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Our funding policies are intended to encourage research and project activities of the highest quality, carried out to the highest standards.

Grant conditions

Our grant conditions, together with the award letter set out the terms and conditions on which we make our grants. 

Position statements

Moorfields Eye Charity supports the policy statements of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC).

This includes their positioning on supporting research in universities and the use of animals in research.

In addition, we have carefully considered our own view of the use of animals in research.

Our position on the use of animals in research

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Our sight is a critically important sense but it is estimated that by 2050, there will be four million people in the UK living with sight loss. Research into better treatments is vital if we are to help reduce this number.

Currently, Moorfields Eye Charity funds research worth around £2.5 million every year. A small part of our funding goes on research where there is no alternative to involve animals.

4 million

Around 4 million people in the UK will be living with sight loss by 2050.


We invest around £2.5 million every year into research aiming to save or protect people’s sight.

Huge progress has been made in understanding and treating many eye conditions in recent years. Much of this has been made possible by earlier studies involving animals.

For example, there have been great advances in the development of a number of clinical trials using gene and stem cell-based therapies for macular and inherited retinal diseases. Research in this area is a pivotal point where there is great potential for even great advances and translation of treatments into the clinic.

There are strict rules around research involving animals and the law is clear that for example drugs must be tested on animals before they are given to humans.

However, we will only fund medical research involving animals where it is absolutely necessary to improve prevention and treatment of eye disease and where there is no alternative.

Moorfields Eye Charity believes that all research should be carried out with a high regard for animal welfare.

That’s why part of our rigour review process ensures that grant applicants have considered and taken all possible steps to replace the use of animals, reduce the numbers used and refine procedures so the degree of suffering for animals is kept to the absolute minimum (the 3Rs).

Our open access policy

We believe that maximising the dissemination of research and scholarly publications – by providing free, online access – is the most effective way of ensuring that the work we fund can be accessed, read and built upon.

Our open access policy applies to all grants that have been wholly or partly funded by the charity. 


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Open access means making research publications freely available so anyone can benefit from reading and using research.

Open access not only enables published research to be read, but also allows others to re-use that research. The main output of research and scholarly endeavours is new ideas and knowledge, which we expect our grant holders to publish in high-quality, peer-reviewed research articles, monographs and book chapters or other appropriate avenues relevant to the subject area of research, clinical practice, education or service improvement.

Scope of the policy

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This policy applies to all peer-reviewed articles and appropriate scholarly publications where the whole or part of the work has been funded by Moorfields Eye Charity. It also applies to grants awarded through our Research Enhancement Award programme in support of open access charges.

Open access requirements

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We support the ideal of unrestricted access to the published output of research and scholarly findings as a fundamental part of our charitable mission and a public benefit to be encouraged wherever possible.

Specifically we,

  1. expect authors of research papers, monographs, case reports, audits and book chapters to maximise the opportunities to make their results available for free
  2. expect Moorfields Eye Charity-funded researchers to select publishing routes that ensure the work is available immediately on publication in its final published form, wherever such options exist for their publisher of choice and are compliant with our policy
  3. require that one of these two routes to making publications open access is selected:
    1. Green open access - The final peer reviewed article is deposited in an electronic depository. Access to the research output can be granted either immediately or after an embargo period
    2. Gold open access – The final peer reviewed article is published in a way that allows immediate access to everyone free of charge.
  4. encourage – and where we pay an open access fee, require – authors and publishers to licence research papers using the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) so they may be freely copied and re-used (for example, for text- and data-mining purposes or by creating a translation), provided that such uses are fully attributed (CC-BY is also the preferred licence for monographs and book chapters).
  5. will provide grant holders reasonable additional funding to cover open access charges, where appropriate, in order to meet our requirements.

Family friendly policy for our PhD students

We are committed to support students undertaking Moorfields Eye Charity-funded PhD studentship in the event of pregnancy and becoming a parent.


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Full time graduate research students are registered with their university to complete their PhD. However, they are not employees and will not normally be eligible for statutory maternity pay (SMP). The amount of support, if any, that they can receive if taking parental leave will depend on their grant’s terms and conditions and funder’s policy on parental leave, and the university’s parental leave policy and any locally available funds.

Therefore, we have agreed a policy to support eligible PhD students taking maternity, parental or adoption leave.

Scope of the policy

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This policy applies to full time, registered, students who are pregnant or have recently given birth or adopted a child; or if their partner is pregnant or has recently given birth or adopted a child. In order to receive a paid leave they must also meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • be in receipt of a Moorfields Eye Charity funded PhD Studentship
  • be registered with their host institution to do a graduate research degree
  • be in the course of completing a graduate research degree
  • have provided the required paperwork for notification of pregnancy or adoption

Support we offer

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Moorfields Eye Charity will abide by the terms and conditions of the PhD registering university, which for most funded students will normally be UCL.

Maternity leave and pay

  • 26 weeks full pay, followed by
  • 13 weeks pay equivalent to SNP, followed by
  • 13 weeks no pay

To note, pregnant students must take at least 2 weeks of leave after the birth of the baby and are expected to return to their studentship following their total period of leave.

Paternity/​partner leave and pay

  • Father of the baby and/​or partner or civil partner of the mother can take up to 10 working days of paid leave.

Adoption leave and pay

  • Adoption leave and pay follows as per maternity leave and pay. Partners of those adopting are also eligible for paternity/​partner leave and pay.

Other leave

  • Sick leave pay is not supported by Moorfields Eye Charity. If sick leave occurs during the time an individual is availing of the family friendly policy, the studentship will not be further supplemented to cover this time.

Applying for parental leave pay

  • The grant holder, who in this instance is the primary supervisor, must apply, in advance and in writing, to the charity, and retain as appropriate the evidence of student’s pregnancy or adoption; and confirm the expected start date and duration of the maternity leave, at which point the grant will be put into abeyance.
  • Retrospective requests will not normally be considered and it is grant holder’s responsibility to ensure their PhD student is suitably supported in this process.
  • We will not normally consider a request to supplement the grant to cover additional research costs.