Funding Opportunities

The McPherson ERI is pleased to present the following funding opportunities for our members and trainees.

These specific funding opportunities are designed to complement existing intramural and extramural grant programs, to explore new ideas, and to address unmet needs in vision research, with an emphasis on collaborative work and support of junior faculty and trainees.


Grant Summit Program
If you have recently applied for a vision-related federal grant that was scored but not funded, you are eligible for up to $10,000 for in funding for one year to gather additional data in support of a grant resubmission of the application. Guidelines & application

Walsh Graduate Student Support Initiative
In 2021, one grant of $12,000, generously supported by the David G. Walsh Fellowship Endowment, will be awarded to support a graduate student for one year. This funding may be used for tuition remission or other forms of graduate student support except attendance at meetings/conferences.

Winter 2022-23: Visiting Scholar Awards
These $2000 awards are given annually to enable members to host a visiting scholar with a goal of facilitating lasting collaborations and/or training in support of broad vision-related research including bioengineering, technology development, imaging, data visualization, cognitive psychology and/or neuroscience, ophthalmology, and general biology of the eye.

Spring 2023: Expanding Our Vision
Awards with a maximum budget of $10,000 each, for one year, will be given to advance vision-related research in the following areas: visual communication, visual cognition, visual perception/performance, data visualization, development of novel imaging techniques for the visual system, computer sciences, and/or bioinformatics.

AMD & RP Research Awards
The McPherson ERI is offering two awards of $50,000 to advance research in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and one award of $50,000 to advance research in retinitis pigmentosa (RP). These awards are funded by generous gifts from Roger and Lynn Van Vreede and the Robert A. Brandt Macular Degeneration Fund.


Winter 2022-23: Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship Award
One project in vision sciences is sponsored each year ($3000 to the undergraduate student; $1000 to the faculty mentor).

Fall and Spring Semesters: Walsh Research Travel Awards
These $1500 awards, supported by the David G. Walsh Research Fellowship Fund, provide support for MERI trainees to attend conferences in their field. Four awards are given annually; two each Fall, and two each Spring. The application period for the Fall awards begins in early August, with a submission deadline in the latter half of September. The application period for the Spring awards begins in early January, with a submission deadline in late February.

Spring 2023: Shapiro Summer Intern Match
This award, supported by the Dan and Ellie Albert Fund, provides matching funds ($2000) for medical student summer vision-related research.

Spring 2023: StoryForm Science Communication Course
This award sponsors six McPherson ERI trainees in attending the StoryForm Science Communication course offered each summer.

Fall 2023: Kenzi Valentyn Vision Research Awards
In honor of a remarkable young woman whose family has been integral in research fundraising, up to four $7500 grants will be offered in 2021 to advance vision research in McPherson ERI member labs. They also augment professional development and provide grant writing experience to trainees.

Winter 2023: Distinguished Paper Awards
Funded by our Cycle for Sight event, this award recognizes the outstanding work of our trainees and the breadth and depth of research conducted by MERI member laboratories.

Guidelines & Applications

For more information, or for a fillable application, please email

Grant Summit Program

Walsh Graduate Student Support Initiative

Visiting Scholar Awards

Expanding Our Vision

AMD & RP Research Awards

Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship Award

Walsh Research Travel Awards

Shapiro Summer Intern Match

StoryForm Science Course

Kenzi Valentyn Vision Research Award

Distinguished Paper Award