Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs -- Vision Research Program -- Translational Research Award

Funding Agency:
Department of Defense

The FY21 VRP TRA is intended to support translational research that moves promising discoveries into clinical applications that will advance the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, and/or treatment of eye injury or visual dysfunction associated with military-relevant trauma.

Successful applications to the FY21 VRP TRA should establish a clear path to transform a discovery into new drugs, devices, or clinical practice guidelines that are ready for definitive testing in clinical trials. It is expected that, if applicable, an Investigational New Drug (IND)/ Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) application will be submitted during or by the end of the period of performance. To facilitate the preparation for IND/IDE application, the investigative team should include at least one collaborator with expertise in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory approval process.

New for FY21: Applicants are encouraged to leverage resources and expertise at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) to improve efficiency and accelerate the translational process. A list of NCATS programs and resources supporting preclinical innovation can be found at


• Required Pre-Application Submission Deadline: July 21, 2021

• Application Submission Deadline:  November 16, 2021

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

To meet the intent of the award mechanism, applications to the FY21 VRP Translational Research Award (TRA) 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 FY21 VRP Translational Research Award will not exceed $1,000,000. Refer to Section II.D.5, Funding Restrictions, for detailed funding information.

Funding Type



Junior Faculty
Medical Fellow/Resident
Post Doctoral Fellows


Engineering and Physical Sciences
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

July 21, 2021