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Fight for Sight, Inc.
June 29, 2010

Fight for Sight fills an important need in developing the careers of young people. It does so by funding research grants to undergraduate and graduate students working in the laboratory of a mentor (who are leading scientists), giving the exposure to an actual research project and experience in preparing a proposal. In addition, FFS funds grants to postdoctoral fellows to provide them with further training in research and proposal writing, again in laboratories of leading vision scientists. Finally, FFS also provides startup grants to new young faculty members to enable them to initiate their research programs. This latter function is particularly important as there are few avenues for new faculty to obtain outside funding. Grants from the NIH usually require significant amounts of preliminary data and FFS grants are one of the few ways new faculty members can gain the funding to obtain such data. Funding from FFS is important in helping to feed the pipeline of researchers and give future research stars a chance to succeed. The first research grant I received as a new faculty member (24 years ago) was from FFS and it was critical in helping me start my new laboratory. Since then I have become internationally recognized for the work that my laboratory has done and I have trained several doctoral students, residents, masters students, and visiting scientists. Because I feel FFS is so critical in helping to develop future vision scientists I have been volunteering to review grants for several years now and three years ago agreed to chair one of the review committees. Even though this requires a significant time committment it is important. FFS is unique in that there are few, if any, organizations that fill this particular niche.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

They helped get my career as a faculty member started and I have seen several grantees,whose proposals I reviewed, go on to have successful careers in vision research and make significant discoveries that improved health.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would like to be able to give out more grants to promote young people and eye research.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing young researchers go on to successful careers making important advances in vision.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, caring, and helpful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide more support for young scientists by giving larger awards and more of them.

Ways to make it better...

they were able to distribute more funds.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

administratively coordinating the review process and raising more funds for research.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I serve as chair of the anterior segment grant review panel, guiding the discussion of the research proposals and review proposals myself.