The logo of the University of Plymouth.

Research participation opportunity in Plymouth

Perceptual Learning for Nystagmus

We are delighted to offer people who have nystagmus the opportunity to take part in an exciting new research study at the University of Plymouth, in collaboration with Cardiff University and jointly funded by the Nystagmus Network and Fight for Sight.

Who are we looking for?

Anyone aged between 18 and 35, diagnosed with Infantile (Congenital) Nystagmus

What will you be doing?

  • Complete vision tests on computer at the University of Plymouth to assess how well you can see static and moving letters and static dots
  • Complete vision training at home for 1 hour per day, 3 days a week over a period of 4 weeks

Who are we?

Dr Mahesh Joshi

Dr Mahesh Joshi

Dr Asma Zahidi

Dr Asma Zahidi

For more information, please contact: [email protected] or [email protected]

Travel Expenses

We will be paying your travel expenses to Plymouth up to £50.

Fight for Sight and Nystagmus Network logo.

Call for research grant applicants

The Nystagmus Network is delighted to announce that we are again partnering with Fight for Sight this year to offer the Small Grant Award Scheme. The grants are available for clinical research addressing visual impairment associated with nystagmus, focusing on quality of life or causes (including genetic), diagnostic testing/analysis or treatments.

We are delighted to inform you that the scheme is now open for applications, with the deadline of 13:00 on Wednesday 13 September 2023.

This year we particularly welcome applications from Early Career Researchers.

  • Small Grant Awards are intended to support early career research, which should be used to collect preliminary/pilot data to make research ideas more competitive when developing larger follow-on funding applications. These awards offer competitive funding of up to £15,000 to clinical or research scientists to conduct stand-alone research projects for up to 12 months.
  • Please visit the Fight for Sight website for more details, including in depth guidance, and to access the online grant management system.
  • For any queries during the process, please email [email protected].

You can contact us if you require any additional information, and we look forward to working with you through the process.

A person wearing a doctor's white coat is testing a patient's eyes using clinical equipment.

The Fight for Sight/Nystagmus Network Small Grant Award

We are delighted to announce that the Nystagmus Network has jointly awarded two new nystagmus research grant awards with our funding partners Fight for Sight.

The two successful applicants are

  • Dr Mahesh Joshi at the University of Plymouth is carrying out a pilot study to investigate whether a new computer-based treatment approach can help improve vision for people with nystagmus.
  • Dr Mervyn Thomas at the University of Leicester is developing a new experimental model that could pave the way for the development of new treatments that can help improve vision for children with nystagmus.

Vivien Jones, Hon President of the Nystagmus Network and Chair of the Research Committee, said: “We are delighted to announce with our partners Fight for Sight our support for these exciting research projects. The work by Dr Mahesh Joshi and Asma Zahidi at Plymouth will hopefully significantly enhance knowledge about eye movements and, in the case of Dr Mervyn Thomas at Leicester, lead to an enhanced ability to test treatments for infantile nystagmus.”

To help ensure that the Nystagmus Network can continue to invest in nystagmus research, please consider making a donation to our research fund. Thank you.

Donate to our nystagmus research fund here

Child with albinism.

The impact of glare on reading

Researchers are investigating the impact of glare on young children with albinism and nystagmus to help ease important day-to-day tasks like reading.

Jointly funded by Nystagmus Network and Fight for Sight, a team of researchers at the University of Leicester will be investigating glare in patients with infantile nystagmus.  

People with nystagmus often experience glare, but this has not been researched thoroughly despite the discomfort it can cause and the impact it has on reading.  

Led by Dr Frank Proudlock, the study will measure the effect of glare by testing reading overlays, tinted contact lenses and other means.

Although there are several devices that doctors use to measure glare in eye clinics, few of them have been tested as to how well they measure glare in nystagmus. Also, it is very difficult to measure glare in young children.

The team at University of Leicester will study four groups of people: people with albinism; people with idiopathic infantile nystagmus; people with achromatopsia; and people without nystagmus.

The team hopes the study will help doctors to make reliable measurement of glare in people with infantile nystagmus, especially in young children.

Understanding how glare can affect reading in people with infantile nystagmus and ways of managing it will help provide useful information to parents, teachers, doctors and patients to come up with the best solutions for reading at home, work and at school or university.

Keith Valentine, Fight for Sight CEO said:

“We’re pleased to continue our important partnership with the Nystagmus Network, funding these vital projects. With one person in every 1,500 people having nystagmus, it’s vital that we fund research that can help improve lives and make sure children and adults with nystagmus live their lives to the fullest.”

Donate to the Nystagmus Network research fund here

Dr Rufai speaks from a podium with a large screen behind him showing slides.

Congratulations, team Leicester

Leicester research team awarded prestigious prize from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Image credit: Royal College of Ophthalmologists

A team of specialist eye doctors at the University of Leicester have received a national award for their work, which will improve diagnosis and management for children with nystagmus. The study was jointly funded by the Nystagmus Network and Fight for Sight.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has awarded the prestigious Ulverscroft David Owen prize to Dr Sohaib Rufai, NIHR Doctoral Fellow in Ophthalmology and his colleagues at the University of Leicester Ulverscroft Eye Unit.

