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RP Fighting Blindness and The Macular Society collaborate for £240,000 project

29 September 2017

National sight loss charities RP Fighting Blindness and the Macular Society, have announced a new collaboration to fund talented young researchers in the field of genetic macular diseases.

The charities are jointly pledging £240,000 to fund two PhD students. This project was triggered by concerns shared by both organisations about the lack of investment in the field and the consequent difficulty in attracting the most talented PhD research students to eye research.

PhD students are particularly valuable to research teams, as they bring enthusiasm, energy and fresh perspective, often pushing established teams to explore new ideas through their bold approach to scientific investigations.

The call for applications is live and applicants are invited to bid for funding for projects specifically targeted at inherited macular dystrophies. Applications will be reviewed by each partner’s Medical Advisory Board, including a round of peer review. The successful students will commit to providing six-monthly reports in scientific and layman’s terms for dissemination to all funders who have contributed to the award. The project will be judged on the achievement of its scientific objectives, the production of at least one full scientific paper, and the progress made in attracting talented young researchers to the field.

“We firmly believe that collaborating with sector partners such as the Macular Society is the only way forward,” commented Tina Houlihan, Chief Executive at RP Fighting Blindness. “Sight loss research finds itself in an increasingly competitive world and it is essential that charities, research institutes and funding bodies work together to share resources and expertise. We’re excited to be working closely with the Macular Society to address some very real problems the sector is facing. I feel sure this is just the first step in a growing relationship, and look forward to developing it further.”

Cathy Yelf, Chief Executive of the Macular Society, said: “Tens of thousands of people, many of them children, are affected by a range of inherited retinal conditions. There are some exciting new research areas to explore in this field but they lack funding. We are proud to fund medical research and are very pleased to be partnering with RP Fighting Blindness in this way. In the modern world, collaboration is the key to successful medical research. We hope the projects which will benefit from this funding will help us find a cure for inherited macular disease.


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