This page provides answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the eXcellence in Ophthalmology Vision Award (XOVA).


About the XOVA program

The eXcellence in Ophthalmology Vision Award (XOVA) is an award program that aims to support initiatives that help deliver sustainable, improved eye care to reduce the burden of blindness around the world. Patient advocacy groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), ophthalmologists, optometrists, specialist eye care nurses and allied eye healthcare professionals (including those in training) can all apply, provided the application is made on behalf of an academic institution or organization. Project outcomes should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.

Please note, XOVA is not intended to provide funding for basic research or clinical trials and projects that have commenced prior to application submission will not be considered.

XOVA is an award program sponsored by Novartis Pharma AG.

Applicants may apply for grants of up to $50,000 in value.

An external panel of expert representatives from numerous international eye health institutions are responsible for judging XOVA applications. Members of the XOVA committee may not apply for the XOVA award.


About applying for XOVA

XOVA applications are currently closed. If you wish to submit a grant application to Novartis, please visit the Novartis GEMs Portal  for Grants. All applications should relate directly to one or more Novartis Areas of Interest – these vary according to region or country, so please visit your local Novartis site and confirm with your local Novartis contact  before submitting a Grant Request.

An organization includes worldwide not-for-profit organizations, hospitals and clinics. The organization does not have to be associated with an academic institution such as a university.

An unlimited number of people, or just the project leader, can be named on the application form (providing there is space).

Yes, we encourage you to submit photos and/or videos to supplement your application. Please ensure that photos and videos are of high quality.

If the total amount of funding required to have a sustainable, positive impact is more than €50,000, please complete the relevant section of the application form, indicating when and how you will obtain the additional funds required.

No, XOVA is not intended for funding research or clinical trials.

No, all applications are judged together after the closing date has passed.

If you are involved in more than one project that is eligible for the award, please complete an application form for each. Please do not apply for funding for the same project more than once.

This year’s XOVA winners will be announced during the EURETINA congress on 1-4 September 2022. Winning projects will also be highlighted on World Sight Day, held on Thursday 13th October 2022, and throughout the year on Novartis sponsored booths at international congresses.

As part of the contract signed for receiving the funds, you supply Novartis Pharma AG with an invoice. Novartis Pharma AG pays the funds directly to the winning project, enabling your project to start as soon as possible.

No, the award must be used to fund the initiative directly, and no extra funding will be available to cover indirect costs.

Yes, one of the conditions of accepting the award is that you provide regular reports on the progress of your project. With your permission and subsequent review of the content, the XOVA website will be updated with information on project progression and impact.

We are unable to provide feedback on individual submissions. Winners are notified by email shortly after the application deadline.

Yes, definitely! If your application was not selected, we encourage you to reapply when applications open again. Every year, we receive a large volume of inspiring entries and are only able to fund a limited number. We know you share our commitment to making a difference in the fields of optometry and ophthalmology, and we look forward to learning more about your project.


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