Vision Research

To support eye and vision research projects that address the leading causes of blindness and impaired vision in the U.S.

These include retinal diseases; corneal diseases; cataract; glaucoma and optic neuropathies; strabismus; amblyopia; and low vision and blindness rehabilitation.

To increase

credit: Wikimedia Commons
understanding of the normal development and function of the visual system in order to better prevent, diagnose, and treat sight-threatening conditions; and, to enhance the rehabilitation, training, and quality of life of individuals who are partially-sighted or blind.

To support a broad program of basic vision research through grants and cooperative agreements; to encourage high quality clinical research, including clinical trials, other epidemiological studies, and health services research; to encourage research training and career development in the sciences related to vision; and to sponsor scientific workshops in high priority research areas to encourage exchange of information among scientists.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program: To increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development; to encourage small business participation in Federal research and development; and to foster and encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns in technological innovation.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program: To stimulate and foster scientific and technological innovation through cooperative research development carried out between small business concerns and research institutions; to foster technology transfer between small business concerns and research institutions; to increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development; and to foster and encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns in technological innovation.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Website Address

http://www.nei.nih.gov


Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories





Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
University Of California, Irvine $ 39,866   2019-04-012025-03-31
Trustees Of The University Of Pennsylvania, The $ 2,538,049   1976-07-012024-08-31
President And Fellows Of Harvard College $ 2,204,966   1988-09-302024-06-30
Oregon Health & Science University $ 1,074,786   2013-07-012024-06-30
University Of Texas At Dallas $ 381,599   2019-06-012024-05-31
Trustees Of The University Of Pennsylvania, The $ 399,748   2019-06-012024-05-31
Regents Of The University Of California, The $ 2,388,780   2013-09-012024-05-31
University Of Pittsburgh The $ 323,875   2019-06-012024-05-31
University Of Massachusetts $ 404,940   2019-06-012024-05-31
University Of Connecticut $ 409,688   2019-06-012024-05-31



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: In FY 2016, the program supported 1312 research grants, including 49 SBIR and STTR awards, and 250 NRSA positions. Fiscal Year 2017: In FY 2017, the program anticipates supporting 1,289 research grants, including 51 SBIR and STTR awards, and 250 NRSA positions. Fiscal Year 2018: In FY 2018, the program anticipates supporting 1,052 research grants, including 38 SBIR and STTR awards, and 224 NRSA positions.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Research grants and cooperative agreements provide funds for salaries, consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel, patient costs, alterations and renovations, other expenses, and consortium/contractual costs.

The scientists and institutions are under an obligation to expend grant funds prudently for the purposes as stated in the application and award document.

The Conference Cooperative Agreement supports scientific meetings and workshops in high priority research areas to encourage exchange of information among scientists.

The Center Core Grant is intended to enhance an institution's environment and capability to conduct vision research, to facilitate collaborative studies of the visual system and its disorders, and to attract scientists of diverse disciplines to research on the visual system.

Career Development Awards include the Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award, Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award, Institutional Clinical Scientist Development Program, and the NIH Pathway to Independence Award.

The Clinical Study Planning Grant is designed to support the development of an applied clinical research plan.

NEI Research Grants for Secondary Data Analysis provide limited support for meritorious research projects that involve secondary analysis of research data generated from clinical trials, population research and other applied clinical vision research projects supported by the Institute.

Bioengineering Research Grants (BRG) support basic bioengineering research whose outcomes are likely to advance health or health-related vision research.

BRGs may propose to apply basic bioengineering design-directed or hypothesis-driven research to an important vision research area.

Bioengineering Research Partnership grants support multidisciplinary research teams applying an integrative, systems approach to develop knowledge and/or methods to prevent, detect, diagnose, or treat diseases of the eye and visual system.

NEI Translational Research Program on Therapy for Visual Disorders grants provide support to collaborative, multidisciplinary research focused on the development of novel therapies to restore or prevent the loss of function due to visual diseases and disorders.

Small Business Innovation Research Phase I grants are awarded to establish the technical merit and feasibility of a proposed research effort that may lead to a commercial product or process.

Phase II grants are for research, usually initiated in Phase I, that is likely to result in commercial products or processes.

Small Business Technology Transfer Research, Phase I grants are to determine the scientific, technical, and commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed cooperative effort that has potential for commercial application.

Phase II funding is based on results of research usually initiated in Phase I and scientific and technical merit and commercial potential on Phase II application.

National Research Service Awards (NRSAs), both individual and institutional, support training in vision research.

Some individuals who receive an NRSA may be obligated upon termination of the award to comply with certain service and payback provisions.

The NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Programs provides payback of a portion of eligible student loan debt of qualified health professionals who agree to conduct clinical research.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Public/State-controlled institutions of higher education, private institutions of higher education, Hispanic-serving institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, tribally-controlled colleges and universities, Alaska Native- and Native Hawaiian-serving Institutions, nonprofits with or without 501(c)(3) IRS status, Small Businesses, for-profit organizations, federal institutions, and State and local units of government are eligible to make application for research grants, cooperative agreements, and career development awards.

Foreign institutions may apply for research grants and cooperative agreements only.

