Frequently Asked Questions

To apply for the Fellowship/Training Award, you must have completed your training in ophthalmology and wish to work on a specific research project as part of your training to become a retinal specialist.

Click here to review the eligibility criteria for the Fellowship/Training Award

To apply for the Research Award, you must have an MD and/or a PhD, and be affiliated with an institution that carries out research in ophthalmology, e.g. a medical school, university, hospital, treatment centre or laboratory. Additionally, at the time of application, it is strongly preferred that applicants have received their ophthalmic specialist qualification within the past 10 years or are currently in training towards receiving it; PhD applicants should have received their PhD qualification within the past 10 years when they apply.

If an applicant does not fulfill the eligibility criteria because they qualified as an ophthalmology specialist or received their PhD more than 10 years ago, their Letter of Intent (LOI) will still be evaluated by Grants Review and Awards Committee (GRAC) without consideration of this criterion. If their LOI application is successful, a Full Proposal submission will be requested. If this is the case, it is strongly advised that the application is made by a more junior or aspiring ophthalmologist that can pursue the research under the applicant’s supervision, thus meeting the program’s purpose. Only in cases of exceptionally impactful proposals, or if the applicant provides evidence for mitigating or extenuating circumstances, will the GRAC agree to override this eligibility criterion.

Click here to review the eligibility criteria for the Research Award

Applicants who have received funding for an Award may reapply the following year for funding, so long as they do not apply for the same type of award. No applicant may receive either type of award more than once.

Yes. Multiple applications from the same institution (e.g. university, hospital or ophthalmology centre) are permitted; however, a maximum of one award will be granted to a single institution per year.

No. Multiple applications from the same group of researchers at an institution (e.g. those working in the same laboratory or department) are not permitted.

Both the Research Award and Fellowship/Training Award have a duration of 1 year from receipt of funding. Justified exceptions to this guideline can be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

Please remember to complete all sections of the form, including contact email address, word counts (where required), and to note that you are the primary investigator.

As part of the initial application, applicants applying for the Research Award will be asked to also:

  • Disclose any funding they receive from other programs or commercial organizations
  • State the number of vision science-related publications (PubMed-indexed) they have authored to date
  • Indicate the proportion (%) of their time that they would be able to dedicate to this research if funded
  • Outline potential future plans/research in relation to this application that could be shaped by the funding of their research proposal

The GRAC reviews all applications and assigns a numeric score to each. LOIs are then ranked by score to determine which applicants will move forward in the application process and be asked to submit a Full Proposal. You can download the LOI template for each award category from the GOAP awards website:

Click here to see the review guidelines for the Fellowship/Training Award

Click here to see the review guidelines for the Research Award

Full Proposal

Following selection of your LOI application by the GRAC, you will be emailed a Full Proposal template that will allow you to describe the proposed project in more detail. Completed Full Proposal forms must be electronically submitted to the Program Secretariat at:

Click here to see the deadline for submission of your Full Proposal

Your Full Proposal should contain background information on the project rationale, a description of the methods in sufficient detail to demonstrate project feasibility, and an explanation of how the project is relevant to the field of retinal ophthalmology. Additionally, you should indicate how the proposed project might translate into tangible benefits for patients with retinal disorders. You will have to provide justification for the budget, specifically highlighting the amount to be used on salary and the purchase of consumables and equipment, as well as any indirect costs.

Priority will be given to applicants with relevant research focus when ranked for funding. Priority will be given to projects relating to the current research focus.

Click here to see the research focus

Some important aspects to include in your Full Proposal to make it stand out include:

  • A clear hypothesis to be tested
  • Power calculations for patient numbers/sample sizes
  • A detailed breakdown and justification of the requested budget

In addition, if the project forms part of a larger research initiative, the GOAP-funded aspects should be clearly delineated.

All applicants are required to notify the Program Secretariat if there is a change in their application. For example, if there is a significant change in the award recipient’s circumstances (e.g. a change of address or institution), the award recipient must describe these changes and explain how they might affect the use of awarded funds.

Funding decisions will be made at the annual meeting of the GRAC. If you have been successful in your Full Proposal application, you will be notified of your success by August, when you will be asked to sign a letter of acceptance.

The first instalment of your grant will be provided by the end of the year.

The decision of the GRAC is final and is not subject to appeal or discussion. Should your Full Proposal application be unsuccessful, written feedback from the GRAC will be available.

Successful Application

You will be required to submit a progress report at the end of the research period. If your research exceeds 12 months, an interim report needs to be submitted at 12 months. Final reports are due 60 days after the end of your research.

Award funding is provided to the institution for use exclusively by the award recipient for the awarded project. Thus, Bayer must be notified of any changes to the award recipient’s circumstances. Award recipients must contact the Program Secretariat to describe these changes and explain how they might affect the use of awarded funds. In case the award recipient changes institution before completion of the awarded project, the transfer of the award to the new institution will be at the sole discretion of Bayer.

For applications to GOAP, applicants will be required to describe how their proposed research will translate into clinical benefits for patients with retinal diseases and for healthcare professionals providing care. The applications that offer the most compelling translational opportunities will be given greater weight during the review process. Priority will be given to projects relating to the current research focus.

