility to non-tenure-track applicants as well.

Therefore, non-tenure-track positions are welcome to apply for funding if they are appropriately trained to lead an independent research study, and are permitted by their organizations to manage the grant and supervise any key personnel. Applicants should have completed their formal post-doctoral mentored research training, and must be the intellectual and creative leads for the proposed projects. Applicants with pending appointments are eligible to apply, but the appointment must be finalized by the start of the award.

The applicant should use the indicated space on the application forms to clarify any position that is not immediately recognizable as an independent research position.

Note: While no formal postdoctoral fellowship program exists in for the NGR program, BrightFocus provides the following mechanism to help post-doctoral students document successful funding histories. A single post doctoral fellow may be listed as a Co-Principal Investigator on a NGR proposal as long as the post doctoral fellow remains under the mentorship and direct supervision of the named Principal Investigator.

Not eligible:

1. Individuals at for profit institutions should directly contact Brightfocus Staff via email before submitting any proposal.

2. Individuals at for profit institutions may wish to consider identifying academic or other non-profit research collaborations for any study. Such partners would meet this eligibility requirement for BrightFocus funding.

3. Investigators with a current award or who are part of a laboratory with a current award in any given program are ineligible for concurrent awards in that program. Postdoctoral applicants in the ADR program should ensure that their mentor does not already hold a current ADR award. This rule only covers laboratories of the Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator(s), it does not imply any restriction on collaborators or consultants.

4. Investigators who will not possess independent research programs by the start of the award. This program does not offer postdoctoral fellowship awards.

5. BrightFocus currently does not have any award program to support pre-doctoral fellowships or undergraduate students. Faculty members may request support for these students as budget items under BrightFocus’ other award programs.

6. New proposals initiated by investigators who have received prior awards from BrightFocus, but who have failed to submit necessary reporting may be declined with out review.

Funds awarded are to be used solely for research. BrightFocus does not fund institutional overhead, capital equipment, or construction of buildings. Salary and benefits may be requested for the PI and Co-PI(s). The Principal Investigator salary request must be the lesser of 25% of the total grant request, or 25% of the individual’s salary. Co-PI salaries are capped at the lesser of 15% of the total grant request, or 15% of the individual’s salary. Salary caps are imposed on the Principal Investigators and Co-Principal Investigators only.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due November 9, 2018 by 11:59 PM (Washington, D.C.) on the day of the deadline.

Due to the large volume of proposals received, proposals that are mailed or emailed to the foundation are no longer accepted. You must apply online.

Please note, budgets should be prepared in US dollars.

Applicants will be notified of the Board of Directors' decision concerning their application by mid-April.

Deadlines and Guidelines:

Application Instructions:

Terms and Conditions:

Patent and Intellectual Property Policy:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply online:

If you have any questions or difficulties, please contact a representative of the Research Grants office by telephone at 800-437-2423 or email

To gauge the competitiveness of your proposal, you may call or write the Vice President for Scientific Affairs, Diane Bovenkamp, Ph.D., at

If the Vice President for Scientific Affairs is unable to assess your proposal, it will be communicated to appropriate members of the Scientific Review Committee.

Department of Scientific Affairs
BrightFocus Foundation
22512 Gateway Center Drive
Clarksburg, Maryland 20871

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.