Application Guidance and Advice

Directions from the organisers

Read all sections of this website thoroughly before completing a Letter of Intent (LOI) or Full Proposal. It is highly likely that if you have any questions concerning the program, the answer will be found within the site. If not, contact the Program Secretariat (goap@bayer.com) for further clarification.

Clarity

Include 3–5 specific aims and state the hypothesis, where relevant, upfront. Reviewers will be asking themselves the following questions when they read each application:

Research award:

  • Is the hypothesis clear?
  • Are the experiments properly designed to test the hypothesis?
  • Will the experiments be performed and interpreted carefully?

Fellowship award:

  • Is the applicant clear about what they will be doing over the course of the year in terms of their research and clinical program?
  • Is the applicant clear about how the training will improve their skills and abilities when treating patients with retinal diseases?

Openness

Acknowledge competing hypotheses, funding opportunities and time constraints. What are the pitfalls of the approaches proposed?

Attention to detail

Check your LOI and Full Proposal for errors, e.g. references not correlating with text, spelling mistakes, etc.

Timelines

Notify your institute's administrators that you are making an application in good time before the application is due. Internal institutional approval is often multi-layered and can be time consuming. Please ensure, before you commence your application, that the Awards Terms and Conditions are acceptable to your institution to save you unnecessary work.

Budget

Ask for the appropriate amount of money you need to do the work. If you overestimate the budget, the reviewers are likely to cut it by more than the overestimation.

Ensure that your application is consistent. Your budget must agree with the activities you propose. Justify everything you propose in your budget and why you need it. Do not assume that anything will be obvious to the reviewers.

Advice from the Grants Review and Awards Committee (GRAC)

Assistant Professor Li-Jia Chen

Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
 

The study should be well planned and the objective(s) should be of impact to the field or of interest to a certain audience. The methods and design should be valid and the project should be presented logically, followed by sound and in-depth discussion.

 
Assistant Professor Li-Jia Chen

Assistant Professor Li-Jia Chen

Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
 

The study should be well planned and the objective(s) should be of impact to the field or of interest to a certain audience. The methods and design should be valid and the project should be presented logically, followed by sound and in-depth discussion.

Assistant Professor Mahyar Etminan

University of British Columbia, Canada
 

Choose a project that can be completed within the allotted time and choose mentors who are able to guide you through the project.

 
Assistant Professor Mahyar Etminan

Assistant Professor Mahyar Etminan

University of British Columbia, Canada
 

Choose a project that can be completed within the allotted time and choose mentors who are able to guide you through the project.

Associate Professor Fred Kuanfu Chen

Lions Eye Institute, University of Western Australia, Australia
 

Put yourself in the patient’s shoes and address the most relevant clinical questions that will make a difference to the patient’s care.
Do a thorough literature search and challenge the conclusions from previous research. Just because something has been done before it doesn’t mean it has been done well. All experiments can be repeated using a better methodology with the potential of finding the opposite results previously published. Don’t give up!

 
Associate Professor Fred Kuanfu Chen

Associate Professor Fred Kuanfu Chen

Lions Eye Institute, University of Western Australia, Australia
 

Put yourself in the patient’s shoes and address the most relevant clinical questions that will make a difference to the patient’s care.
Do a thorough literature search and challenge the conclusions from previous research. Just because something has been done before it doesn’t mean it has been done well. All experiments can be repeated using a better methodology with the potential of finding the opposite results previously published. Don’t give up!

Dr Ana Raquel Sarabando Santiago

Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal
 

After writing the first draft, send it to colleagues and ask for feedback.

 
Dr Ana Raquel Sarabando Santiago

Dr Ana Raquel Sarabando Santiago

Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal
 

After writing the first draft, send it to colleagues and ask for feedback.

Dr Aniruddha Agarwal

Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA
 

My advice to all the prospective applicants would be that all applications must be thoroughly reviewed for their scientific content and plausibility.
The project must be designed with a definite plan to complete in a timely manner. Ideally, the recruitment and interventions should be completed within 6 months to 1 year. The analysis can then be conducted during the remaining period of the fellowship.

 
Dr Aniruddha Agarwal

Dr Aniruddha Agarwal

Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA
 

My advice to all the prospective applicants would be that all applications must be thoroughly reviewed for their scientific content and plausibility.
The project must be designed with a definite plan to complete in a timely manner. Ideally, the recruitment and interventions should be completed within 6 months to 1 year. The analysis can then be conducted during the remaining period of the fellowship.

Dr Diego Ponzin

Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto, Italy
 

Focus your research proposals and projects on topics that could eventually lead to clinical applications, first-in-human studies and pharmacological approaches.

 
Dr Diego Ponzin

Dr Diego Ponzin

Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto, Italy
 

Focus your research proposals and projects on topics that could eventually lead to clinical applications, first-in-human studies and pharmacological approaches.

Dr Frank Verbraak

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
 

Try to find a subject that is original and try to involve a multidisciplinary team in your research.

 
Dr Frank Verbraak

Dr Frank Verbraak

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
 

Try to find a subject that is original and try to involve a multidisciplinary team in your research.

Dr Paul Steptoe

Regiment Military Hospital, Sierra Leone
 

It is important to define a clear question at the beginning of your research journey. Try and find a novel angle, which has clinical relevance and is something that you feel passionate about.

 
Dr Paul Steptoe

Dr Paul Steptoe

Regiment Military Hospital, Sierra Leone
 

It is important to define a clear question at the beginning of your research journey. Try and find a novel angle, which has clinical relevance and is something that you feel passionate about.

Dr Rocio Blanco Garavito

Centre Hospitalier Intercommunal de Créteil, France
 

Be clear and concise in your Letter of Intent (LOI) and Full Proposal (FP).

 
Dr Rocio Blanco Garavito

Dr Rocio Blanco Garavito

Centre Hospitalier Intercommunal de Créteil, France
 

Be clear and concise in your Letter of Intent (LOI) and Full Proposal (FP).

Dr Shyamanga Borooah

University of California, San Diego, CA, USA
 

Plan ahead and set up collaborations early! Ensure you have a clear goal with tangible outcomes, and be focused in your approach.

 
Dr Shyamanga Borooah

Dr Shyamanga Borooah

University of California, San Diego, CA, USA
 

Plan ahead and set up collaborations early! Ensure you have a clear goal with tangible outcomes, and be focused in your approach.

Dr Tiarnan Keenan

Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Honorary Research Fellow, University of Manchester, UK
 

Define carefully the scope and limits of the research project, setting realistic goals that can be achieved within the time-frame. Use this opportunity to collaborate with the best in the field!

 
Dr Tiarnan Keenan

Dr Tiarnan Keenan

Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Honorary Research Fellow, University of Manchester, UK
 

Define carefully the scope and limits of the research project, setting realistic goals that can be achieved within the time-frame. Use this opportunity to collaborate with the best in the field!

Professor Anneke den Hollander

Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Netherlands
 

Describe how your results should be interpreted and what the clinical relevance of your findings is.

 
Professor Anneke den Hollander

Professor Anneke den Hollander

Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Netherlands
 

Describe how your results should be interpreted and what the clinical relevance of your findings is.