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NAEVRís Defense Funding Session at the ARVO Annual Meeting

A record crowd attended NAEVRís May 4 Defense-Related Vision Research Opportunities session, which focused on how researchers can be responsive to Department of Defense (DOD)-identified vision research gaps. Vision Program Manager Robert Read from the DODís Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), which manages the dedicated $10 million Vision Research Program (VRP) in Defense appropriations, spoke about opportunities, noting that a Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 VRP funding announcement would likely issue in June.

Mr. Read announced that, since the VRP was created by Congress in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009, the DOD has issued 67 awards totalling $50 million. He also spoke about other DOD funding opportunities, including the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. In discussion after Mr. Readís comments, NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky reminded attendees that the DOD funding opportunities were available to domestic and international researchers, and that those who navigate the VRP are more likely to apply for funding from other DOD programs with key words such as sensory and rehabilitation and diseases with a visual component.

A panel of VRP awardees spoke to the crowd about their experiences in successfully navigating the DOD grant process in previous funding cycles, which included Randy Kardon, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Iowa), Joseph Ciolino, M.D. (Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary) and Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Ph.D. (University of Miami/Bascom Palmer Eye Institute).

Mr. Read and DOD colleague Marc Mitchell met one-on-one with researchers at a dedicated CDMRP booth from Sunday through Wednesday. NAEVR wishes to thank them for their participation in the ARVO Annual Meeting and their commitment to the soldiers who have experienced battlefield eye injuries.

In its advocacy for FY2016 Defense appropriations, NAEVR has requested VRP funding at $15 million.

Robert Read, Vision Program Manager at the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), speaks to the crowd
Robert Read, Vision Program Manager at the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), speaks to the crowd
From left: NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky, Mr. Read, and past VRP awardees including Randy Kardon, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Iowa), Joseph Ciolino, M.D. (Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary) and Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Ph.D. (University of Miami/Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
From left: NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky, Mr. Read, and past VRP awardees including Randy Kardon, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Iowa), Joseph Ciolino, M.D. (Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary) and Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Ph.D. (University of Miami/Bascom Palmer Eye Institute)