Overview of all 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
Generously supported by the David G. Walsh Fellowship Endowment, this grant of $12,000 is awarded once per year to support a UW-Madison graduate student working in a MERI member’s lab. This funding may be used for tuition remission or other forms of graduate student support (see here for some conditions on award use). Application period opens in October, with a submission deadline in December. Awardees will be notified in January and their funding will become available on March 1st. Now accepting submissions. Click here to apply.

Visiting Scholar Awards
These awards allow MERI members to bring a visiting scholar to their institution for 3-7 days, with the goal being to facilitate 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). Up to four $3000 awards are given each winter. MERI members at Wisconsin institutions outside of UW-Madison are eligible to apply. This award opportunity opens in December each year, with applications due in early February. Now accepting submissions! Click here to apply.

Spring 2024: 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. Click here for more details.

Glaucoma & Optic Neuropathies Research Award NEW!
Made possible by a generous gift from an anonymous donor, this award of $50,000 is given to advance research on either glaucoma or optic neuropathies. McPherson ERI members who are Principal Investigators at UW-Madison are eligible.Click here for more details.


Winter 2024-25: 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).

Walsh Research Travel Awards (Bi-Annual)
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. Click here for more details.

Spring 2024: 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. You can find more information on the Shapiro Summer Research Program here.

Spring 2024: StoryForm Science Communication Course
This award sponsors six McPherson ERI trainees in attending the StoryForm Science Communication course offered each summer.

Kenzi Valentyn Vision Research Awards (Annual)
In honor of a remarkable young woman whose family has been integral in research fundraising, each fall semester we offer multiple $7500 grants to advance vision research in McPherson ERI member labs, to augment professional development, and to provide grant writing experience to trainees. The application period for these awards opens each year on September 1st, with a submission deadline in the latter half of October. Click here for more details.

Distinguished Paper Awards (Annual)
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.Click here for more details.

Guidelines & Applications

For more information, or for a fillable application, please email info@vision.wisc.edu.

Member opportunities now open for application:

Trainee opportunities now open for application:

  • None available. Check back later.