Global estimates of visual impairments point to a major challenge globally with over 250 million people suffering from blindness or moderate to severe visual impairments. Although the large majority of affected people live in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), only a limited research effort is focused on their specific challenges.
To increase the impact of the foundation funding in ophthalmology, the board decided in June 2020 to engage in ophthalmology research tackling challenges in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). The focus is newly set on research that:
- addresses the biomedical knowledge gaps in ophthalmology specific to the situation and context of LMIC
- develops innovative detection and management methods as well as treatments adapted to the local LMIC context and conditions
- is conducted by or in collaboration with research institutions based in LMIC
A priority is set towards eye diseases without a cost-effective treatment yet.
Basic, clinical, epidemiological, technology development studies addressing stringently the context environment and specificities of LMIC as well as studies to understand the basis and test new visual impairment prevention methods will be considered.
Health systems research, implementation research, health economics or community development are out of the funding scope.
- September 30, 2020 deadline: all projects in ophthalmology research will still be examined, although applications on the new focus will be preferred.
- From April 30, 2021 deadline: only applications on the new focus will be considered.
The foundation prefers (more detailed information will follow on its website):
- interdisciplinary research
- collaborations between a research institution in LMIC and an established research institution (especially based in Switzerland)
- applications where students or young researchers from LMIC are locally trained.