Click here to see the research focus

Applicants requesting an award to carry out research with recombinant molecules and/or animal or human subjects must obtain approval from the appropriate institutional or government authorities, e.g. an institutional review board. If an institute does not require special permission for using recombinant molecules, then this must be communicated to the Program Secretariat. Bayer can provide assistance with this process if requested.

Copies of appropriate permissions must be received before any award funds will be paid. The applicant’s institution is responsible for ensuring that the rights of any human subjects are upheld and that animals are cared for in a humane manner.

The project must meet certain Bayer international standards for clinical trials and conform to all local safety reporting regulations.

Patient safety is the primary concern in any clinical study, so the company will not release funds for the clinical trial until both the company and the investigators agree on the safety and suitability of the trial. In addition, relevant patient safety data must be supplied to the appropriate Bayer safety officer.

For more information on Bayer’s worldwide standards, please visit the link below:

Bayer encourages award recipients to publish work carried out under the award; this includes abstract submission to congresses. Award recipients must acknowledge the receipt of funding from GOAP in publications and abstracts describing research conducted using awards provided by the program. Award recipients are required to communicate to the Program Secretariat the references of any peer-reviewed publications or oral/poster congress presentation.

Award recipients should acknowledge support from Bayer and the program in the acknowledgements of publications using the following approved wording:

“Funding for this research was supported by the Global Ophthalmology Awards Program (GOAP), a Bayer-sponsored initiative committed to supporting ophthalmic research across the world”.

Award recipients are required to communicate to the Program Secretariat the references of any peer-reviewed publications or oral/poster congress presentations.

For normal projects not exceeding 1 year, you will receive 75% of the funds at the start of the project and 25% after submission of a final report.

In exceptional circumstances where the project exceeds 1 year, you will receive 50% of funds at the start of the project, a second instalment of 25% upon receipt of the interim 12-month report and the remaining 25% after submission of a final report.

The release of funds is dependent on the appropriate documents being submitted at the correct times. For more information on the disbursement of funds, please contact:

Yes. However, information regarding additional funding must be made clear on the Full Proposal form.

If additional funding is requested and received after the start of your project, Bayer needs to be notified.

If the project for which GOAP funding has been requested forms part of a larger research initiative, all GOAP-funded aspects must be clearly separable from the other work; GOAP-funded aspects must have a clear hypothesis and results should be written up as a stand-alone piece of work.

Yes, if you must. However, we want as much of the award to go to the research project as possible, so priority will be given to awards without overheads. If, however, your institution requires overheads, these will need to be paid out of the amount funded, not in addition to it. The maximum overhead payment will be 20% of the project funding, i.e.:

  • An application requesting $30,000 of project-related funds, can have a maximum overhead of $6,000
  • The maximum overhead for a $50,000 award is $8,333 (20% of $41,667 of project funding)
  • Project funding above $41,667 up to $50,000 is possible, with lower or zero overheads
  • While many institutions require an overhead for contract research, we believe that lower or zero overheads are justified, as a request for funding your own projects, which are not designed or mandated by Bayer

What am I allowed to expense?

  • Salary and fringe benefits
  • Equipment and supplies necessary to fulfil the aims of the project
  • Travel expenses directly related to the implementation of the project
  • Costs associated with the publication of the research

What am I not allowed to expense?

  • Salaries, travel and/or housing related to sabbaticals
  • Purchase or rental of office equipment
  • Fees for tuition (unless part of the Fellowship/Training Award proposal)
  • Membership dues, congress/meeting registrations and travel, subscriptions, books or journal articles (unless part of the Fellowship/Training Award proposal)

All awardees are required to submit a statement from their institution stating that the grant has been received. You will be required to submit a financial report at the end of the research period. If your research exceeds 12 months, an interim report needs to be submitted at 12 months. Final reports are due 60 days after the end of your research.

Bayer reserves the right to terminate support of a funded project in case both Bayer and Award Recipient consider continuation of the respective project as no longer reasonable.

All unexpended funds must be returned to Bayer.

No. The exceptions are research laboratories and academic institutions that may exist as part of a hospital that is run for profit. If in doubt about eligibility, please contact:

Because it is important to Bayer as well as to investigators/institutions that inventions are patented properly, Bayer encourages investigators to protect their inventions.

Bayer will evaluate an invention for patentability before the applicant is free to publish the results. In this case, publications include any oral presentation and electronic information transfer in addition to the publication of manuscripts and abstracts. If Bayer decides that the invention should be patented, the investigator is not permitted to publish anything until the relevant patent applications have been filed. This is in the best interests of the investigator, the host institution, and Bayer.

There may be important scientific interactions between Bayer and the applicants as the research progresses. Jointly developed intellectual property will be protected with joint patent applications in which the corporate inventors are co-applicants. Bayer will share the ownership of such jointly developed intellectual property with the sponsored investigators.

The award recipient must inform as soon as possible if they are receiving funding from other agencies or companies that may prevent them from signing the award agreement or complying with its provisions.

If the award recipient’s institution chooses not to file any patent application arising from work performed under a grant from the program, Bayer may seek the option to file such a patent application on the invention on behalf of the award recipient. It will be the responsibility of the award recipient to assist in the preparation of such patent applications and to preserve their confidentiality. In this case, Bayer will pay the cost of patent preparation and filing, and the patents will be assigned to Bayer.