About Us

Mission statement

The Foundation

Since its establishment in 1974, the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Research Foundation has spearheaded research in the prevention and treatment of eye and ear diseases. The crucial work of the Research Foundation is to develop and discover innovative treatments for people suffering from sight loss and deafness. We do this by supporting young talent and championing pioneering research. The Research Foundation was the first site in Ireland which carries out electrophysiology testing. This testing helps us identify and diagnose sight threatening eye conditions. In Ireland, 54,810 people live with a sight related disability, while almost 104,000 live with a hearing disability, and these figures continue to rise.

5 people a week became blind in Ireland between 2010 and 2013

Research has enabled society to eradicate diseases and change lives.  Medical Research is the search for understanding.  Understanding leads to solutions.  Solutions lead to cures.

Advances in health research have led to so many transformations in healthcare, most of which we now take for granted.  We research for the future and for the generations that follow us in the hope that they too will ‘take for granted’ a transformation to what may once have been a life-altering diagnosis.

For more than 45 years, the Research Foundation has been at the forefront of research in eye and ear disease.  During this period our research has been seminal in major scientific and clinical advancements.

Our Aims

  • To develop and champion new treatments for conditions that cause blindness and deafness.
  • To initiate and support research to aid our understanding of how to treat and prevent eye and ear disease.
  • Create real results in improved patient care and enhanced quality of life for patients.

Sight and hearing loss have a profound effect on a person’s quality of life. Those affected can experience difficulties with everyday activities; working at a job, going to school or college or leisure activities, sometimes resulting in a loss of independence and sense of isolation from the world around us.


A photograph of The Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital Research Foundation

The Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital Research Foundation Limited, the brainchild of Dr. Alan Mooney, was established in 1974. The Hospital Council nominated a committee consisting of 9 Ophthalmic and ENT Consultants with Alan Mooney as Chairman. The committee immediately embarked on a fund-raising campaign to build a unit which would facilitate research into diseases of the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat. Thanks to the enthusiasm of the committee and Alan Mooney, in particular, the embryo Research Unit was opened in a converted mobile home in 1976 and, with further public fund-raising, the present permanent Research Unit building was opened by the then Minister for Health, Dr. Michael Woods, in March 1981. Over subsequent years, funding for research in the unit has depended on an annual contribution from the Eye and Ear Hospital, charitable donations from the general public and funds raised from services provided by the Research Unit relating to Ophthalmic and Auditory disorders.

Since its establishment in 1974, the Research Foundation at the Royal Victoria Eye & Ear Hospital, Dublin has had a particular interest in patients with various forms of inherited and retinal diseases. It was amongst the first centres in the country to develop electrodiagnostics to aid in the diagnosis and assessment of patients with blinding conditions. Today, the unit possesses state-of-the-art electrodiagnostic equipment and can carry out the full range of electrodiagnostic tests of retinal and visual function to the highest international standards. The remit of the Research Foundation has expanded over the last number of years and carries out research in various types of eye disease including retinal disease, ocular oncology, ocular inflammation, corneal disease and eye complications of systemic disease.

These research studies in Ophthalmology are crucial in the treatment and causes of eye disease, sight loss and blinding conditions.

Research Activity

The main function of the Research Foundation is to fund research projects which further our understanding of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat.

The Research Foundation also provides funding for trainee doctors to undertake higher degree studies. Current collaborations include postgraduate research projects at Trinity College Dublin, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, and Dublin City University.

In Collaboration with the Ocular Genetics Unit at Trinity College, Dublin, the Research Foundation has been active in identifying large Irish families with forms of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). To date, this collaboration has resulted in the identification of a number of genes including Rhodopsin, Peripherin/RDS and the mitochondrial gene. Recently, the group identified a mutation in the IMPDH1 gene in a large Spanish kindred with a severe and early onset form of autosomal dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa. Other projects include research into macular degeneration, the adverse effects of cigarette smoking on the retina, the corneal stem cell project and micro-RNA profiling.

Fundraising Principles

The Research Foundation, Royal Victoria Eye & Ear Hospital is fully committed to achieving the standards contained within the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising. Learn more about the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising.

The Statement exists to:

  1. Improve fundraising practice.
  2. Promote high levels of accountability and transparency by organisations fundraising from the public.
  3. Provide clarity and assurances to donors and prospective donors about the organisations they support.

We Research Foundation, Royal Victoria Eye & Ear Hospital have considered the Statement and believe we meet the standards it sets out.

  1. Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising
  2. Donor Charter Statement | Download as a PDF document or as a MS Word Document
  3. Feedback & complaints procedure | Download as a PDF document

The Research Foundation, Royal Victoria Eye & Ear Hospital report on our fundraising activities is available in our most recent Activity report 2019-2020 (PDF).

Soon we will have the Activity Report for 2020 & 2021.

For more information on Principles of Good Fundraising please visit the Charities Institute Ireland where you will have access to the Guidelines for Charitable Organisations Fundraising from the Public.  Alternatively, you can download the PDF document.

We welcome your feedback on our performance via any of the contact points provided.

Write to: Nora Papouli

Royal Victoria Eye & Ear Research Foundation Ltd
Royal Victoria Eye & Ear Hospital
Adelaide Road, Dublin 2

Tel: 01-6343630

Fax: 01-6614670

Email: nora.papouli@rveeh.ie


Company Registration Number (CRO): 514473
Charity Registration Number (CRN): 200835353
We are a charity organization, governed by the Charity Regulator of Ireland, and
adhere to the Governance Code for Charities.
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