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The Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) SightFirst program strengthens eye care systems in underserved communities enabling them to fight blindness and vision loss and assist those who are blind or visually impaired. The programme funds high-quality, sustainable projects that deliver eye care services, develop infrastructure, train personnel, increase public awareness of eye health, and/or provide rehabilitation and education for persons who are blind or have low vision.
SightFirst funds are also available to support public health research initiatives whose outcomes directly influence or inform operation of the SightFirst program and, in some cases, that of other global blindness prevention efforts. SightFirst research projects evaluate existing approaches, identify and validate innovative or improved program strategies, determine the eye care needs of a particular region or population and/or assess the barriers to uptake of eye care services.
The funding priorities for the 2022 SightFirst research grant program are as follows:
1.1 Investigate the provision of high-quality cataract surgery and improvement post-operative outcomes;
1.2 Evaluate the cost-effectiveness, efficacy and efficiency in training primary health workers and community health workers in the identification and referral of cataract cases;
2. Uncorrected Refractive Error
2.1 Examine how to reduce and correct refractive errors as part of the provision of sustainable comprehensive eye care services;
2.1 Analyze the effectiveness of different optical workshop models in the provision of uncorrected refractive error services;
3. Rapid Assessments of Avoidable Blindness (RAABs)
3.1 Undertake first-time Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness surveys (RAABs);
3.2 Conduct repeat RAABs in areas where RAABs were conducted at least five years ago;
4. Diabetic Retinopathy
4.1 Investigate and promote cooperation between diabetic retinopathy and diabetes mellitus care providers to ensure the provision of patient-centered care;
4.2 Investigate barriers to compliance with diabetic retinopathy screening and management;
5.1 Develop and field test a protocol, including questionnaires, that assesses the prevalence of main causes of ocular morbidity and vision loss in a representative sample of all-ages of a population.
SightFirst welcomes proposals that investigate any one of the funding priorities as it relates to disadvantaged or marginalized communities, who face inequities in access to eye care and bear a greater burden of eye conditions and visual impairment. SightFirst funds support the goal of universal health coverage, so that all people have access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.
Project types might include but are not limited to pilot or feasibility studies, secondary analysis of existing data or small, self-contained research projects which advance work in progress.
Priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate a direct link to the operation of current or future SightFirst projects with potential for immediate impact and/or broader geographical application. Priority will also be given to proposals seeking to increase local research capacity, particularly in low- and middle income countries, by having local researchers lead the work and publish under their name.
SightFirst research grants are not available for capacity building or service delivery projects that are more appropriately considered through other SightFirst and LCIF grant programs.
Eligible institutions and organizations must have a proven track record of successful research project implementation and may include public or state-controlled institutions of higher education, private institutions of higher education, nonprofits, and governmental agencies or institutions of any nation.
Eligible individuals or groups of individuals include any person(s) with the skills, knowledge and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Principal Investigator (PI) with his/her organization or consortium.
The SightFirst research grant program requires a Letter of Intent (LOI). The LOI should be no more than three pages in length and include the following:
• Research question or hypothesis to be tested
• Alignment with the SightFirst Research grant program’s funding priorities
• Research strategy
• Itemized budget
• Brief professional history/biography of the PD/PI
LOIs in pdf file format should be e-mailed to LCIF Global Health Initiatives at: [email protected]. Applicants may submit more than one LOI provided that each project is scientifically distinct. The deadline for LOI submission is November 15, 2021.
If selected, applicants will be invited in mid-January 2022 to submit their full proposal by March 21, 2022.
More detailed information on process at 2022 SF Research RFP – EN