The BrightFocus Foundation (BrightFocus) awards grants for basic research on the causes of and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Its programs include Alzheimer’s Disease Research (ADR), Macular Degeneration Research (MDR), and National Glaucoma Research (NGR).
Definitions and Abbreviations
ADR: Alzheimer’s Disease Research, a program of BrightFocus Foundation.
Agreement: The agreement defined in the present document unless represented as “Grant Agreement”, defined elsewhere in the section entitled Definitions and Abbreviations.
BrightFocus: BrightFocus Foundation.
Grant: Financial award of funds for research on the causes of and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Macular Degeneration, and/or Glaucoma.
Grant Agreement: The agreement defined by the documents including the documents, entitled “Terms and Condition of Grant Awards”, and the “Patent and Intellectual Property Contract”. The granting agreement is understood to be made in support of the specific aims of the research formally proposed by the Principal Investigator through BrightFocus’ award application process.
Grantee:The grant recipient of the BrightFocus award. The individual whose name appears as Principal Investigator for the BrightFocus award.
Grantee Institution: The college, university, organization or institution to which the Grant is granted, and with whom the Grantee is formally associated.
MDR: Macular Degeneration Research, a program of The BrightFocus Foundation.
NGR: National Glaucoma Research, a program of The BrightFocus Foundation.
No Cost Extension (NCE): An extension of a Grant term to expend unused Grant funds or allow for completion of proposed research.
Official Written Correspondence: Written or electronically delivered communications reasonably understood to have originated from an identifiable individual representing either the Grantee, Grantee Institution, BrightFocus, or their agents. Such communications may be by written letter delivered through the postal system, or electronic representations of such communications provided as images bearing a facsimile of the sender’s signature.
Overlapping Grant Awards: Defined as a circumstance under which the budget or scientific aims of an BrightFocus Supported Project is duplicative of the budget or scientific aims of a project under the direction of the Principal Investigator and funded by another source. This overlap may be scientific in which the duplication occurs in the specific aims of the research project, or financial in which another funding source commits money for items documented in the approved BrightFocus award budget. At the request of the Principal Investigator, the instance of scientific overlap may be approved by BrightFocus, at its discretion, so long as there is no financial overlap associated with the request. Financial overlap is prohibited. An anticipated occurrence of Overlapping Grant Awards shall be understood to exist following the Principal Investigator’s or Grantee Institution’s receipt of an award letter, or the documented promise for funding, from another funding source, if that award would be scientifically or fiscally duplicative of the BrightFocus award.
Principal Investigator: The individual designated as the lead researcher whose name appears as Principal Investigator for the BrightFocus award on the Grant Application, unless otherwise approved by BrightFocus. This person shall also serve as the primary contact for all communications regarding the BrightFocus award.
Supported Project: Work approved by BrightFocus to be performed by the Grantee in support of the specific aims of the research that were formally proposed by the Principal Investigator through BrightFocus’ award application process.
Reagent: A product used, by virtue of its mechanical, chemical or biological activity, to detect measure, examine, analyze, or produce other products (e.g., recombinant DNA clones, cultured cell lines, hybridoma cell lines, mutant or unique organisms, software, or equipment).
Research Misconduct: An act of falsification, fabrication, or plagiarism of data or results or the omission of material data or results that occurs during the application process, performance of the award or reporting of performance of the award.
Terms of Funding
 Funding Restrictions
BrightFocus will fund grants for research at non-profit organizations or institutions only. Each Grantee Institution must submit evidence of its tax-exempt status to BrightFocus prior to the distribution of any Grant including but not limited to, a tax determination from the Internal Revenue Service.
For foreign institutions: Each Grantee Institution must submit evidence of its tax-exempt status to BrightFocus prior to the distribution of any Grant, including but not limited to, a determination of tax-exempt or nonprofit status from their home country of origin.
Funds shall be awarded to the Grantee Institution and not to individual Principal Investigators. All Grants must be used exclusively for research and research equipment not for overhead, capital expenditures, administrative costs or other peripheral costs, except where BrightFocus, in its discretion, may make an exception for costs associated with the publication of the results of the BrightFocus sponsored research in academic journals, or for costs associated with participation in academic conferences.
The BrightFocus Grant may pay for all or a portion of the salary of the Principal Investigator provided the salary request is justified in the Grant application and is in accordance with rules specified in the application guidelines. Acceptance of these terms and conditions shall constitute an affirmation that the Principal Investigator is of the professional rank or status required by the application guidelines.
