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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, the RCOphth offers 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.

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 RCOphth Education Committee and the awarding body.

Open Awards

The Dorey Lister Travel Award 2022

The Keeler Scholarship 2022

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists Zakarian Awards

Current Awards

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

RCOphth Zakarian Awards 2022

These new awards are offered jointly between the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and Fight for Sight. Fight for Sight’s mission is to stop sight loss by funding the highest quality medical research. The RCOphth recognises that research is the basis of high-quality evidence-based clinical care, services, and policies. They are named to honour the late Miss Zakarian who generously left Fight for Sight a legacy to help the charity support pioneering researchers.

Three awards will be offered to ophthalmologists who are members of RCOphth, to gain experience and undertake ophthalmic and vision research. The award offers £25,000, jointly supported by Fight for Sight and the RCOphth. The award is tenable for one year.
The RCOphth Zakarian Awards are designed to support three categories of researchers:
1. 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.
2. 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
3. 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
Successful applicants are expected to gain experience in and exposure to a research environment to increase their skills and knowledge base.
Closing date: 22 July 2022. The interview will be at the beginning of September. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of September 2022 with the award expected to start by the end of October 2022.

Dorey Bequest & William Lister Travel Awards

  • 2022 is the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Dorey Lister Travel Awards. To mark this special occasion the maximum amount awarded has been raised to £1000.
  • Annual award for ophthalmologists in training.
  • The number and value of the awards are determined by the state of the funds and the candidate’s requirements; the amount awarded is generally between £300 and £600. For 2022 to mark the 30th anniversary of the award the maximum available will be £1000.
  • Those who have received a travel award from the Ethicon Foundation Fund are not eligible to apply.
  • Closing date: Friday 30 September 2022

Keeler Scholarship 2022

  • One award every two years of up to £30,000.
  • To study, research or acquire special skills, knowledge or experience at a suitable location in the UK or elsewhere for a minimum period of six months for the subsequent benefit of Ophthalmology in the UK.
  • Potential applicants who have received substantial (usually meaning amounts greater than the value of the scholarship) funding for their project are not eligible for the Keeler Scholarship.
  • The Trustees will give special consideration to candidates intending to make a career in ophthalmology in the UK.
  • Closing date: Monday 5 December 2022

Unless otherwise stated, applicants must be UK citizens as well as Members and Fellows in good standing of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Please direct any travel Awards & Scholarship enquiries to [email protected].

Awards & Prizes Reports

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

Read more