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Grants to USA, Canada, and International Researchers and Companies to Research Degenerative Eye Diseases

Translational Research Acceleration Program (TRAP) Award


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);
USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)
International, Israel and Canada.

Important Dates
LOI Date: 06/01/23
Deadline: 10/26/23 11:59 PM EST Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA, Canada, and International researchers holding positions at universities, medical centers, research institutions, and companies for research related to degenerative eye diseases. Applicants must submit a letter of intent and some applicants are required to contact the funding source prior to applying. The purpose of this program is to accelerate the movement of preclinical research toward an Investigational New Drug filing and into clinical trials to provide a robust and diverse pipeline of potential therapies to fight inherited retinal degenerations (IRD) and dry age-related macular degeneration.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness seeks proposals toward the Translational Research Acceleration Program (TRAP). The Foundation Fighting Blindness’ unique TRAP program accelerates preclinical translational research targeted at preventing, treating, or curing blindness resulting from inherited retinal degenerative disease (IRD) and dry age-related macular degeneration (dAMD). It leverages a proactive program management structure, including a hands-on advisory committee with expertise in drug development, retinal clinical therapies, commercialization, regulatory guidance, intellectual property, and partnerships, providing a catalyst that helps move technology into clinical use. People with inherited retinal degenerations need an increased number of therapies to combat the diversity, complexity, and uniqueness of inherited retinal diseases and dry age-related macular degeneration.

The Research Priority Areas

(1) Novel Medical Therapies – approaches that use chemistry, biology, and bioengineering to formulate new therapies that mitigate inherited retinal degenerations and dry age-related macular degenerations;

(2) Genetic Technologies – the manipulation and modification of human gene expression to alter the biological properties of living cells/tissues with the goal of providing therapeutic solutions;

(3) Regenerative Medicine – the development, regeneration, and employment of human cells, tissues, and cellular/tissue-based products for the restoration of retinal function and vision

Note: Research and technologies that fall outside of the scope of these areas may be considered with adequate preliminary data and justification.

For more information about Research Priority Areas, see

For Allowable Costs, see


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Applicants must hold a research leadership position within their organization and must be able to independently execute research activities with the full support of their organization. U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens, within or outside of the United States, are welcome to apply, as well as companies. If you are applying as a company, please inform the Sr. Director of the Preclinical Translational Research Program.

TRAP applicants must meet the following criteria:
o Applicants must hold a research leadership position (e.g., faculty position, director of research, etc.) at an accredited academic medical center, university, research institution, or company who can independently conduct research with full support of their organization.
o A project shall have only a single Principal Investigator (PI; or single Program Director for a PPA), who is responsible for project oversight, financial management, and reporting. The PI may engage collaborators, core labs or commercial CROs to execute any fraction of the project if it adheres to the awarded budget.
o Applicants must fully demonstrate all research and development personnel have the skillsets to execute proposed work.
o Applicants must show that the location(s) where the work is to be conducted has the adequate space, equipment, tools, protocols, safety and regulatory measures to execute research.
o Any proposed research partnerships must be already established prior to application submission. This will be made clear with written confirmation provided to the Foundation at the time of proposal, and if applicable, a proposed cost sharing agreement.

Individuals from underrepresented racial, ethnic and gender groups, as well as individuals with disabilities, are always encouraged to apply.

NOTE: studies focused on wet AMD and diabetic retinopathy are not a priority for support by the Foundation Fighting Blindness

Purchase of capital equipment is generally not supported by the Foundation.

The Foundation does not pay any indirect or overhead charges, nor does the Foundation provide support for construction or renovation costs.

Pre-Proposal Conference
A Proposer’s Day webinar will be held on May 12, 2023, to review the TRAP program and answer questions from potential applicants.


Pre-Application Information
All prospective award recipients must first submit a Letter of Intent (Due June 01, 2023), and once reviewed by the Foundation, top-scoring applicants will be invited to submit a full application (Due October 05, 2023).

NOTE: The complete full application must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) October 26, 2023 (Applicants must be invited to submit full applications).

Submission and Review Dates and Times
- Request for Proposals Release Date: March 30, 2023
- Proposers Day: May 12, 2023
- Letter of Intent Due Date: June 01, 2023
- Full Application Invites: August 10, 2023
- Application Due Date: October 05, 2023
- Review of Applications: October 2023 – March 2024
- Anticipated Award Date: March 2024

If you are applying as a company, please inform the Sr. Director of the Preclinical Translational Research Program.

Webinar recording:

Contact Information
Submit an LOI Online:

Questions can be directed to the Senior Director of the Preclinical Translational Research Program at

Direct inquiries regarding the application and review process and required application components and forms to:
Senior Director, Preclinical Translational Research Program
Tel: 404-310-0368, 1-800-683-5555

Foundation for Fighting Blindness
6925 Oakland Mills Road, #701
Columbia, MD 21045.

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