Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs -- Vision Research Program -- Investigator-Initiated Research Award

Funding Agency:
Department of Defense

The FY20 VRP IIRA is intended to support studies that will yield highly impactful discoveries or major advancements in the research and/or patient care of eye injury and/or visual dysfunction as related to military-relevant trauma.

Applications involving multidisciplinary collaborations among academia, industry, the military Services, the VA, and other Federal Government agencies are highly encouraged.

To support research projects at different stages and the exploration/development of ideas of different maturity levels, two different funding levels are available under this Program Announcement. When submitting the pre-application, it is the responsibility of the applicant organization to select the funding level that is most appropriate for the research proposed. The funding level should be selected based on the stage and maturity level of the research project, rather than the amount of the budget.

Funding Level 1 supports exploratory, innovative, high-risk/high-reward research that is in the earliest stages of idea development. Research must have the potential to yield new avenues of investigation, such as new approaches, new research tools, or new paradigms.

Funding Level 2 supports the advancement of more mature research toward clinical translation. The research idea or solution should be innovative or novel, or offer significant refinements, improvements, or new applications existing ideas or solutions, as applicable.


• Required Pre-Application Submission Deadline: July 28, 2020

• Application Submission Deadline:  November 18, 2020

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

To meet the intent of the award mechanism, applications to the FY20 VRP Investigator-Initiated Research Award (IIRA) must address research in one or more of the following Focus Areas:

  • Eye injury or visual dysfunction as related to a military-relevant traumatic event. Examples of military-relevant trauma may include, but are not limited to: ○ Blast, penetrating, blunt, thermal, or chemical trauma ○ Trauma caused by directed energy weapons such as laser, high-power microwaves, and particle beams
  • Diagnosis, stabilization, and treatment of eye injuries in austere environments and prolonged field care settings
  • Restoration of visual function after trauma-related vision loss or severe visual impairment

Eligibility Requirements

Independent investigators at all academic levels (or equivalent) may be named by the organization as the Principal Investigator (PI) on the application. An eligible PI, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, or citizenship status, must be employed by, or affiliated with, an eligible organization.

Amount Description

The anticipated direct costs budgeted for the entire period of performance for an FY20 VRP IIRA Funding Level 1 will not exceed $260,000. The anticipated direct costs budgeted for the entire period of performance for an FY20 VRP IIRA Funding Level 2 will not exceed $750,000. Refer to Section II.D.5, Funding Restrictions, for detailed funding information.

Funding Type



Junior Faculty
Medical Fellow/Resident
Post Doctoral Fellows


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

July 28, 2020