Research to Prevent Blindness Expands Career Development Award

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Research to Prevent Blindness Expands Career Development Award

June 9, 2020- Today, Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) announces exciting changes to its flagship grant, the RPB Career Development Award (CDA), by increasing both the amount of funding and the number of awards funded.

Effective immediately, as a result of a generous gift from RPB Trustee Tom Wertheimer, RPB will increase the amount of CDA funding from $300,000 per grantee to $350,000 per grantee, with the extra $50,000 split between the last two years of the award period. This increase in funding takes into account biomedical inflation, which increases costs for the resources needed to perform research. RPB is also increasing the number of CDA recipients, moving from six awardees per year to eight awardees per year, over the next two years.

The CDA supports early-career researchers in making critical discoveries prior to their first major research grant (the RO1) from the National Institutes of Health. The award allows for extraordinarily talented early-career vision researchers to launch their careers as independent investigators, with the support of a mentorship team. The early-career investigators ask much-needed questions related to a wide variety of sight-threatening conditions and gather the data needed to answer those questions and to inform future research.

“We are proud to bolster our support for early-career researchers even more,” said RPB President Brian F. Hofland, PhD. “Providing support for researchers who are launching careers as independent investigators is critically important to the success of the entire vision research pipeline and RPB remains enthusiastic about meeting that need in the service of our mission.”

CDA Impact

RPB celebrated the CDA’s 30th anniversary in 2019. At that point, RPB had awarded 203 CDAs (now at 219) at a cost of $40 million. Those award recipients went on to garner more than $1 billion in follow-on funding from the federal government, an astounding 25:1 return on investment. This is an indication of the high level of work being performed through the award program and the ability of early-career funding to inform critical research that takes place for many years to come, as well as to launch and sustain research careers. To learn more about the impact of the CDA program, watch a video of CDA recipients...

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