Research in progress

Here you can find out about some of the research projects RNIB are currently involved in.

Eye health and sight loss stats and facts

“Eye health and sight loss stats and facts” will be an annual update on the most important messages we use about eye health, people at risk of sight loss and blind and partially sighted people.

The statements presented in this publication can be used to support a wide range of communications. These are our evidence based messages about the eye health needs of the nation, how many people with sight loss need support and what impact sight loss has on everyday life.

Demonstrating the impact and value of vision rehabilitation

RNIB has commissioned the Office for Public Management (OPM) to assess the impact and value of vision rehabilitation services in England as part of the Department of Health funded Early Intervention and Rehabilitation project.  Vision rehabilitation services provide training to enable independent living for people who have experienced sight loss or deterioration, or who have been blind or partially sighted since birth or childhood. These services are experiencing significant pressure in the current policy environment including reductions in health and social care budgets and the increasing needs of an ageing population. The research, which takes a cost-avoidance analysis approach, is nearing its final stage. Findings will be used to inform and influence future work around social care.  

Vision Rehabilitation Officers Workforce Survey

RNIB, along with the Rehabilitation Workers Professional Network (RWPN), has commissioned Cloud Chamber to carry out a workforce survey of Vision Rehabilitation Officers. The survey constitutes the first attempt to capture the characteristics of the vision rehabilitation workforce in over 10 years, as well as an opportunity to gather opinions on the current state of the profession and the professional body. A final report based on approximately 160 responses is currently being produced. This work is part of the Early Intervention and Rehabilitation project funded by the Department of Health.   

Transitions study: longitudinal study from age 14 of blind and partially sighted young people in the UK

The Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) at the University of Birmingham is undertaking a longitudinal study which commenced in 2009. The current Phase 3 of the project which runs from 2016-2018 is being funding by the Thomas Pocklington Trust and will focus in particular on the participants’ experiences of transitioning into the labour market and independent living.

In Phase 3, in addition to continuing to track the experiences of our participants, we will also be developing guidance based on our research findings to help support young people with visual impairments through the various complex transitions they have to navigate, as well as guidance for those providing support to them. Phase 3 technical reports and findings will be uploaded as they are released.

Visit our Education reports page for the Phase 1 and Phase 2 reports and findings.

More information about the Transitions study is available on the University of Birmingham's website.

Further information

If you are interested in finding out further information about any of these projects please contact research@rnib.org.uk and we will put you in touch with the project lead. Please allow at least five working days for someone in the team to get back to you. 

Invitations for proposals

RNIB frequently commissions and carries out research studies about people with sight loss and about issues which affect their lives.

Please visit our procurement section for tender information and where invitations for proposals will be advertised.

If we are not making invitations at present, the following organisations may be worth looking into:

Fight for Sight

  • Fight for Sight has been funding research into blindness and eye disease for more than 40 years.

Research Councils UK

Wellcome Trust

  • Wellcome Trust are a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving improvements in human and animal health.

Knowledge Exchange Network

The Knowledge Exchange Network for the Sight Loss Sector has been set up to help professionals generating and using research and information on sight loss.

Visit the Knowledge Exchange Network