Project information

Accelerating progress in sight loss research

Inherited retinal conditions are the most common cause of blindness in the working age population of the UK. We want to increase investment in pioneering research at a crucial time.

Twelve months

Charity information: Retina UK

Retina UK logo
  • Need


    People with inherited sight loss face unique challenges, as they live not only with visual impairment, but also with the knowledge of its inevitable onset and deterioration. Losing your sight can lead to depression, anxiety, social isolation and reduced quality of life, as well as difficulties with finding employment. We aim to do all we can to make these challenges a thing of the past.


    We will carefully invest the funds raised into the most promising medical research projects currently taking place. Our selective approach aims to achieve the maximum amount of progress.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Support researchers at multiple sites to deliver investigations into inherited sight loss.


    » Provide project-specific funding to laboratories in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Southampton, Newcastle and the Netherlands.

    What success will look like

    Researchers will be able to conduct some of the most exciting research into inherited sight loss, providing hope for the thousands of people affected in the UK.

    Aim 2

    Track progress and identify the most promising avenues of research.


    » Make use of the wealth of experience on our Medical Advisory Board to carefully evaluate the regular reports from our funded institutions.

    What success will look like

    We will be able to focus future funding on those areas most likely to generate the progress we want to see.

  • Impact


    Progressing a treatment which has the potential to halt or reverse sight loss would be life changing for the thousands of adults and children in the UK living with these conditions, and millions worldwide.

    At this stage, the research activity gives our community the opportunity to hope for a different future for themselves and their children. We seek feedback after delivering research updates at our information days and conferences to establish whether those present feel better informed.


    There is always a risk with medical research that the outcomes may not be as hoped. We mitigate this risk by ensuring that we select only the most promising projects led by the most talented researchers in the field. All research activity adds to our knowledge and narrows our focus for the future.


    Our researchers are required to generate scientific reports and papers. We will share regular reports in layman's terms in our thrice-yearly 'Look Forward' magazine, our website, via social media, e-newsletters, press releases and at our events for members and supporters.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £30,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £20,000 Research costs Proportion of designated research costs
      £8,071 Grants administration Proportion of grants administrator salary (inc. NI and pension)
      £1,089 AMRC membership Membership of the Association of Medical Research Charities
      £840 Medical Advisory Board Expenses relating to our Medical Advisory Board
  • Background


    The research will take place at the UK's leading eye research centres: UCL's Institute of Ophthalmology, the University of Manchester, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Southampton, the University of Newcastle and Radboud University (in the Netherlands).


    It is estimated that two million people worldwide are living with inherited sight loss caused by retinal conditions. These people face the progressive and unpredictable loss of their sight, the sense that the majority of people value the most, and it is unsurprising that many want to see accelerated progress in the development of potential treatments. The impact goes further than the individual affected, to encompass their family and friends.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Retina UK specialises in funding research into inherited sight loss caused by retinal conditions. Currently, just 0.93% of UK medical research funding is allocated to eye research. Surprisingly, the six largest charities in the sight loss sector do not fund any medical research, so smaller charities like Retina UK have taken on the challenge of stimulating, funding and evaluating complex medical research projects, calling on the skills of our Medical Advisory Board.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Tina Houlihan

    Tina is Chief Executive at Retina UK. She leads on the charity's research strategy and ensures that we operate within AMRC guidelines.

    Deborah Laing

    Deborah is Senior Fundraising Manager at Retina UK, and will ensure that updates are disseminated to donors and key stakeholders.