Legislative Updates

DOD Vision Research Program Releases FY2021 Program Announcements

On May 14, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Vision Research Program (VRP) released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Program Announcements, with $20 million available for research. This year marks the third year that the VRP is funded at that level.

For FY2021, the VRP is using four funding mechanisms:

  • Investigator Initiated Research Awards (IIRA, with two funding levels), with a maximum funding of $260,000 over 2 years/$750,000 over 3 years.
  • Translational Research Awards (TRA), with a maximum funding of $1 million over 3 years.
  • Focused Translational Team Science Awards (FTTSA), with a maximum funding of $4 million over 4 years.
  • A new Clinical Trial Award (CTA), with a maximum funding of $1.6 million over 3 years.

For all four awards, pre-proposals are due July 21, 2021. Researchers who are selected to submit a full proposal will be notified in September, and the deadline for full proposal submission is November 16, 2021. Final decisions on which proposals will be selected for funding will be made in March 2022.

All relevant documents are posted on the Electronic Biomedical Research Application Portal (eBRAP): https://ebrap.org/eBRAP/public/ProgramFY.htm?programFYId=358902

Applications submitted to the FY21 VRP must address one or more of the following Focus Areas:

  • Eye injury or visual dysfunction as related to a military-relevant traumatic event. Examples of military-relevant trauma may include, but are not limited to:
    • Blast, penetrating, blunt, thermal, or chemical trauma
    • Trauma caused by directed energy weapons such as laser, high-power microwaves, and particle beams
  • Diagnosis, stabilization, and treatment of eye injuries in austere environments and prolonged field care settings
  • Restoration of visual function after trauma-related vision loss or severe visual impairment