The federal government has allotted $4 million for peer-reviewed vision research via the fiscal year 2009 (FY2009) defense appropriations.
Washington, DC-The federal government has allotted $4 million for peer-reviewed vision research via the fiscal year 2009 (FY2009) defense appropriations. The U.S. Army will administer the funds, which will target the various causes, effects, and treatment of visual injuries resulting from exposures.
The passing of the final defense, military construction/veterans affairs, and homeland security spending bills-included in the continuing resolution passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush Sept. 30-marked the first time that peer-reviewed vision research appeared as a separate line item, according to the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR). The bills funded the remaining government operations at the FY2008 level.
Vision formerly was one of 21 areas of research that could compete for a pool of $50 million of funds in the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program.
“This unprecedented listing is a significant recognition by Congress about the need for defense-related vision research,” said James Jorkasky, executive director of NAEVR. The 501(c)4 non-profit advocacy coalition advocated for the dedicated funding and spent time educating House and Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee members about eye injuries experienced by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jorkasky said that the future of National Institutes of Health/National Eye Institute funding is uncertain, so the separate listing represents an important, dedicated vision-related research funding source in FY2009. As a result of the new earmark transparency policy, he added, NAEVR has estimated that FY2009 defense appropriations actually will fund about $20 million in vision-related research throughout the country.