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2021 UCI Gavin Herbert Eye Institute 20/20 Society Pilot Research Grants Announcement

The UCI Gavin Herbert Eye Institute is accepting applications for this year’s 20/20 Society Pilot Research Grants. These grants aim to provide seed funding to help develop promising vision or eye research projects that can grow into externally-funded research programs or to support small clinical research projects. Applications will be evaluated based on the potential of the proposed study to develop into extramurally-fundable project or the potential clinical impact of the study. Other important considerations include the intellectual merit, overall feasibility of the proposed plan, the track record of success of the research team, and the effective use of the requested resources.

The funding period of the grants is September 1, 2021 – August 30, 2022 and two grants of $35,000 will be awarded.

UCI fellows, postdocs, and faculty are eligible to apply. Fellow and postdoc applicants should recruit a faculty member to act as a mentor. Vision-related basic research, clinical research, and basic science-clinician collaborations are encouraged. To promote diversity, members of labs with a recipient in the last funding cycle will not be eligible.

Funds can be used for salary support for the applicant, lab supplies, equipment, or other common research uses. Use of funds for faculty salaries is not allowed. As these are internal campus funds, no indirect costs will be charged.

Proposals will be ranked independently by ICTS and funding decision will be made by Dr. Kuppermann based on the recommendation of the Executive Committee of Research: Eric Pearlman, PhD (co-Chair), Vladimir Kefalov, PhD (co-Chair); Andrew Browne, MD, PhD; Sanjay Kedhar, MD; Maria Cristina Kenney, PhD; Timothy Kern, PhD.

Applications are strictly limited to the cover page information and a total of 5 additional pages, plus CVs/Biosketches. The full application packet should include the following items:

  • Cover Page including the project title; applicant and, if applicable, their sponsoring faculty mentor and co-investigators’ names and contact information. Please list up to 5 keywords to help with the review process.
  • Applicant’s biosketch (limited to 4 pages).
  • Research Plan outlining Specific Aims with an opening Summary Paragraph, Research Strategy, Significance, Innovation, and Approach not to exceed 3 pages (excluding References).
  • Proposed Budget not to exceed 1 page. The budget should state the total requested amount, as well as the level of external funding that the research team will pursue upon completion of the Research Grant.
  • Letter of Support from the sponsoring faculty mentor and collaborators, if applicable, not to exceed 1 page for each letter.

Award recipients should submit a 6-month progress report to Drs. Kefalov and Pearlman. A final progress report will be due within 3 months of the completion of the award period. This final report should include a financial report indicating the use of the awarded funds, manuscripts, and information on the proposal(s) submitted or planned for submission, including the targeted call/FOA/RFA/RFP (titles and program number), and their submittal due date(s).

Please submit your application as a single combined PDF file to Doris Lee ( by July 31, 2021. Feel free to email Drs. Kefalov or Pearlman with any questions when preparing your application.