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Research to Prevent Blindness

RPB Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship

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If you have any questions regarding the RPB Grants Program, please contact RPB's Director of Grants Administration, Pattie Moran, at 646-892-9566 or pmoran@rpbusa.org.

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; and Castle Biosciences* to offer one (1) award specifically targeted to research in ocular cancer for a student of allopathic medicine.  The remaining Fellowships, targeted to student of allopathic medicine, will not have a specific discipline criteria or scientific focus and will be open to any topic within vision research.  RPB will partner with Janssen* to offer one (1) of these awards.  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 / Castle Biosciences Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship in Ocular Cancer* will focus on a research project in ocular cancer within an RPB-supported department of ophthalmology.  Open to students of allopathic medicine (MD) only.
  • The RPB / Janssen 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. 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.

Only current RPB-grantee departments of ophthalmology may nominate candidates for the Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship

The spring cycle application deadline for the Medical Student Fellowship is January 10, with nomination forms due no later than December 15. The fall cycle application deadline is July 1, with nomination forms due no later than June 15.  Applications received without a prior nomination form will not be accepted. (If the nomination or application deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, consider the following business day the deadline.) 

*Contingent on available funding

The nomination and application forms as well as the guidelines and instructions for completing the application form for this award are available below.

RPB Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship Nomination Form

RPB Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship Application Form

RPB Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship Guidelines / Instructions

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