• The E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation for the Blind, Inc. (EMZ Foundation) was founded in New York City in 1907 by Electa Matilda Ziegler (1841-1932), the mother of a blind son. The EMZ Foundation announces the availability of funds to support promising young investigators performing innovative vision research. The EMZ Foundation is particularly interested in supporting basic or translational research that enhances our understanding of normal visual function, or dysfunction as the result of innate or acquired visual disorders.

    Many of our grantees have gone on to make unique discoveries in the areas of macular degeneration, gene therapy, stem cell research, development, optic nerve regeneration and the neuroscience of visual pathways. Appropriate candidates are basic scientists or clinician scientists of exceptional insight and ability, with strong potential for making significant contributions to understanding the root causes of and developing cures for blindness. Projects of a purely clinical nature are not appropriate.

    Funds Available: Selected Grant Recipients will receive a one-time grant from $100,000 to $250,000 for direct costs of support which can be extended over a two- or three-year period. Indirect costs are not allowed.

    Eligibility: Principal Investigators must have an independent, primary (tenure track) faculty appointment at the level of Assistant Professor (or its equivalent) or higher. This seed grant program is specifically appropriate for early career junior faculty who have not yet successfully competed for significant outside federal research support. The EMZ Foundation seeks to support innovative, high-risk/high-reward vision research in its early stages. Investigators who have or have had NIH R01 support (or its equivalent), or are working outside of the U.S., are not eligible for this award.

    Application Review and Award: Letters of intent (LOI) meeting the technical requirements will be reviewed on scientific merit and relevance to vision research by the EMZ Foundation scientific advisory board. Selected investigators from LOIs will be invited to submit a full grant proposal.

    Full grant proposals meeting the technical requirements will be reviewed on the basis of merit by the EMZ Foundation scientific advisory committee. Final funding decisions will be based on the availability of funding, scientific merit, relevance and the suitability of the research with respect to the goals of the EMZ Foundation.

    Application Guidelines: All LOIs and applications are to be submitted via email to Marcia Cleary, the EMZ Foundation Administrator at: mcleary@swisher.com. The LOI is limited to a 2-page description (see instructions below). Full grant proposals are limited to a 6-page research plan. Summary Background and Application instructions can be found below:

    Letter of Intent Due Date: Monday, October 2, 2023

    Notifications requesting full grant proposal: Wednesday, October 25, 2023
    Full Grant Proposal Due Date for invited applicants: Friday, November 17, 2023

    Summary Background can be downloaded here.

    Instructions for the LOI can be downloaded here.

    Request for Application information can be downloaded (after Oct 25, 2023)

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