The grantee institution must agree to administer the grant in accordance with prevailing regulations and policies.

Candidates for the Mentored Clinical Scientist Development and Mentored-Patient Oriented Research Career Awards are restricted to those holding health professional degrees in the clinical sciences (M.D., O.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., or equivalent).

Individual and institutional NRSAs are provided for predoctoral and postdoctoral research training.

Individual postdoctoral NRSAs may be made for applicants who hold a professional or scientific degree (M.D., Ph.D., O.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., Sc.D., D.Eng., or equivalent degree).

Predoctoral awardees must have completed the baccalaureate degree.

All awardees must be citizens of the United States, or have been admitted to the U.S.

for permanent residence prior to award.

Individual NRSA awardees must be nominated and sponsored by a Federal, public or private nonprofit institution having staff and facilities suitable to the proposed research training.

Federal and for-profit organizations, and State and local governments may not apply for an institutional NRSA.

Refer to the NIH Program Guidelines on NRSAs for further information.

The Small Business Innovation grants: SBIRs can be awarded only to domestic small businesses (entities that are independently owned and operated for profit, are not dominant in the field in which research is proposed, and have not more than 500 employees).

Primary employment (more than one-half time) of the Principal Investigator must be with the small business at the time of the award and during the conduct of the proposed project.

The research during both Phase I and Phase II must be performed in the U.S.

or its possessions.

STTR grants can be awarded only to domestic small business concerns (entities that are independently owned and operated for profit, are not dominant in the field in which research is proposed and have no more than 500 employees) which 'partner' with a research institution in cooperative research and development.

At least 40 percent of the project is to be performed by the small business concern and at least 30 percent by the research institution.

In both Phase I and Phase II, the research must be performed in the U.S.

and its possessions.

Individuals applying for the NIH Loan Repayment Programs must be engaged in patient oriented research and be trained in a medical subspecialty as defined under Section 206 of Public Law 106-505.

These individuals must be U.S.

citizens, U.S.

citizen nationals, or lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S.; have a student loan debt which equals or exceeds 20 percent of their university compensation; have no Federal judgment lien against their property arising from a Federal debt; and owe no obligation of health professional service to the Federal government, a State, or other entity unless deferrals are granted during the length of their Loan Repayment Program service obligation.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Any nonprofit or for-profit organization, company, or institution engaged in biomedical research.

Credentials/Documentation

(1) Research grants and cooperative agreements: Applications for research involving the use of human subjects must include documentation that all key personnel have received training in human subject protection. Applicants may provide additional documentation to establish the scientific and technical merit and the programmatic relevance of the application. (2) Individual NRSA applications: The applicant's academic record, research experience, institutional sponsorship, and the proposed area and plan of training must be included. (3) Institutional NRSA application: The applicant institution must discuss the objectives, methodology and resources for the research training program; the qualifications and experience of staff; the criteria to be used in selecting individuals for an appointment; and a budget and justification for the grant funds requested. Costs will be determined in accordance with the appropriate OMB Circular or with HHS Regulations 45 CFR, Part 75. (4) For SBIR and STTR grants, the small business concern must present a research plan that has potential for commercialization and furnish evidence that scientific competence, experimental methods, facilities, equipment, and funds requested are appropriate to carry out the plan. Loan Repayment Program applicants must provide certification of loan status, loan data verification, and an institutional supporting statement. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Applicants for core grants, clinical study planning grants, cooperative agreements, small research grants for data analyses, and bioengineering research partnerships should seek preapplication coordination through contact with the National Eye Institute staff.

All staff may be contacted at (301) 451-2020.

Applicants for planning to submit a research project grant application requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year are required to discuss their eligibility with the NEI staff, at (301) 451-2020.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Standard application forms, as required by 45 CFR 75 and 92, must be used for this program. Information regarding the application process, access to forms, and information regarding the http//www.Grants.Gov site are available on the NEI web site at http://www.nei.nih.gov. Prior to making formal application to the NRSA programs, individual NRSA applicants must be nominated and sponsored by a federal, public, or nonprofit institution having staff and facilities appropriate to the proposed research program. NEI specific instructions for preparing applications for Core Grants, Clinical Study Planning Grants, the NEI Translational Program on Therapy for Visual Disorders, and Cooperative Clinical Research Agreements are specified in the Funding Opportunity Announcements, links to which are available at http://www.nei.nih.gov. SBIR and STTR Grant Solicitations and SBIR Contract Solicitation may be obtained electronically through the NIH's 'Small Business Funding Opportunities' home page at http://www.nih.gov/grants/funding/sbir.htm.

Award Procedures

Applications are reviewed initially for scientific and technical merit. A second level review of the programmatic relevance of applications is provided by the National Advisory Eye Council. Final approval is made by the Director, National Eye Institute. Formal award notices are transmitted to the appropriate institutional official.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

Public Health Service Act, as amended, Title III, Part A, Section 301; Health Research Extension Act of 1985, Public Law 99-158, 42 U.S.C. 241; Title IV, Part B, Section 405; 42 U.S.C. 284; Part C, Section 455; 42 U.S.C. 285i; Health Omnibus Programs Extension Act of 1988, Section 487(d); Public Law 100-607, 42 U.S.C. 288(d); Small Business Research and Development Enhancement Act of 1992, Public Law 102-564.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately nine months for Research Grants, Individual Career Development Awards, Clinical Study Planning Grants, cooperative clinical studies or conferences, Core Grants, and NRSA Institutional applications; from six to seven months for NRSA individual applications; and for SBIR, about eight months.

