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Concept Clearance: February 2022

Council Concept Clearance – Reissuance for “NEI Research Grant for Vision-Related Secondary Data Analysis (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)”
Program Lead/Presenter: Sangeeta Bhargava, Ph.D.,  CCR
Council Date: February 11, 2022 (January 2022 Council)

Goal: The goal of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) reissuance is to stimulate the use of existing human datasets for well-focused secondary analyses to investigate novel scientific ideas or new models, systems, tools, methods, that have the potential for significant impact in areas relevant to the NEI mission.  Applications may be related to but must be distinct from, the specific aims of the original data collection. This FOA will not support the collection of new data.

Rationale: The NEI supports an extensive portfolio of clinical trials and large-scale epidemiologic research projects wherein numerous data collection activities are required to meet each project's specific aims.  The resultant wealth of data generated by these studies often provide unique, cost-effective opportunities to investigate additional research questions or develop new analytical approaches secondary to a project's originally intended purpose.  

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) reissuance provides an opportunity to leverage existing vision-related clinical research dataset resources to further the NEI mission. Data sets are not limited to those collected under NEI support, but these data sets are of the highest programmatic interest.  This FOA also supports systematic reviews and meta-analyses using patient-level data from original studies that have been merged into a single data set to better address important research questions. This FOA must not support the collection of new data.  The development of statistical methodology necessary for improving methods to analyze vision health data using existing vision datasets may also be proposed.  Applicants should consider the relevance of their proposed analyses to NEI programs and priorities as described in the National Plan for Eye and Vision Research, which is available at

Objectives and Scope: A typical project supported under this FOA is expected to make substantial progress towards having at least one vision-related manuscript submitted to a  peer-reviewed journal within the first year.

Examples of secondary analyses projects include, but are not limited to:

  • exploration of potential epidemiological relationships.
  • development and/or validation of screening algorithms.
  • studies related to disease etiology, detection, diagnosis, treatment, progression, exacerbation, endotypes, risk, prevention, and survivorship.
  • studies of health disparities.
  • identification of novel biomedical and environmental risk factors.
  • derivation of new biomedical outcomes.
  • implementation and translation of research findings into practice.
  • development and validation of new statistical methodologies and computational modeling.

Last updated: February 18, 2022