Individual Investigator Research Awards are designed to concentrate research in areas with the greatest potential to move toward treatments and cures for the inherited orphan retinal degenerative diseases and dry age-related macular degeneration. This award provides approximately $100,000 per year up to three (3) years.
The Foundation Fighting Blindness will also award up to four Clinical Innovation Awards to advance options for endpoints in IRD clinical trials that might be accepted by regulatory agencies for improving IRD patients’ conditions or slowing disease progression. Priority consideration will be given to those proposals that plan to:
(1) establish sensitive and reliable outcome measures or biomarkers to demonstrate change over a time period spanning no more than 2 to 3 years;
(2) develop and apply new technology to measure retinal structure or function in inherited retinal degenerations where changes over time are greater than measured variability;
(3) incorporate patient reported outcomes or patient preferences;
(4) establish relationships between measures of retinal function and structure with the goal of understanding the relationship between genotype and clinical phenotype;
(5) establish a framework for grading/assessing the severity of multiple IRDs that can be used in clinical trials for assessing progression of disease;
(6) leverage data collected through the FFB Consortium;
(7) improve retinal imaging or grading of images (increased reliability, sensitivity, efficiency, etc)
(8) develop performance-based tests that are suitable for multicenter studies
(9) develop endpoints appropriate for early stage (e.g., pediatric patients) or late stage disease (e.g., relevant for cell therapy or optogenetics)
N.B.: If a clinical application focuses on a therapeutic intervention, the applicant should identify and submit their application using the most relevant RPA for that therapy, such as GT, or NMT, instead of using CL.
(NOTE: studies focused on wet AMD and diabetic retinopathy are not eligible for support by the Foundation Fighting Blindness).
These opportunities seek candidates that hold a Ph.D., M.D., M.D./Ph.D., D.M.D., D.V.M., D.O., O.D., or equivalent degree and have a faculty position or equivalent at a domestic or foreign: non-profit organization, or public or private institution, such as a university, college, medical school, hospital, research institute, or laboratory. Individuals from underrepresented racial, ethnic and gender groups, as well as individuals with disabilities, are always encouraged to apply.
All prospective award recipients first submit a Letter of Intent and, by invitation only, an application via the Foundation’s online application portal. Application guidelines should be downloaded and reviewed before beginning your letter or application. Those interested in applying for the Clinical Innovation Award should submit a letter of intent for the Individual Investigator Research Award and select the Research Program Area: Clinical-Structure and Function (CL).
Research progress and accomplishments are tracked during the funding period through Scientific Progress and Financial reports. All reports should be uploaded to the Foundation’s reporting portal.