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Health & Social Care Research Across North East & North Cumbria.


Latest Funding Opportunities

Pitts Crick Career Development Fellowship

Glaucoma UK: new 3 year post-doc fellowship into glaucoma

Glaucoma UK’s ‘Pitts Crick Career Development Fellowship’ is a new three-year post-doctoral research fellowship, awarded in honour of their golden jubilee anniversary.

Who can apply?
Post-doctoral professionals (PhD or MD) working in a relevant glaucoma-related field, including ophthalmologists, pharmacists, nurses, optometrists, vision scientists etc.

How much funding is available?
Salary (according to experience on the appropriate salary scale), plus up to £20,000 per annum to cover research costs and dissemination. Total costs over three years should not exceed £350,000.

Application timelines:
Deadline for expressions of interest: 31 May at 5.00pm
Full applications must be received by 22 September at 5.00pm


Learn More

Meet the Team

Ophthalmology research supports both the medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases, including optometry and rehabilitation within the discipline of vision science. This specialty has the largest demand in NHS outpatient departments and is increasing, making research and targeted therapies a priority to address the unmet need of patients.

The five clinical specialty groups within ophthalmology are cataract, optometry, refractive and cornea (CORC), glaucoma, all aspects of paediatric ophthalmology and uveitis. The ophthalmology specialty also has strong links to the ageing, dementia and diabetes specialty therapy areas.

Susan Ridge

Research delivery manager

CRN North East and North Cumbria

Deepali Varma

Ophthalmology specialty group lead

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

Areas supported:

Anaesthesia, perioperative medicine and pain management, critical care, trauma and emergency, ophthalmology, ears, nose and throat, musculoskeletal, surgery and oral and dental

Connect with Susan Ridge

Email Susan

Deepali Varma's research experience

I am a consultant ophthalmologist and medical retina specialist at Sunderland Eye Infirmary since 2008 and the director of research at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust since 2020.

I have worked collaboratively with industry and academia and have been a PI for over 30 commercial clinical trials as well as conducted and published original retinal research. I am an executive member and specialty group lead for ophthalmology for the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria.

My tips to get involved in research are: make sure to network with regional ophthalmology researchers to explore research opportunities, complete your Good Clinical Practice training and try to attend the quarterly ophthalmology specialty group meetings by contacting Clinical Research Network North East North Cumbria admin support for ophthalmology. It is also useful to find a mentor within ophthalmology senior researchers, such as a chief or principal investigator.

Connect with Deepali Varma

Email Deepali

Find Deepali on LinkedIn

How to get involved


Visit the national specialty page here

Priority setting partnerships

Familiarise yourself with the top 10 sight loss and vision priorities, collated by the James Lind Alliance and sorted into sub-specialties.

Seek opportunities

Contact the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and The College of Optometrists to find out about research opportunities in your area of expertise.

Be Part of Research

Signpost patients to Be Part of Research and encourage your colleagues to do the same

View publications

Take a look at the NIHR journals, where you can explore previous research projects and identify which questions are still unanswered, this could help inform future research proposals.