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Awards and Prizes

RCOphth offers a wide range of travel awards and clinical/research fellowships in partnership with other organisations. Names of winners are published annually unless individual opt-out requests are received. All award recipients are required to submit a written report within three months of the completion of their fellowship/research, to be circulated to the RCOphth Education Committee and the awarding body.  Please use the Report Format Guidance.

Plagiarism will result in disqualification.

Please direct any Awards & Scholarship enquiries to education@rcophth.ac.uk .

Open Awards

Closed Awards

  • Essay Prize for Foundation Doctors
  • Ethicon Foundation Fund
  • Fight For Sight/John Lee Primer Award
  • Fight For Sight/Royal Society of Medicine Award
  • The Ophthalmology Clinical Research Training Fellowship


Open Awards – Information to apply Closing Date

Fight for Sight 2018
One award of £5,000

A shortlist of candidates will be invited to interview. Applications are invited from young ophthalmologists and scientists working in the field of ophthalmology throughout the UK. The award will be made in recognition of the completion of a significant piece of research (completed within 18 months prior to the closing date) in an area that falls within the remit of the charity.  It is intended that the award will be used to further the education of the award winner by being spent on research-related activities including attendance at conferences and seminars on ophthalmology.

Applicants must be under 40 on 1 January 2018. Applicants may be non-UK citizens.  RCOphth membership is not required.

17.00hrs  Wednesday 31 January 2018

International Glaucoma Association 2018
The maximum award will be £100,000

A shortlist of candidates will be invited to interview.This is a postgraduate research award to facilitate research into glaucoma. Applicants may be trainees seeking support for a fellowship or senior researchers seeking a grant for a project. Applications are invited from departments and individuals based in the UK or Eire but the research studies may be carried out elsewhere.The IGA encourages patient orientated research and research directly concerned with the improvement of the management of glaucoma.

Multidisciplinary research teams are encouraged and should include a member/fellow of the RCOphth but co-applicants (and project lead) may include hospital/community-based optometrists and/or nurses undertaking glaucoma research in the UK and Eire. Animal experimentation is specifically excluded from work supported by the International Glaucoma Association Fellowships. Grants must be taken up within nine months, unless the grantee makes an application, with explanation, to the Chair of the IGA Grants Committee for approval.

17.00hrs           Friday 2 February 2018

Keeler Scholarship 2018
One award of up to £30,000

The Keeler Scholarship is awarded every two years.  A shortlist of candidates will be invited to interview.

To enable the Keeler Scholar, for the subsequent benefit of ophthalmology in the UK, 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. Applicants must be fellows, members or affiliates of the RCOphth in good standing. 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. Applicants may apply retrospectively but should not be more than three months into the fellowship for which they are applying for support by the closing date. The project or fellowship must be due to start before February 2020, and the intended start date must be stated on the application form. If problems subsequently arise in this regard, the Trustees must be informed immediately and, depending on the reason for the postponement, they reserve the right to withdraw the Scholarship in this situation.

17.00hrs  Wednesday
7 February 2018

RCOphth and NIHR Researcher of the Year Awards 2018

Applications are sought from Members and Fellows of the College who are engaged in clinical research in the course of their NHS duties. Clinical research is important for NHS in establishing care standards, generating or confirming evidence for clinical care and developing new therapeutic options for our patients. There are numerous examples where clinical research in the NHS has helped generate evidence and enhance clinical care to reduce burden of blindness.

The RCOphth in collaboration with the NIHR has developed this award scheme to recognise important contribution the Fellows and Members of the College make. The awards will be in three categories:

one consultant award for non-commercial research, where a consultant has made significant contribution to an NIHR portfolio study;

one consultant award for Commercial (industry sponsored) research, for contribution made to an NIHR portfolio commercial study;

one trainee/ career grade award for outstanding contribution made by a trainee or career grade ophthalmologist.

Each awardee will receive certificate of achievement and complementary registration for the RCOphth Congress taking place in Liverpool on the 21 – 24 May

A joint panel of NIHR and RCOphth representatives will judge the winner of the awards. Please return completed application forms to ian.nickson@nihr.ac.uk

 17.00hrs Friday 9 February 2018

The RCOphth – Bayer Research Award 2018

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and Bayer have come together in a partnership to launch a grant to promote research in ophthalmology.

