BIPOSA Research Award

The British Isles Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Association (BIPOSA) awards an individual or team for UK and / or Ireland based research into childhood eye conditions or eye movement disorders/strabismus in children or adults. This is a yearly award of £5,000 as a start-up grant for new investigators.  This year BIPOSA will be making two awards, so please do submit an application.

The deadline for submission of this year’s award was 01st July 2017 at 12 noon. Thank you to everyone that submitted an application. We will notify applicants shortly.

1. Origins and aims

BIPOSA aims to promote research into causes and management of childhood eye diseases and eye movement disorders and strabismus in children and adults. A robust evidence base is required to develop and optimise services for children, families and adult patients. We will consider pilot and feasibility as well as full studies.

Ophthalmologists and orthoptists from the United Kingdom and Ireland are invited to apply for up to £5,000 to carry out an exploratory or full project in childhood eye disease and strabismus; the project duration must not exceed 12 months. One award will be given per year.

2. Criteria for the award

We will judge applications according to the following criteria:

a) Relevance to childhood eye disease, or strabismus in children or adults
b) Relevance to the research priorities set out by the Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership
c) Novelty of the proposal – applications for pump priming will take priority over applications to “top up” existing grants
d) Quality of the methodology
e) Feasibility
f) Importance and likely impacts of the intended outputs
g) Value for money

To note:
A previous award holder may not apply again; this award is intended for early career researchers, as a pump priming initiative.
An applicant may belong to an institution where a previous award holder works, but the application must clearly be led by and, if successful, delivered by the lead applicant. A previous award holder is allowed to be part of the multidisciplinary team applying.

3. Assessment Committee

The assessment committee will be members of the BIPOSA Clinical Studies Group (CSG).

4. Process of Assessment

All submissions received will be scored against the above criteria.

All unsuccessful applicants will be informed within two weeks of the announcement of the winner at the BIPOSA Annual Scientific Meeting and invited to contact the chair if they would like feedback on the decision.

5. Obligations on award holders


a) Funding is to be used solely in respect of the costs of the specific project for which the grant is awarded. Prior approval of the CSG is required before expenditure can be authorised on any amendment to the agreed work plan.
b) Monies from the grant will be repaid to BIPOSA if they are not used for the purpose specified.
c) Once the winner has been informed, he/she will then supply a detailed schedule of how the monies are to be spent. Overheads and NHS support costs will not be reimbursed.
d) Cheques will only be payable to the project leader’s employing institution.
e) The grant will if possible be paid in a single payment, but may be in two instalments: 90% at the start, with the remaining 10% once the project has concluded.
f) BIPOSA encourages applicants to seek additional funding from other sources, if required. It is the responsibility of the Project leader to inform BIPOSA about the outcome of any such bids as soon as they are known. However, the award holder has to take up the BIPOSA award within six months of the award being granted.
g) A statement of expenditure submitted to the CSG, is required at the end of the project and should be included in the end of project report (see below).
h) The grant holder is expected to monitor expenditure of this grant money using the normal procedures in the host institution. BIPOSA may request statements of expenditure at any time during the period of the grant.


i) Progress report at 12 months to the BIPOSA CSG.
j) The progress report should be no more than a single A4 page and should indicate progress against original timescale, and any significant factors which may impact on the timescale or deliverables of the work.
k) Final report to the BIPOSA CSG
l) Interim presentation of progress by the lead applicant at the BIPOSA Annual Scientific Meeting in the year following the award; final presentation of findings at the BIPOSA Annual Scientific Meeting the year after.
m) The project leader must inform BIPOSA of any publications that may arise from the project as well presentations at any conferences.
n) Grant holders are advised that BIPOSA may contact them in relation to possible press releases/press statements or any other form of public dissemination.
o) Grant holders should ensure that any publications (including information about the project on websites) carry acknowledgement to BIPOSA’s financial support. The BIPOSA logo should not be used without prior permission from the President of BIPOSA except in the context of the acknowledging of BIPOSA as source of funding in presentations.

6. Queries

For any queries regarding the award, please contact Annegret Dahlmann-Noor, BIPOSA’s Scientific Officer

7. Advice on how to write a grant application

· Address the points against which your application will be evaluated
· Be clear about your research question
· Make a strong case for your proposal – why is this research necessary? Why now?
· Explain why your technical approach is the best suited to address the research question.
· Make sure that your methods are adequate to answer the research question within the stated timeframe of 12 months.
· Consider getting advice from a statistician if you need to calculate or justify your proposed sample size.
· Consider getting advice from your local NIHR research design service (
· Ensure that your team has all the required expertise for this project

8. Some useful guidance can also be found on the following websites

How not to kill a grant application

How to get a grant funded – by David Goldblatt (BMJ)

Art of Grantsmanship – by Jacob Kraicer

Proposal Writer’s Guide by Don Thackrey