 Discontinuation of Grant Funding
Although BrightFocus has committed grant funds for the stated term of the Grant, it reserves the right to terminate the Grant at any time prior to the end of the Grant term in the event the work performed is in breach of any of the terms and obligations stated herein. In the event of termination, no further Grant payment will be made and the Grantee Institution shall be required to return any Grant funds that have been advanced. Either party may terminate the Grant Agreement upon thirty (30) days prior written notice to the other party. If terminated by BrightFocus, for reasons other than Research Misconduct or malfeasance, then Grantee Institution is entitled to full repayment for all costs and non-cancelable commitments incurred as of the effective date of the termination. Non-cancelable commitments include, but are not limited to, all costs associated with expenditures such as a graduate student’s appointment within a given academic year. Discontinuation of Grant Funding due to Research Misconduct or other malfeasance shall be treated as a special circumstance as described in separate sections of this document and may require the return of the entire grant in BrightFocus’ sole discretion.
 Anti-Terrorism Compliance
Both the Principal Investigator and Grantee Institution affirm expressly that each will use the grant funds in compliance with all applicable anti-terrorist financing and asset control laws, regulations, rules and executive orders, including but not limited to, the USA Patriot Act of 2001 and Executive Order 13224.
Any violation of this representation is grounds for immediate termination of the Grant Agreement and return to BrightFocus of all funds advanced to the Grantee, in BrightFocus’ sole discretion.
In the event of termination for the reasons set forth above, the Principal Investigator and Grantee Institution shall be required to reimburse BrightFocus for all reasonable costs incurred by BrightFocus in obtaining the return of the Grant award funds, including but not limited to, reasonable attorney's fees, except as prohibited by applicable state law.
Any Principal Investigator determined to violate this Section shall be prohibited from seeking future funding from BrightFocus.
Any Grantee Institution determined to violate this Section shall, at the discretion of BrightFocus, be prohibited from seeking future funding from BrightFocus.
 Research Misconduct
The Grantee Institution identified in the Grant Agreement shall have in place adequate controls and systems for assuring the quality and integrity of research carried out under the supervision of the Principal Investigator so that Research Misconduct shall be prevented, and if not prevented, the conduct shall be detected and terminated forthwith. The Grantee Institution shall have effective mechanisms for identifying Research Misconduct and shall have clearly publicized rules and procedures for investigating allegations of Research Misconduct.
BrightFocus holds both material and intangible interests in all research conducted pursuant to the Grant Agreement and Supported Project. In the event that the Principal Investigator, research team, or staff is reasonably determined by the Grantee Institution to have been found to have engaged in Research Misconduct, BrightFocus holds the right to terminate any funding authorized by this Grant Agreement to that Principal Investigator, research team, or staff member in its sole discretion. Termination of the award may be initiated regardless of whether the perpetrator of the misconduct was the named Principal Investigator or any person under the supervision of the Principal Investigator, including but not limited to students, trainees and employees. Termination may be initiated if the perpetrator of the misconduct is a collaborator or person under the supervision of a collaborator named on the BrightFocus proposal only if the Research Misconduct is directly related to the BrightFocus Grant.
Termination of the Grant Agreement due to Research Misconduct shall require the return of all Grant funds authorized under this Grant Agreement and advanced to the Grantee Institution in the name of the Principal Investigator. In the event of termination for the reasons set forth in this section, the Principal Investigator and Grantee Institution shall reimburse BrightFocus for all reasonable costs incurred by BrightFocus in obtaining the return of the Grant award funds, including but not limited to, reasonable attorney's fees, except as prohibited by applicable state law.
The interest of BrightFocus in any Grant awarded shall be understood to persist indefinitely following the expiration of the Grant. Should Research Misconduct be reasonably determined by BrightFocus to have occurred in relation to this BrightFocus Grant after termination of the Grant, BrightFocus shall have the right to demand, and Grantee and Institution shall return all funds advanced to the Grantee Institution under the Grant and the reimbursement of all reasonable costs incurred by BrightFocus in obtaining the return of the Grant award funds, including but not limited to, reasonable attorney's fees, except as prohibited by applicable state law.
BrightFocus may, in its discretion, decline the application of, prohibit any investigator found to have been guilty of Research Misconduct from seeking future Grant funding from BrightFocus.
 Overlapping Grant Awards
BrightFocus awards funds with the express understanding that BrightFocus is the exclusive financial supporter of the research project for which Grant monies were requested. BrightFocus does not allow BrightFocus Grant funds to be used for research projects funded, in whole or in part by another source without express written permission from BrightFocus applied for and received in advance of the anticipated occurrence of the overlap.