Appeals

A principal investigator may communicate to the staff of the National Eye Institute any concerns regarding the substantive or procedural aspects of the review of an application.

Renewals

Renewals of research grant or cooperative agreement support are by competitive application and review. Individual Career Development Awards, Clinical Study Planning Grants, NEI Translational Research Program on Therapy for Visual Disorders, and NEI Research Grants for Secondary Data Analysis are non-renewable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Up to five years for research grants and cooperative agreements, Career Development Awards, Core Grants, individual predoctoral NRSAs, and institutional NRSAs. Up to three years for Academic Research Enhancement Awards and NRSA individual postdoctoral awards. Clinical Study Planning Grants: one year. SBIR: Normally, Phase I awards are for six months; normally, Phase II awards are for two years. STTR: Normally, Phase I awards are for one year; normally, Phase II awards are for two years. Loan Repayment Program Awards are for two years with the opportunity for renewal. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Grant Award (NoGA) will be provided to the applicant organization.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

No reports are required.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.

Records

Expenditures and other financial records must be retained for three years from the day on which the grantee submits the last expenditure report for the report period.

Financial Information

Account Identification

75-0887-0-1-552.

Obigations

(Project Grants) FY 16 $554,745,851; FY 17 est $550,018,484; and FY 18 est $416,893,641

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Grants and Cooperative Agreements: $8,446 to $4,500,000; $418,830. NRSA (Institutional): $9,763 to $492,571; $ 45,357. NRSA (Individual): $11,288 to $63,794; $ 49,665. SBIR Phase I: $149,265 to $310,154; $ 227,898. SBIR Phase II: $145,138 to $1,491,280; $ 659,645. STTR Phase I: $122,403 to $224,999; $ 195,288. STTR Phase II: $213,638 to $583,208; $ 364,397.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

42 CFR 52; 42 CFR 66; 45 CFR 75; 45 CFR 92. PHS Grants Policy Statement DHHS Publication No. (OASH) 94-50,000 (Rev.) April 1, 1994, and Addendum effective February 15, 1995; 'NIH Guide for Grants and Contacts and Supplements.' National Eye Institute Guidelines are available on the internet at http://www.nei.nih.gov. Grants will be available under the authority of and administered in accordance with the PHS Grants Policy Statement and Federal regulations at 42 CFR 52 and 42 USC 241; Omnibus Solicitation of the Public Health Service for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant and Cooperative Agreement Applications. Omnibus Solicitation of the National Institutes of Health for Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant Applications.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Paul Sheehy, Ph.D. National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 1300, 5635 Fishers Lane, Bethesda, MD 20892-9300. Grants Management Officer Contact: Mr. William W. Darby, Chief, Grants Management Branch, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 1300, 5635 Fishers Lane, Bethesda, MD 20892-9300. Telephone: (301) 451-2020. Use the same numbers for FTS. The National Eye Institute encourages applicants to visit its internet site at www.nei.nih.gov/. Among the many recent additions to the site is an expanded 'Research Funding' section which contains all National Eye Institute application guidelines and internet links to relevant NIH information., Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9300 Email: paul.sheehy@nih.gov Phone: (301) 451-2020 Fax: (301) 402-0528.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The major elements in the initial scientific and technical review of most applications include an assessment of significance, approach, innovation, investigator training and experience, and the scientific environment. In addition to these criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following: the adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities, and their subgroups as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research; the reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the proposed research; and, the adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals or the environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project proposed in the application. A second level review of the programmatic relevance of most applications is provided by the National Advisory Eye Council. The following criteria will be used in considering the scientific and technical merit of SBIR/STTR Phase I grant applications: (1) The soundness and technical merit of the proposed approach; (2) the qualifications of the proposed principal investigator, supporting staff, and consultants; (3) the technological innovation of the proposed research; (4) the potential of the proposed research for commercial application; (5) the appropriateness of the budget requested; (6) the environment; and (7) where applicable, the adequacy of assurances detailing the proposed means for (a) safeguarding human or animal subjects, and/or (b) protecting against or minimizing any adverse effect on the environment. Phase II grant applications will be reviewed based upon the following criteria: (1) The degree to which the Phase I objectives were met and feasibility demonstrated; (2) the scientific and technical merit of the proposed approach for achieving the Phase II objectives; (3) the qualifications of the proposed principal investigator, supporting staff, and consultants; (4) the technological innovation, originality, or societal importance of the proposed research; (5) the potential of the proposed research for commercial application; (6) the reasonableness of the budget requested for the work proposed; (7) the adequacy and suitability of the facilities and research environment; and (8) where applicable, the adequacy of assurances detailing the proposed means for (a) safeguarding human or animal subjects, and/or (b) protecting against or minimizing any adverse effect on the environment.




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