This grant is for £8,000 and may be used to support up to a one-year research project, which can either be undertaken in the UK or abroad in any field of ophthalmology.

Any Ophthalmic Specialist Trainee, Member or Fellow of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists with an interest in undertaking a research project is eligible to apply.

17.00hrs              Thursday 29 March 2018

The Patrick Trevor-Roper Travel Award 2018
Three Awards of £550 each

Applications are invited for this award in Ophthalmology, which is open to all undergraduate medical students – from the United Kingdom and Eire only – with an interest in the specialty.  The money may be used to fund electives in Ophthalmology and may be spent on travelling or subsistence.  Successful candidates will be required to prepare a short written report at the end of the electives. Reports will be published on the College website unless successful candidates request in advance to opt out.

The Patrick Trevor Roper Award is awarded every year for electives to be carried out in the 12 months following the closing date.

17.00hrs              Wednesday 30 May 2018

Dorey Bequest and Sir William Lister Travel Awards 2018
Multiple awards £300 – £600

The multiple awards are for ophthalmologists in training who are UK citizens as well as members, affiliates or fellows of the RCOphth in good standing. The number and value of the awards will be determined by the state of the funds and the candidate’s requirements. Please note that retrospective applications will not be considered.

17.00hrs              Wednesday 26 September 2018
Closed Awards

Essay Prize for Foundation Doctors 2017

The award is for all those currently in a UK Foundation Programme (F1, F2) at the time of submission, as well as those who have completed the UK Foundation Programme but have not yet achieved an OST1 post. The winners of second and third place will be presented with certificates and the first prize will have free entry into The Royal College of Ophthalmologists Annual Congress to present work as a poster and will be invited to attend the Admission Ceremony.

Monday 9 October 2017 (Closed)

BOSU Surveillance Study Bursary
Three research bursaries of £6,000 each

With the kind support from The Red Trust and the Ross Foundation, the British Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit (BOSU) is once again offering three research bursaries of £6,000 to support ophthalmologists in training to undertake an epidemiological study of a rare eye condition through BOSU or the Scottish Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit. The objectives for these awards are to:

  • Enable the successful ophthalmologist to develop their research knowledge and skills
  • Add to the body of knowledge of rare eye diseases and conditions

Assistance with preparation of applications is available from the BOSU and applicants are advised to initially contact Barny Foot (barny.foot@rcophth.ac.uk or 07808 581659) for an informal discussion and to request application guidelines. For further information please download the award advert.

20 October 2017 (Closed)

Ethicon Foundation Fund 2017
Multiple awards of £500 – £1,500

The fund was established by the generosity of Ethicon for the purpose of promoting international goodwill in ophthalmology by providing financial assistance to fellows, members or affiliates of the RCOphth who have passed the Refraction Certificate and FRCOphth Part 1 and are travelling abroad for research or training.

The Committee favours applications which demonstrate that applicants are using their initiative to obtain clinical experience above and beyond that which they would derive from a routine exchange or secondment to an overseas centre.  It is envisaged that the award will support more senior trainees towards the end of their training who have already gained some relevant experience in the UK. This should not, however, discourage junior trainees with an outstanding project from applying.

On occasions, grants may be made to senior applicants who may be visiting an overseas centre to teach and/or learn new techniques. The Committee does not, in general, favour grants to enable an applicant to attend a meeting or conference overseas; neither does it favour grants to support the travel and subsistence of an applicant’s family.

There are two separate categories: long-term fellowships (one month plus in duration) and short-term visits (under one month). Retrospective applications will not be considered.

27 October 2017 (Closed)

Fight for Sight / John Lee, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists
Primer Fellowship Award for up to one year £60,000

This award is offered to trainee ophthalmologists and who are members of the RCOphth to undertake vision research. It provides funding for up to one year to a maximum amount of £60,000. These are aimed to fund trainees at an earlier stage in their career in order to aid the successful applicant to produce a strong application for Clinical Research Training Fellowships in the future. For further information, criteria and to apply, please visit the Fight for Sight website.

1 November 2017 (Closed)

Fight for Sight/Royal Society of Medicine
Primer Fellowship Award for up to one year £60,000

This award supports trainee ophthalmologists, ophthalmic nursing or allied health professional graduates (including optometrists and orthoptists) to undertake vision research. For further information, criteria and to apply, please visit the Fight for Sight website.

1 November 2017 (Closed)