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    MDFA-funded research

    One of Macular Disease Foundation Australia’s key objectives is to support research, with the aim of reducing the incidence and impact of macular disease. And so, in 2011, MDFA launched its Research Grants Program.

    Over the life of the Research Grants Program, MDFA has become the largest non-government source of research funds for macular disease in Australia.

    Key statistics of the Research Grants Program

    Total funds committed since 2011$4.1 million
    Research Grant funding pool 2021, to be allocated May 2021$1.1 million
    Number of projects funded since 201121 projects

    Of course, the ultimate aim of research is to make sight-saving discoveries for all macular conditions.  treatments and cures for all macular diseases. However, many MDFA-funded projects are directed to foundational research, which is crucial to our understanding of macular disease.

    Only Australian researchers, working at an Australian institution, are eligible for MDFA’s Research Grants Program funding.

    Research Grants review panel

    Applications for MDFA research funds are subject to a rigorous selection process. A panel assesses all applications. The assessment process is based largely on NHMRC processes, along with peer review, to ensure that successful applicants meet the highest standards.

    In the most recent round of Research Grants, the panel consisted of members of MDFA’s Research Committee and two guest panellists.

    MDFA panel members:

    • A/Prof Tony Kwan (Research Committee Chair)
    • Dr Fred Chen (Research Committee)
    • A/Prof Samantha Fraser-Bell (Research Committee)
    • Ms Dee Hopkins (MDFA CEO)
    • Ms Imelda Lynch (MDFA Board Member, Research Committee)
    • A/Prof Peter van Wijngaarden (Research Committee)

    Guest panellists:

    In 2021, MDFA also had two observers. These early career researchers and clinicians are engaged in eye research. The aim was to provide them with a better understanding of the process for assessing research applications. It’s hoped that the experience will help their future research careers.

    The observers did not vote on grant applications.

    MDFA thanks the panellists for contributing their time and expertise to the MDFA Research Grants Program.