Department of Defense Vision Research Program Anticipated Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20)

Defense Health Program
Department of Defense Vision Research Program
Anticipated Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20)

The FY20 Defense Appropriations Act provides funding to the Department of Defense Vision Research Program (VRP) to support impactful military-relevant vision research. As directed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, the Defense Health Agency J9, Research and Development Directorate, manages the Defense Health Program (DHP) Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) appropriation. The managing agent for the anticipated Program Announcements/Funding Opportunities is the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC).

The VRP is providing the information in this pre-announcement to allow investigators time to plan and develop ideas for submission to the anticipated FY20 funding opportunity. This pre-announcement should not be construed as an obligation by the Government. The FY20 VRP Program Announcements and General Application Instructions for the following award mechanisms will be posted on the Grants.gov website. Pre-application and application deadlines will be available when the Program Announcements are released.

Applications submitted to the FY20 VRP must address at least one 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

https://cdmrp.army.mil/pubs/press/2020/20vrppreann

Award Mechanism

Eligibility

Key Mechanism Elements

Funding

Focused Translational Team Science Award (FTTSA)

  • Overall Lead Principal Investigator (PI) must be an independent investigator at or above the level of Associate Professor (or equivalent) with experience in developing and running large-scale initiatives.
  • Leaders of individual projects may be independent investigators at all academic levels (or equivalent).

Preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.

  • Supports a team initiative that leverages the strengths of investigators specializing in different fields to address an overarching scientific challenge or question and fundamentally advance the understanding and treatment of military-relevant vision trauma.
  • Overarching Challenge
    Investigators are encouraged to:
    • Consider barrier(s) to and/or gap(s) in the understanding, prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, and/or treatment of eye injury or visual dysfunction associated with a military-relevant trauma and envision what may be achievable in 10 to 15 years.
    • Identify, based on the long-term vision, what should and can be achieved in the near term.
    • Design projects and research teams around these considerations.
  • Research Projects
    • The team science proposal shall include at least three (3) but no more than five (5) distinct research projects that together form a concerted and synergistic effort that advances a solution beyond what would be possible through individual efforts.
    • Preliminary data to support the feasibility of each project are required.
    • May include, as a portion of the proposed research, a pilot clinical trial component that collects preliminary data to inform the feasibility, rationale, and design of subsequent clinical trials.
  • Research Team
    • The overall lead PI must have demonstrated success in leading large collaborative research projects.
    • The overall lead PI must devote a minimum of 20% effort.
    • Project leader of each of the complementary and synergistic research projects must be an independent investigator with strong qualifications.
    • Must have a detailed Implementation Plan for participating research groups to coordinate efforts, facilitate collaboration, and create synergy.
  • Maximum funding of $5,000,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • The maximum period of performance is years.

Investigator-Initiated Research Award (IIRA)

Independent investigators at all academic levels (or equivalent).

Preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.

  • Supports studies that will yield highly impactful discoveries or major advancements.
  • Funding Level 1 supports exploratory, high-risk/high-reward research in the earliest stages of development.
    • Research must have the potential to yield new avenues of investigation, such as new approaches, new research tools, or new paradigms.
    • While preliminary data are not required, applicants must provide solid rationale of the research idea.
    • The investigating team must have sufficient expertise to test the idea.
  • Funding Level 2 supports the advancement of more mature research that has the potential to make significant advancements toward clinical translation.
    • Preliminary data supporting the readiness and feasibility of the proposed research are required.
  • The PI is responsible for selecting the funding level most appropriate for the research proposed. The funding level should be selected based on the scope of the research project, rather than the amount of the budget.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.

Funding Level 1:

  • Maximum funding of $260,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • The maximum period of performance is years.

Funding Level 2:

  • Maximum funding of $750,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • The maximum period of performance is 3 years.

Translational Research Award (TRA)

Independent investigators at all academic levels (or equivalent).

Preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.

  • Supports translational research that moves promising laboratory research into clinical applications.
  • It is expected that an IND or IDE application will be submitted during or by the end of the period of performance.
  • Preliminary data are required.
  • May include, as a portion of the proposed research, a pilot clinical trial component that collects preliminary data to inform the feasibility, rationale, and design of subsequent clinical trials.
  • Maximum funding of $1,000,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • The maximum period of performance is years.

A pre-application is required and must be submitted through the electronic Biomedical Research Application Portal (eBRAP) at https://eBRAP.org prior to the pre-application deadline. All applications must conform to the final Program Announcements and General Application Instructions that will be available for electronic downloading from the Grants.gov website. The application package containing the required forms for each award mechanism will also be found on Grants.gov. A listing of all CDMRP and other USAMRDC extramural funding opportunities can be obtained on the Grants.gov website by performing a basic search using CFDA Number 12.420. 

Submission deadlines are not available until the Program Announcements are released. For email notification when Program Announcements are released, subscribe to program-specific news and updates under “Email Subscriptions” on the eBRAP homepage at https://eBRAP.org. For more information about the VRP or other CDMRP-administered programs, please visit the CDMRP website (https://cdmrp.army.mil).

Point of Contact:

CDMRP Public Affairs
301-619-9783