The Macular Society has an annual grant application round for Research grants and PhD studentships.

We will consider applications for clinical or laboratory-based research projects which can positively impact people with macular disease. This may include research into causes and prevention, early detection, treatments or improving quality of life. Researchers are welcome to submit grant applications to carry out research on any type of macular disease.

We strongly advise researchers to read the Macular Society's Research Strategy 2020-2030 (see below) and the guidance provided in Information about our grants when preparing their grant applications. We also recommend looking at the Research Impact Report (see below) produced in 2019.

Any queries should be sent to

On this page:

Research grants

Grants of up to £300,000 over three years are available for research at UK institutions only.

Projects can be for the maximum term or for a shorter period (e.g. two years), as long as the project is deemed to be good value for money.

PhD studentships

Studentships of up to £120,000 are available to cover a stipend, fees and consumables over three years.

PhD students should be based at a UK institution and a graduate in a relevant subject.

Payment of PhD fees will be limited to the home rate. Students required to pay the international rate can still be recruited but will need to cover the balance from other sources.

PhD students should be awarded a stipend in line with the current UKRI rate, as a minimum. Stipends may increase each year of the project to account for inflation.

The scientific merit of the research project, its suitability as a PhD project and the research and training environment provided by the host department are all taken into account when assessing the applications.

PhD studentships can focus on any of the following:

  • basic research
  • epidemiology
  • clinical research
  • gene therapy
  • stem cells
  • visual rehabilitation
  • new technology.

Application process

There is a two-stage application process for both types of grant:

Stage one – preliminary application

Preliminary applications are reviewed by our research committee and lay panel and shortlisted by the research committee. Successful applicants are invited to complete a full application.

The closing date this year for preliminary applications is 5pm 31 May 2024.

Stage two – full application

Full applications are sent to external reviewers for peer review and our lay panel. The research committee then meets to consider the full applications and peer review feedback.

A final decision is made by the board of trustees. Applications should be submitted to

Please note: as a charity, we cannot contribute to university overheads. You can read more about projects we are currently funding here.

Luminita Paraoan team in laboratory

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You can find more information about the research we fund, the application process, and guidance on how to apply. Here you can also find the Research Strategy.

Researcher in laboratory

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Beating macular disease through funding medical research and improving the lives of those living with macular disease.