Genentech AMD Research Fellowships

As many as 11 million people in the United States have some form of age-related macular degeneration. This number is expected to double to nearly 22 million by 2050. The impact of age-related macular degeneration on the global aging population is enormous as people are deprived of their economic livelihoods and independence.

The Genentech Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Research Fellowships offers two grants:

  • basic research in the understanding of AMD and
  • translational AMD research focusing on therapeutics (not yet in clinical trials)

Each research fellowship (basic and translational) is $40,000. This award, which was established in 2011, is supported by Genentech through the ARVO Foundation.

Eligible applicants include newly established investigators who are age 45 or younger at the application deadline and have received their MD, PhD or equivalent degree within the past 10 years (2009-2019).

Specific eligibility criteria include:

  • Candidates must hold an MD, PhD, DVM, DO, OD or equivalent degree
  • Applicant must serve as the Principal Investigator on the project
  • No geographical restrictions
  • Applicants are not required to be members of ARVO
  • Applicants must currently be working in non-profit or academic research centers
  • Previous recipients are not eligible

Additional information:

  • Grants are for a period of one-year and must commence within six months of award notification.
  • Recipients will be expected to submit their findings for possible presentation at an ARVO Annual Meeting and publish results, as appropriate.
  • A report must be submitted to the ARVO Foundation within 30 days of the conclusion of the research period.

Application process
Applications are accepted via online application. The online application requires the following information, forms and documents:

  • Research plan (maximum of three pages, typed, single space) including the following sections:
    • Objectives
    • Background and Significance
    • Design and Methodology
    • Project Narrative
    • Specific Aims
  • A one-page description of applicant's vision for future research and its anticipated impact related to AMD.

  • A letter of support from a senior person from the applicant’s department or institution detailing strengths and the institutional setting for the research.

  • Project budget
    • Funds may be used for research, including salary and benefits
    • Funds may not be used for purchasing equipment
    • No overhead fees can be assessed
  • NIH biosketch or equivalent

  • Signature form signed by principal investigator, department head and administrative official

Review and selection process
Applications are reviewed by the ARVO Foundation Awards Committee comprised of internationally recognized experts. The deliberations of the Foundation Awards Committee are confidential and their decision is final.

2020 Timeline
Applications open on July 1, 2020

Applications close on Sept. 1, 2020

Recipients notified in Dec. 2020

2019 Genentech AMD Research Fellowship recipients

Genentech AMD Research Fellowship (Basic)
Susana da Silva, PhD
Establishment of a foveated human 3D retinal organoid system to model AMD.

Genentech AMD Research Fellowship (Translational)
Dimitra Skondra, MD, PhD 
Common antidiabetic drug metformin prevents AMD by reshaping the gut microbiome. ARVO Foundation Logo