All occurrences or anticipated occurrences of Overlapping Grant Awards must be reported immediately to BrightFocus. The Principal Investigator and Grantee Institution shall have thirty (30) days from the report of the overlap to remedy the overlap. Failure of the Principal Investigator and Grantee Institution to report or satisfactorily remedy the occurrence of overlap between the BrightFocus Grant and the funding of another organization will result, at the discretion of BrightFocus, in terminating the award, and/or the return of the overlapping proportion of monies awarded by BrightFocus to the Grantee Institution up to and including the full value of the BrightFocus award.
In the event of termination for the reasons set forth in this Section, the Principal Investigator and Grantee Institution shall be required to reimburse BrightFocus for all reasonable costs incurred by BrightFocus in obtaining the return of the Grant award funds, including but not limited to, reasonable attorney's fees, except as prohibited by applicable state law.
 Use of Human Subjects or Vertebrate Animals for Research
Research projects involving human subjects and/or vertebrate animals must meet or exceed standards required for United States of America federal government funding including all rules and regulations developed by the National Institutes of Health. If the proposed research will involve the use of human or vertebrate animal subjects, the appropriate committee of the Grantee Institution must provide BrightFocus a signed release to demonstrate approval of the proposed research protocol(s) before Grant funds are released.
If the project is to be funded through an award to a foreign institution or through an individual fellowship award that will support activities at a foreign institution, BrightFocus requires a statement of compliance from the Grantee Institution that the activities will be conducted in accordance with all applicable local laws and regulations in the foreign country. Such foreign protocols must meet or exceed standards required for United States of America federal government funding for research projects.
 Indemnity and Liability
The Principal Investigator and Grantee Institution agree to indemnify BrightFocus, its officers, directors, employees, agents, successors and assigns (the “Indemnitee”) from any loss, liability, damage, cost or expense including reasonable attorneys' and accountants' fees suffered by the Indemnitee arising out of, or connected in any way with any claims made against it due to activities involving the Principal Investigator or Grantee Institution's use, planned use, and/or proposed use, at any time, of human subjects, whether alive or dead, including, but not limited to clinical trials, basic scientific experimentation or personal injury, bodily injury, and property damage and diagnostic trials, as well as for the breach of any of the representations, warranties, covenants contained in this Grant Agreement, the Patent or Intellectual Property Contract, or any deliverable required under this Grant Agreement, except as prohibited by applicable state law.
Each party shall be responsible for its own negligent acts and any loss, liability, damage, cost or expenses resulting therefrom and shall not be responsible for the acts of the other party. Each party will assume all risks and liability to itself, its agents, or employees for any injury to persons or property to the extent such negligent conduct results from its own acts and/or the acts of its agents or employees performing under this agreement.
 Sharing of Reagents
Reagents developed during the course of any research funded by BrightFocus Grants must be made available to qualified investigators following the publication of reports using or describing the Reagents. The Principal Investigator and the Grantee Institution shall provide the Reagents developed during the course of BrightFocus-sponsored research to other qualified investigators when reasonably requested to do so.
Unpublished Reagents shall be treated as described in the Patent and Intellectual Property Contract Agreement (section 11, Reservation of Rights for Research Purposes).
 Public Education
Acceptance of this Grant shall be deemed consent of the Principal Investigator and the Grantee Institution to the publication of information, including the title of the project, the name and institutional affiliation of the Principal Investigator, the amount of the award and the non-technical project summary. The non-technical description shall not contain confidential information.
Any information provided by the Grantee Institution and the Principal Investigator during the grant application process that is explicitly marked non-confidential shall be considered the property of BrightFocus and shall be used by BrightFocus for purposes of public education or marketing without further consultation with the Principal Investigator or Grantee Institution as provided for by the “BrightFocus Release of Grant Information” agreement.
All publications resulting from research sponsored by BrightFocus Grants shall give the following or similar credit: Acknowledgement is made to the donors of the XXX, a program of the BrightFocus Foundation, for support of this research. XXX is understood to represent the program through which the grant is made (i.e., ADR, MDR, or NGR).
The Principal Investigator should make good faith efforts to include the BrightFocus logo when BrightFocus-supported studies are represented in public through communications and media wherein the logos of sponsoring agencies are traditionally depicted (e.g., slide presentations, poster presentations, study enrollment fliers, etc.). You can download a copy of the BrightFocus logo here.
Additional acknowledgement should be given to any Grant made in a memorial or honor of a named person. Notification of such memorials or honors shall be made to the Principal Investigator by Official Written Correspondence from BrightFocus.
