Research to Prevent Blindness: Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship

The Medical Student Eye Research Fellowships allow gifted students to take a year off from allopathic or osteopathic medical school and devote time to the pursuit of a research project within an RPB-supported department of ophthalmology.  Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) is partnering with the American Osteopathic Colleges of Ophthalmology & Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AOCOO-HNS) to offer one (1) award specifically targeted to a student of osteopathic medicine.  Additionally, RPB will partner with Johnson & Johnson to offer one (1) award targeted to students of allopathic medicine.  Both Fellowships will not have a specific discipline criteria or scientific focus and will be open to any topic within vision research.  We encourage projects that incorporate artificial intelligence and/or data science.  For all Fellowships, we particularly encourage individuals who identify as female and / or an under-represented minority to apply to bring much needed equity and diversity to the field of vision research.

  • The RPB / AOCOO-HNS Foundation Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship for a Student of Osteopathic Medicine will offer one (1) award to a student of osteopathic medicine focusing on any topic in vision research within an RPB-supported department of ophthalmology.  Open to students of osteopathic medicine (SOM) only.
  • The RPB / Johnson & Johnson Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship will not have a specific scientific focus and are open to any topic in vision research within an RPB-supported department of ophthalmology.  Open to students of allopathic medicine (MD) only.

The fellowship, which must take place prior to the third or fourth year of allopathic or osteopathic medical school, will be funded for one year with a $30,000 grant, a portion of which should be utilized to help finance the recipient’s eye research activities. Up to an additional $8,000 will be provided for students who must relocate at least one hour away from their allopathic or osteopathic medical school location to another school for the fellowship.  (Distribution of these additional funds is at the discretion of RPB.)  MD/PhD students are not eligible to apply.  The program is neither intended to become a vehicle to assure the candidate a residency, nor used simply to provide technical assistance. The candidate, mentor, and the proposed training program are evaluated in the review process. Mentors should carefully consider the research project and its objectives as well as the role of and outcomes for the medical student within the project, as they will be required to submit this information in the application.  Since outcomes are not announced until almost six months after submission, the applicant should be aware of the risk of rejection. Grantee chairs may nominate two (2) candidates per grant review cycle — one student of allopathic medicine and one student of osteopathic medicine.

For more information, please see the foundation website.