We provide grants to UK institutions which conduct ophthalmic research. The charity does not offer grants to non-UK host institutions or for patient support.

The following funding schemes are open to applications with the following deadlines:


  • Value: up to £10,000
  • Duration: up to 12 months

This funding scheme supports the testing and development of new ideas in any area of eye research. The aim of the applicant must be to generate preliminary data with a view to apply for larger, competitive project grants.  Applications for this scheme are not meant to be solely equipment grants, but may contain small items of equipment necessary for the delivery of the project provided these are fully detailed in the application.

Applications are considered quarterly with the following deadlines for 2020. Applications can only be accepted online. Postal applications are not accepted. Please note that we are reviewing all our funding schemes, and updated information and further deadlines for this scheme will be published during Spring 2020.

  • 29th February 2020
  • 31st May 2020

We will notify applicants within 3 weeks of the application deadline.


The deadline for First Stage applications for MAJOR GRANTS and PhD STUDENTSHIPS was Thursday 31st October and this scheme is now closed. 

  • First stage outcome notification: Monday 9th December 2019
  • Second stage submission deadline: Monday 13th January 2020 at 17:00

TRAVEL GRANTS (open to current PhD Studentship grant holders only)

If you are currently in receipt of a NERC PhD studentship, you are eligible to apply for a travel grant of up to £1,500 per application.

Eligibility criteria:

  • You are a current NERC PhD Studentship grant holder.
  • You are presenting NERC funded data (poster, abstract, presentation) at the conference for which you are applying to travel to.
  • You have not yet received a NERC travel grant during your NERC funded PhD (applications are accepted only once during the life of the grant).

We are currently reviewing how we are going to support travel costs within our funding schemes and applications for travel grants are temporarily closed. We aim to update the information on all our schemes during Spring 2020.


We are currently reviewing how we are going to support equipment costs within our funding schemes and applications for this scheme are currently closed. We aim to update the information on all our funding schemes during Spring 2020.


The National Eye Research Centre is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and abides by its principles of best practice at all times. All grant applications are peer reviewed and scored for their potential to improve the vision of people with diseases or disabilities of the eye. Grants are awarded subject to the availability of funds at the time of the award.