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Grant Application

The Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness (ISPB) offers unique grant opportunities supporting mentored pre-clinical or clinical research programs designed to foster junior investigator development while advancing clinical care in ophthalmology and optometry. Preference is given to high-quality grant submissions from applicants (PI) that are at the start of their career, including graduate, medical, or OD students currently enrolled full-time at an Illinois accredited institution of higher education or postdoctoral fellows / residents that are within seven years after receiving their advanced degree (MD, OD, PhD). Students, postdoctoral fellows, and residents are required to have a faculty mentor involved with their research.

The primary mission of ISPB is to reduce preventable causes of blindness by educating the public on the necessity for and the methods of preventing blindness. ISPB annually awards grants to support research in eye and vision health, with priority granted to areas of inquiry with direct clinical relevance (translation research). Please keep this in mind when filling out your application.

The Research Committee, which consists of ISPB board members and other professionals from ophthalmology and optometry, reviews and awards the grants. Applications are evaluated based on several criteria, including study originality, feasibility, scientific rigor, educational environment, and clinical significance.

Please see our highly rated grant samples to help with the preparation of your application.

Grant applications are due by Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at midnight. Reviews will take place in June, 2024.


• Maximum grant amount not to exceed $10,000 for AMD and $5,000 for the Standard Grant.

• Application must be submitted online by the deadline date and time. No exceptions!

• One application per project. Principal investigator or project did not receive an ISPB grant in the prior year.

• Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

• Project must be conducted in Illinois at an accredited university, medical school or laboratory.

• Students must be currently enrolled full-time at an accredited Illinois institution of higher education or postdoctoral fellows/residents that are within seven years after receiving their first advanced degree (MD, OD, PhD).

• Funds cannot be used for equipment, computers, software (may consider specialized software), indirect costs, institutional administrative fees, salaries, publication costs, manuscript preparation, phone usage or travel.

OCT costs are allowed at $40 per subject if not covered by a third party insurer or part of standard care.

• A $150 allowance can be made for the production and presentation of a scientific poster including ARVO membership.

• One individual can only serve as principal investigator for each grant. The PI (not the mentor) must include their CV when applying.

• The principal investigator must remain in Illinois through the end of the grant project.

• Residents, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical/OD students must provide a supportive letter on department letterhead from the mentor. Furthermore, mentors must acknowledge in the support letter that the applicant played a significant role in the preparation of the application and will be in charge of their grant with mentor oversight.

• The grant application must be reviewed by the college/university’s department chair, research director, or designee for completeness and approval before submission to ISPB.

• If the grant is approved, the principal investigator must supply a color electronic photo for the ISPB website and publicity use before funds are distributed.

• Where applicable, an IRB/IACUC approval letter must be received before a check is distributed.

• Applicants will be notified by mid-June with funds distributed as above requirements are met.

• Funds must be expended and scope of proposal completed within one year if the grant approval. They cannot be passed over/extended to another PI to finish the project.

• Funds not used will be returned to ISPB.


Grantees are expected to recognize the Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness in all posters, publications, presentations and social media related to the research. A copy of the poster, publication or presentation agenda should be included with the mid-year or final report.

Biomedical Research Grant Application

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