Dr Rufai’s team were the first in the world to use handheld OCT to predict successfully the future vision of young children with congenital nystagmus.

On receiving the prize, Dr Rufai said: “It is a tremendous honour to receive this award on behalf of my team. I’m grateful to my mentors and colleagues at Leicester: Professor Irene Gottlob, Dr Mervyn Thomas and Dr Frank Proudlock. … We dedicate this prize to the wonderful children and families who supported this research.”

Read the full story on the University of Leicester website

A speaker at a Nystagmus Network research event.

Grant funding available for nystagmus research

The Nystagmus Network / Fight for Sight joint call for a small grant award in nystagmus research, focusing on quality of life or causes (including genetic), diagnostic testing / analysis or treatments, is now live and open for applications.

Full details, as well as the guidance document for the applicant can be found on the Fight for Sight website.

The deadline for the call is 28 July 2022.

The logos of Fight for Sight and the Nystagmus Network

Two new nystagmus research projects funded

Fight for Sight and Nystagmus Network are funding research into the impact of glare in infantile nystagmus and albinism in the hope of improving outcomes for people with the condition. People with nystagmus often experience glare, but until now this has not been researched thoroughly.

The team at University of Leicester, led by Dr Frank Proudlock, will study 4 groups of people: with albinism; with idiopathic infantile nystagmus; with achromatopsia; without nystagmus. They aim to determine the most effective way to measure glare, its impact on reading and whether tinted glasses or reading overlays can help. It’s hoped that a better understanding of the impact of glare will help parents, teachers, doctors and people with nystagmus to come up with the best solutions for reading in their education, work and day-to-day life.

A further small grant award to Leicester

Dr Mervyn Thomas, also of the University of Leicester, has won the Fight for Sight/Nystagmus Network funded small grant award for a nystagmus related research project. The work, delayed from 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, will now start later this month.

Vivien Jones, chairman of the Nystagmus Network’s Research Committee, said: “The Nystagmus Network is delighted that its joint funding relationship with Fight for Sight has led to two awards – first to Frank Proudlock for his winning bid for a PhD student post. We greatly look forward to seeing important research flow from this appointment, which will start later this year and represents the biggest-ever single investment by the Nystagmus Network in research. We are equally pleased to see that Mervyn Thomas has won the small grant award for his proposal to develop a low-cost system for the recording and analysis of eye movement characteristics, suitable for clinic-based assessments.”

The logos of Fight for Sight and the Nystagmus Network

Nystagmus research grant funding open for applications

The next round of small grant awards for nystagmus research is now open for application. The grant, funded jointly by Fight for Sight and the Nystagmus Network is worth up to £15,000.

The Fight for Sight / Nystagmus Network Small Grant Award One award to support clinical research to address visual impairment associated with nystagmus, focusing on quality of life or causes (including genetic), diagnostic testing / analysis or treatments.

Applications close on 5 August.

Find out more here

Fight for Sight logo.

Fight for Sight launches survey on impact of Covid-19 on people with eye conditions

Eye research charity Fight for Sight has launched a survey to gather broader insights into the personal impact that Covid-19 is having on people with sight loss and eye conditions.

The charity is inviting those affected by sight loss or an eye condition to participate in the survey, to help its campaign on behalf of people with sight loss and strengthen the case for urgently needed eye research funding. The survey will examine the impact that Covid-19 is having on people’s access to treatment, personal wellbeing and concerns for the future.

At the beginning of 2020 Fight for Sight carried out one of the largest surveys of people with sight loss and blindness to understand the personal impact of sight loss. With the advent of Covid-19, the charity is following up with further research to gain insight on how the pandemic has had an impact. All results will be published later in 2020. 

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, eye research was already woefully underfunded, with only one percent of national research funding invested in eye research, even though twenty percent of people in the UK will experience serious sight loss or blindness in their lifetime. The problem is also on the increase – figures show that the number of people in Europe with the leading cause of blindness, age-related macular degeneration, is projected to hit 10 million by 2050.

Chief Executive at Fight for Sight, Sherine Krause, said: “This is a challenging time for everyone, but we know from anecdotal evidence that the current pandemic and lockdown is having a particularly harsh effect on those living with eye conditions and sight loss. We know that science ultimately has the answer to so many challenges – the power of science will help us stop the pandemic in the coming months, and we are working to ensure it will also help us stop sight loss and blindness in the future. We urgently need the input of those affected so that we can understand how they have been impacted by Covid-19 and campaign on their behalf. The findings will also help us to make the case for the importance of eye research now and in the future.”

Participation in the survey involves an online questionnaire in which respondents answer questions on how Covid-19 has impacted their lives. The survey will take no more than ten minutes to complete. Participants will help Fight for Sight in its mission to transform the eye research landscape and secure vital funding for pioneering research.

To participate in the survey, you must be aged 18 or over, living in the UK, and personally have an eye condition(s).

You can take part in the survey at this link.

Fight for Sight and Nystagmus Network logo.

A PhD studentship in nystagmus research – apply now

Applications are now invited for a PhD Studentship to undertake clinical research to address visual impairment associated with nystagmus, focusing on quality of life or causes (including genetic), diagnostic testing / analysis or treatments.

Click here for details and to apply

The award is jointly funded by the Nystagmus Network and Fight for Sight.