Publicity of awards is an essential component of BrightFocus’ mission to educate the public concerning issues regarding BrightFocus’ program areas. By acceptance of the award, the Principal Investigator agrees to participate in targeted media opportunities such as public service announcements, media interviews, or video news releases, up to maximum of twice per year. Participation beyond the twice per year maximum shall be at the discretion of the Principal Investigator. Arrangements for participation of the Principal Investigator will be made in advance, respecting the schedules of the awardees. The Principal Investigator will not be asked to discuss any unpublished or confidential data, and will be reimbursed for any reasonable expenses associated with participation. Participation of the Grantee Institution in such publicity shall be governed by Grantee Institutional policy. Grantee Institutional representatives other than the Principal Investigator shall only be reimbursed for expenses at the discretion of BrightFocus.
All requests for renewal of BrightFocus support should be made by submission of a new application.
 Requests For Supplemental Funding
BrightFocus has an interest in the continued success of its investigators. At the termination of the Grant Agreement, if the Principal Investigator has been unable to secure additional funding for his or her laboratory, BrightFocus may at its sole discretion, and in rare circumstances, grant limited additional support to the Principal Investigator. Any Principal Investigator seeking such aide should contact the BrightFocus Scientific Affairs Department for full guidelines and must make the request prior to the expiration of the Grant Agreement.
 Patent and Intellectual Property Contract
The BrightFocus Patent and Intellectual Property Contract (attached) is an integral part of the BrightFocus Terms and Conditions of Grant Awards and applies to all Grants provided by BrightFocus.
 Budget Revisions and Extensions of Grant Period (“No Cost Extension”)
The transfer of more than $5,000 ($1,000 for Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards) from one budget category to another requires written approval from BrightFocus. Requests for such transfers must be made through Official Written Correspondence, provide justification for the proposed transfer, and submit a copy of the new proposed budget.
In the event that there is more than 15% of the total grant award remaining in the Grant account at the end of the Grant period, the Grantee Institution or Principal Investigator may request permission to extend the grant period for a period not to exceed one year with no increase in funding. Requests for such “No Cost Extensions” must be made through Official Written Correspondence.
If a request for a No Cost Extension is approved for an extension period greater than three months, an interim scientific progress and financial statement shall be required within sixty (60) days following the original termination of the award. A final financial and scientific progress report shall be required within sixty days (60) following termination of the approved No Cost Extension.
 Transfer of Grants Between Institutions or to a Different Principal Investigator
In the event the Principal Investigator transfers to another university or research facility and wishes to transfer the Grant and equipment purchased with funds from the Grant, he or she must submit a formal request through Official Written Correspondence to the BrightFocus Scientific Affairs Department for approval to pursue such a change. The new Grantee Institution shall be required to comply with the requirements set forth in this Grant Agreement and become a party to the amended Grant Agreement. The Principal Investigator shall not use Grant funds for any costs related to such transfer.
In the event that the Principal Investigator can no longer oversee the execution of the Sponsored Project, he or she may request that the responsibility of the original Principal Investigator be transferred to another qualified Investigator. In such a case, the original Principal Investigator must make the request through Official Written Correspondence to the BrightFocus Scientific Affairs Department for approval. This request must be accompanied by a letter from the Individual who would serve as the new Principal Investigator. This letter should indicate that the Individual is willing to take responsibility for the project as described in the original proposal and that the he or she accepts the Terms and Conditions of the award.
The Grantee Institution may request transfer of the Principal Investigator role to another qualified Investigator in circumstances where the original Principal Investigator cannot continue to oversee the award. However, such requests for changes of the Principal Investigator must be approved by BrightFocus. Failure to obtain BrightFocus’ approval prior to the effective date of the Principal Investigator transfer shall be considered breach of this agreement, and subject to termination of the award. If approved, the new Principal Investigator shall be required to comply with the requirements set forth in this Grant Agreement and become a party to the amended Grant Agreement.
If the transfer of the Principal Investigator is not approved by BrightFocus and the original Principal Investigator cannot continue to oversee the execution of the Sponsored Grant, then the grant shall be terminated as provided in section  Discontinuation of Grant Funding.
 Financial Reports
BrightFocus requires a certified financial report for each year of the Grant. BrightFocus will provide forms for submission of the financial reports though the grantees online application portal at Smart Simple.
