Accelerating Breakthrough Discoveries into Medicines

Gund-Harrington Scholar Award

The Gund-Harrington Scholar Award supports innovative research efforts that could prevent, treat or cure blindness.

The Gund-Harrington Scholar Award is part of the Gund-Harington Initiative for Fighting Blindness.

Up to five awards will be made in 2017.

Applicants have the opportunity to receive:

  • Funding totaling up to $900,000 over three years based on progress made towards milestones
  • Committed drug development and project management support through the Harrington Discovery Institute’s Innovation Support Center team of pharmaceutical experts for the 3 year term

Award Criteria:

  • The competition is open to scientists at accredited academic medical centers, research institutions and universities in the U.S. and Canada
  • Applicants must have a MD and/or PhD (or equivalent) and demonstrate exceptional promise.
  • Of particular interest is the targeting of pathways and processes that might affect retinal dystrophies and vision, with the ultimate goal of advancing translation of research into drugs and cell-based therapies. In most cases, device development is not supported.
  • Multidisciplinary investigators outside the field of retinal disease are particularly encouraged to apply

Areas of interest include:

  • Treatment strategies that are not gene specific, but might be broadly applicable across many patients
  • Therapies that may be effective in later stages of disease
  • Development of gene delivery vectors or gene modifying strategies that can be used as a general platform to target specific retinal cell types, deliver/correct genes with large coding regions, specifically target outer retinal cells and impact cells across the entire retinal area
  • Therapies that address juvenile macular degeneration
  • Regenerative medicine therapies that focus on stem cells differentiated into photoreceptor cells
  • Novel targets to address unmet need

Application Submission:

  1. Interested applicants are required to submit a Letter of Intent and CV no later than midnight EST on October 14, 2016.
  2. Selected applicants will then be invited to submit a full application. Final applications are due by midnight EST on January 13, 2017.

Curriculum Vitae:

Curriculum vitae for the Principal Investigator (PI) and all co-PI’s must accompany the Letter of Intent. No specific format is required, but the NIH biosketch format is encouraged.

Submission will be completed online at

Late submissions will not be accepted for any reason other than issues with Harrington Discovery Institute’s submission system. Proposals received by Harrington Discovery Institute after the deadline will not be reviewed.

Submission Instructions:

  • Please submit your application through
  • Click “Register Here” button and complete applicant registration and log in to your account. If you are a past applicant, click “Forgot Password” to be emailed a case-sensitive, temporary password.
  • Log into the system through
  • Click “My Profile” to input or update your contact information.
  • Click the “Home” button to return to the homepage, and click on the “Apply Now” button to complete and submit your full application.

Notification of Receipt:

Applicants will receive an email indicating that their submission has been received. If a confirmation is not received within 10 minutes, please email .


For questions about the Gund-Harrington Award or the application process, please email .

Description of Funding:

The awards are provided as milestone-driven payments totaling up to $900,000 over a three year timeframe. Up to 10% of the award may be requested as an upfront payment at the start of the award. Subsequent award payments will be made after the first milestone is completed and progress reviewed by the Foundation Fighting Blindness and Harrington Discovery Institute scientific teams and the drug development experts of the Harrington Discovery Institute’s Innovation Support Center.

Applications and award budgets should be built around key milestones. Milestones are key points in a project which represent reliable, quantifiable indicators/deliverables of the project’s progress, and are used to make decisions on further progress. The simple completions of tasks, or the passage of time, are not acceptable milestones. If an award is made, Harrington Discovery Institute’s Innovation Support Center will work with recipients to help refine and manage project milestones.

The project must be structured to deliver a lead product with strong potential for clinical and commercial application.

The awards are conditional on your meeting certain obligations and deliverables including:

  • Willingness to work collaboratively with Harrington Discovery Institute’s Innovation Support Center staff
  • Timely submission of financial and progress reports
  • Participation in an annual Foundation Fighting Blindness-Translational Research Acceleration Program (FFB-TRAP) Symposium organized by the Foundation Fighting Blindness
  • Participation in an annual Scientific Symposium, organized by Harrington Discovery Institute in Cleveland, Ohio on May 23-25, 2017

Awards may be terminated at any time. Continued support is dependent upon favorable scientific review of progress reports, milestones being met appropriately, and continued relevance of the work to the mission of Foundation Fighting Blindness.

For more information about Foundation Fighting Blindness visit

Apply Now

Dates to Know

October 14, 2016
Letter of Intent deadline

January 13, 2017
Full application deadline (for those invited)

April 2017
Awards announced