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NEI Audacious Goals Initiative-Submit by Email

If you are ineligible to participate in the NEI Challenge Prize Competition

Submit by Email

Due Date: November 19, 2012

What is an Audacious Goal?

We are looking for bold, innovative ideas, not only from vision researchers, but also the greater community of scientists, clinicians, engineers, and the public that will support the NEI mission-"to conduct and support research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to blinding eye diseases, visual disorders, mechanisms of visual function, preservation of sight, and the special health problems and requirements of the blind." Goals should be broad in scope, not simply one project or the work of one laboratory.

For examples of audacious goals, please scroll down to "Historical Examples".

Instructions to Submit by Email

Ideas for audacious goals must be submitted by an individual. If a team develops an idea, one member must be designated as the leader who will submit the idea and, if selected, will present and discuss the idea at the NEI Audacious Goals Development Meeting, Feb. 24-26, 2013. The NEI will provide up to $2,000 in travel expenses for each selected idea.

1) Ideas must be submitted by email
2) Email subject line: "AG Idea: [title of your audacious goal idea]"
3) Include your Occupation, Mailing Address, and Phone Number
4) ~1-page idea* (max. 4000 characters, including spaces)
5) Due Date: November 19, 2012

Submit to

An email confirmation will be sent. If you do NOT receive an email confirmation after one business day, please contact Dr. Jennifer Mehren at 301-496-4308.

*Your (~1 page) idea must include answers to the following three statements:

Intellectual Property Rights

By submitting an idea, you grant to NEI an irrevocable, paid-up, royalty-free, nonexclusive worldwide license to post, share, and publicly display your audacious goal description on the Web, newsletters or pamphlets, and other informational products. Each submitter understands and agrees that if his/her idea is selected, it will be discussed and developed at the NEI Audacious Goals Development Meeting, Feb. 24-26, 2013.


NEI will evaluate your idea based on whether it is relevant to the NEI mission, audacious, feasible, broad in scope, and if achieved, would yield a powerful impact.

Historical Examples

The following historical examples are intended to provide a sense of what is meant by "audacious goals." These were, or would have been big, bold ideas at that time. Each of these examples required multiple components and advances in a variety of areas. The NEI mission encompasses a variety of areas including basic and clinical research, epidemiology, diagnostics, information dissemination, technology development, training, and education and awareness of the special health problems caused by visual impairment.

Last Reviewed: August 2012

Department of Health and Human Services NIH, the National Institutes of Health