CVS Pilot Funds for Vision Research

Submission Deadline

Deadline to submit is June 3, 2024 at 5PM EDT.

Combine all documents requested in the required materials list into a pdf and email to


To promote innovative pilot research at the Center for Visual Science to help applicants establish collaborative novel research in vision science.

The CVS Pilot Funds Program aims to:

  1. foster collaboration across CVS members from different areas of research
  2. collect pilot data for future grant applications (preferably R01 mechanism from the National Eye Institute)


  • All CVS Faculty are eligible to apply
  • Applicants must have a strong track record of research productivity and provide evidence that no alternative funds are available for the project. Applications that merely extend an ongoing research program are not eligible
  • Each application should have at least two co-applicants, each having a primary faculty appointment in a different department and/or complementary areas of research. Co-applicants with or without prior record of collaboration are eligible to apply, but priority will be given to new collaborations
  • Faculty should direct the funds towards acquisition of pilot data for a full grant application, preferably an R01 from the National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute
  • Faculty can be applicants or co-applicants in more than one application
  • Faculty who received funding previously through the CVS Pilot Funds mechanism can apply, but priority will be given to first-time applicants.
  • Faculty who receives funding will be expected to review applications in future funding cycles.


Budget requests up to $50,000 will be considered for a one-year period; due to the specific nature of the source of funds for this mechanism, no-cost extensions are not allowed. Funds may not be used for faculty salary, teaching relief, or travel..

A minimum of 2 CVS Pilot Funds will be awarded per year, although this number may increase with top-up funding from other departments in any given year. Secured top-up funding for 2024 comes from The Institute of Optics, the Department of Brain and Cognitive Science (BCS), and the Flaum Eye Institute (FEI). As per contributing Department Chair requests:

  • Grants co-funded by the Institute of Optics should include in their budget funding for an Optics graduate or undergraduate student to participate in the project
  • Grants co-funded by FEI should include a Co-PI from FEI
  • Grants co-funded by BCS should include a Co-PI from BCS

Review Process

Each grant will be reviewed by 3 faculty sampled broadly from within CVS, as well as outside of CVS as needed. All review scores and comments will then be provided to a review committee comprised of the CVS Director (Susana Marcos), Associate Director (Krystel Huxlin) and Director of Training (Duje Tadin), who will make final funding decisions and communicate them to applicants.

Proposals that respond to the Center for Visual Science’s vision for excellence and impact, and that contribute to increased engagement between members of the vision science community will be most valued. The committee will evaluate the innovation, approach, and significance of the proposed research, the synergistic nature of the interdepartmental proposed collaboration, and the likelihood of the proposed research to achieve further funding in federal programs. Pilot Research that can boost applications for an NIH (NEI) R01 grant will be highly considered, as such applications will reinforce CVS’ P30 Core Grant and T32 Training Grant requirements.

Post-Award Follow-Up and Progress Report

Within two months of the end of the funding period, the faculty member involved should submit a written final report.


Please direct any questions to