Scholarships, awards and prizes

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists offers a range of scholarships, awards and prizes every year to undergraduates, researchers and clinicians. Interested? Find out more here.

Each year, we offer a generous number of scholarships, travel awards and clinical/research fellowships in partnership with other organisations. These cover a wide variety of areas, from specialist research, to help with funding electives for undergraduates.

An award grant is a great way to enhance continued professional development and contribute to research, service development and audit for the benefit of eye care services in the UK.

Awards are added through out the year. Please watch out for announcements in EyeMail and on College social media platforms.  Direct any travel awards and scholarship enquiries to [email protected].

We ask all our reward recipients to submit a written report within three months of completing their fellowship/research, using this report format guidance. The report is circulated to the Education Committee and the awarding body.

Please note: the Patrick Trevor-Roper Undergraduate Travel Award has come to an end. There is no replacement undergraduate travel award planned at this stage. If this changes, there will be an announcement via the usual channels: EyeMail, College social media platforms, and on this page.

Open Awards

Glaucoma UK and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists are please to announce that applications are now being accepted to the 2024 Glaucoma UK/RCOphth Research Award. The award(s) can be up to the value of £100,000.

This award is funded by Glaucoma UK. The application process is administered by The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.­ The closing date is Tuesday 7 May 2024, 9am. Interviews will take place in July 2024.

The Glaucoma UK RCOphth funding stream is accredited by NIHR.

  1. This is a postgraduate research award to facilitate research into glaucoma.
  1. Applicants may be trainees seeking support for a fellowship or senior researchers seeking a grant for a project.
  1. Applications are invited from departments and individuals based in the UK or Ireland, but the research studies may be carried out elsewhere.
  1. Glaucoma UK encourages patient-orientated research and research directly concerned with the improvement of the management of glaucoma.
  1. Multidisciplinary research teams are encouraged and should include a member/fellow of The Royal College of Ophthalmology, but co-applicants (and project lead) may include hospital/community-based optometrists and/or nurses undertaking glaucoma research in the UK and Ireland.
  1. The awards are normally awarded annually.
  1. Grants must be taken up within nine months, unless the grantee makes an application, with explanation, to the Chair of the Glaucoma UK Grants Committee for approval.
  1. The successful applicant will be required to submit a preliminary report on work carried out at six months and after each six months thereafter for the duration of the award and return a full report at the termination of the Fellowship. The progress of each project will be monitored by Glaucoma UK’s Head of Research. Continued staged financial payments are dependent on receipt and satisfactory review of each of these reports with the last 10% of payment given on receipt of the final report.


Please note that the application process is administered by The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. The conditions of grant will be an agreement between Glaucoma UK and the successful applicant.

Please email an electronic version of your completed application form and embedded CV to [email protected]

CVs sent as separate documents will be accepted as an alternative to completing the relevant section on the application form.

For queries about Glaucoma UK’s funding and priorities contact Joanna Hodgkinson, Head of Research, on [email protected], or 07719 519 021.

Closing date for applications: 7 May 2024.

Interviews will take place in July 2024.


The 2024 Zakarian Awards are now open for submissions. There are three awards, to be offered to members of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists to gain experience and skills by undertaking ophthalmic and vision research.

The Zakarian Awards are offered jointly between the College and Fight for Sight / Vision Foundation. They are named to honour the late Miss Zakarian who generously left Fight for Sight a legacy to help the charity support pioneering researchers.

The Zakarian Awards are designed to support three categories of researchers:

1. Ophthalmology trainees not in the IATS or other research training posts seeking to undertake research. Support can be sought for consumables, equipment and open access dissemination and for salary support to buy ‘time out’ from a training programme to undertake research.

2. Consultants or SAS ophthalmologists holding NHS substantive contracts and without dedicated research time (PAs in job plan). Those holding academic posts/contracts are ineligible. Support can be sought for buying out time in the job plan for research, or for consumables or equipment to establish a research project.

3. Academic Clinical Fellow (NIHR IATS ACF) Ophthalmology trainees seeking to prepare preliminary/pilot data to develop their proposed PhD projects and/or doctoral research training funding applications. Support can be sought for consumables, equipment and open access dissemination.

We are especially keen to support those without any or very limited prior research experience and/or those not in academic posts in order to help them get started in research, in line with Ophthalmic Research By All.


• Applications open – 3 April 2024
• Deadline – 19 June 2024
• Stage 1 outcome – August 2024
• Interviews (Stage 2 invited applicants) – 4 September 2024 (tbc)
• Funding outcome – September 2024

Max funding / duration

12 months, in keeping with the aim of funding a circumscribed research project which may lead to further research opportunities.


  • Lead applicants must be a member of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists
  • Applicants with no or limited prior research experience are especially welcome to apply
  • As this scheme is designed for ophthalmologists to gain research skills, the lead applicant should be carrying out most of the work
  • Proposals to ‘top up’ existing research funding are not eligible, but stand-alone ‘bolt-on’ projects to a larger, existing piece of work are permitted
  • Lead applicants must be affiliated with UK academic or medical institutions
  • The research must take place within the UK
  • Applications are limited to one per lead applicant
  • Lead applicants must not currently have two or more active grants with the charity. An applicant with two active grants where one (or more) is due to end by the outcome date of this scheme may still apply
  • The Mentor (rather than the lead applicant) is required to have a contract of employment at the host institution which extends beyond the end date of the award.

Application process

All applications must be submitted via Fight for Sight/Vision Foundation’s Grant Tracker system. New applicants must register for an account to access the application form. Returning applicants can login to their existing account.

Contact us

For any queries, please contact Fight for Sight / Vision Foundation’s research team at [email protected] or the Royal College of Ophthalmologists at [email protected]


Awards & Prizes Reports

Read the reports from previous successful applicants and hear what they achieved with their awards and prizes.

Read more