The American Academy of Optometry Introduces Career Development Award for Young Researchers

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ORLANDO, Fla.—The American Academy of Optometry (AAO) has announced a career development award for optometric faculty who are in the early stages of their careers at schools or colleges of optometry and departments of ophthalmology. The award is designed for optometric educators and scientists involved in research that is clinical, patient-oriented, educational, etc., as long it has the potential for future extramural funding.

The AAO will provide a maximum of $50,000 in direct costs per year for up to two years, with the potential for a one-time renewal resulting in a total of up to four years of funding. The applicant’s institution will be required to provide matching funds up to $50,000 per year for each year of funding. Matching funds must be new and cannot include existing support. Eligible applicants must be junior faculty at schools and colleges of optometry in the U.S. (or optometrists in other academic settings, such as departments of ophthalmology) who are less than or equal to five years since their terminal degree and less than or equal to ten years from their optometric degree.

Because it takes many years for young researchers to acquire federal funding after the inception of their careers and because the mean age of first time National Institutes of Health grantees is over 40 years of age, the AAO has launched this initiative to help reduce the age at which early stage optometric researchers attain large scale federal support.

Proposals and all related materials must be mailed to the AAO office postmarked no later than the submission deadlines, which are Feb. 3, 2014 for the letter of intent and Aug. 1, 2014 for the application. The full request for proposal can be viewed on the AAO website.