If the grant is for a period of time exceeding one year, a 12-month Interim Financial Report showing allocations and expenditures for the first Grant year must be submitted by 60 days from the one year anniversary of the start date, for each year of the grant (For a start date of July 1, the Grant year is July 1 to June 30, and the Interim Financial Report must be submitted by September 1 each year.). This report must be signed by the Principal Investigator and a representative of the Grantee Institution, and must show that Grant funds were used in accordance with the approved budget.
Delinquent reports or reports describing unapproved expenditures may result in delays of scheduled award payments or, at the sole discretion of BrightFocus, termination of the Grant.
A Final Financial Report showing allocations and expenditures for the Grant must be submitted by two months after expiration of the Grant Agreement (or by two months after the expiration of the NCE, if the grant has been extended). This report shall be made in lieu of the Interim Financial Report, must be signed by the Principal Investigator and a representative of the Grantee Institution, and must show that grant funds were used in accordance with the approved budget. Unexpended grant funds in excess of US$50 shall be returned to BrightFocus at the time of the Final Financial Report.
BrightFocus shall have the right to decline to review future funding proposals made by any Principal Investigator or Grantee Institution, if the Principal Investigator fails to submit the appropriate Final Financial Report (or return unexpended grant funds in excess of US$50), until such requirements are submitted to BrightFocus.
 Scientific Progress Reports
If the Grant is for a period exceeding of one year, the Principal Investigator must submit an Interim Scientific Progress Report detailing progress made towards the specific aims of the Grant. This annual report shall be signed by the Principal Investigator and must be submitted by 45 days before the end of each Grant year. (For a start date of July 1, the Grant year is July 1 to June 30, and the Interim Scientific Progress Report must be submitted by May 15 each year.).
Delinquent reports will result in delays of scheduled Grant payments or, at the sole discretion of BrightFocus, termination of the Grant.
For all Grants, a Final Scientific Progress Report must be submitted within 60 days after the end of the Grant period (For a start date of July 1, the Final Scientific Progress Report must be submitted by September 1). This report should be made in lieu of the Interim Scientific Progress Report in the final year of the award. This report must be signed by the Principal Investigator.
The submission of the progress reports will be handled online through the grantee’s application portal at Smart Simple.
BrightFocus shall have the right to decline to review future funding proposals made by any Principal Investigator or Grantee Institution, if the Principal Investigator fails to submit the appropriate Interim and Final Scientific Progress Reports, until such requirements are submitted to BrightFocus.
Reprints of subsequent publications acknowledging support of BrightFocus should be submitted to the BrightFocus Scientific Affairs Department as they become available. Progress reports will be reviewed by BrightFocus program staff or representatives. BrightFocus’ determination of the level of progress made on the Supported Project shall be informed by the “Specific Aims and Benchmark Accomplishments” submitted with the BrightFocus proposal by the Principal Investigator and reprinted below.
Project Specific Aims and Benchmark Accomplishments: (Information contained here is submitted by the PI during the proposal application process. It is later incorporated into the Terms and Conditions of the award following approval by the Board of Directors).
Requests to amend, or otherwise change, the “Specific Aims and Benchmark Accomplishments” shall be made by Official Correspondence initiated by the Principal Investigator and submitted to the BrightFocus Scientific Affairs Department for approval, which shall not be unreasonably withheld.
If a Principal Investigator is determined by BrightFocus to have achieved inadequate progress on the Supported Project that Principal Investigator shall be given a reasonable period of time to remedy the progress. The length of this period of time shall be determined in good faith based on the circumstances of the individual Supported Project and Principal Investigator and is not explicitly defined by this contract. If BrightFocus determines that the project cannot be satisfactorily completed during the duration of the award, BrightFocus, at its discretion, may terminate the award as provided in section  Discontinuation of Grant Funding.
BrightFocus holds the right to decline to review future funding proposals made by any Principal Investigator who fails to submit the Final Scientific Progress Report required of a prior BrightFocus Grant award until such reports are submitted to BrightFocus.
The Principal Investigator will be contacted in years 1, 2, and 5 following the expiration of the award. At this time, the Principal Investigator will be asked to respond to a brief inquiry regarding any publications or other reportable outcomes that may have arisen from BrightFocus support.
 Document Retention
The Grantee shall retain copies of all Official Written Correspondence related to the BrightFocus Grant for a period of 3 years following expiration of the award.
BrightFocus, in some circumstances, accepts electronic or other facsimile copies of written letters. However, it does so only with the understanding that the original document remains in the possession of the sender of the correspondence and that the original document will be made available upon request by BrightFocus.
Research data and notebooks shall be maintained by the Principal Investigator or Grantee Institution in perpetuity.