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Vision Science Research Center School of Optometry | School of Medicine

Vision Science Research Center (VSRC) Pilot Grant Program - 2024-2025


Pilot Grant Funding Guidelines and Application Instructions for Pre-review.

The submission is a two-part process:

  • Applicants are first required to submit information to facilitate pre-review. See below for instructions. (Go here to apply online). 
  • Second, a PowerPoint presentation to a review panel is required (detailed information for the presentation format will be sent with notification of successful pre-review). 


  • to encourage vision research at UAB by providing support of an individual PI of up to $20K to develop a competitive NIH, preferably NEI, R01 grant submission. 
  • to encourage larger-scale collaborative vision research projects across UAB by providing support to a team of investigators from two or more UAB academic departments for up to $40K to develop a competitive multi-investigator grant submission to NIH, preferably NEI. 


Priority Areas of Interest:
All areas of vision research that are supported by the National Eye Institute (see https://www.nei.nih.gov/grants-and-training

Funding Criteria:

Applications most likely to position the applicant(s) to successfully apply for a new NEI grant application will be the most competitive.

No funds will be provided for:

  • Faculty salaries
  • Indirect costs associated with a grant project
  • Supplementation to existing grants
  • Travel


Length of Support: 1 year. 

 NOTE: Due to center budget cuts, we will only be able to fund 1 or 2 grants this cycle.  

Submit your application including letters of support plus NIH format Biosketches and Other support pages for all Key Personnel as a single pdf to (Go here to apply online). The deadline for submission is 11:59 pm, April 25th, 2024.

Questions? Email VSRCDirector@uab.edu

 Instructions for pre-review submission

(Please use the font Arial 11 pt and 0.5” margins for your submission)


Type: (choose one - delete the non-applicable type):

Individual PI                                                                          

Multi-PI (from 2 or more UAB academic departments)


Date: Date of submission of this material

Lead (Contact) PI: Name of the full-time UAB faculty who will be responsible for the project.

Other PI(s): List the names of other PI(s), their role(s) (multi-PI, Co-PI, Consultant) and affiliation if outside of UAB.

Title: Follow the NIH R01 grant guideline for title content and length limitation.


Anticipated path to NIH funding: Within a 300-word limit describe: current status of preliminary data available; anticipated preliminary data that this pilot grant will generate to foster a competitive single investigator or multi-investigator NIH grant submission; anticipated timeline for the submission.

List additional Key Personnel and their anticipated contribution to this project. If a multi-investigator submission is planned, indicate in general how pilot funds will be spent among the PIs. 

Specific Aims (SA): (provide specific aims that you intend to pursue according to the NIH SA page. (1-page limit)

Budget and Budget Justification: (provide an overview of the budget needed for your project along with budget justification (max. amount of $20K for individual PI; $40K for multi-PI). 






Fee for Services:

Small Equipment (under $2K) 

If you are applying for continued pilot grant funding, include a progress report here (1-page limit):

Please append NIH Biographical Sketch(es) for all key personnel associated with this project.

Please append NIH Other Support pages for all key personnel associated with this project.

Please append all Letters of Support.


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