Advocacy Events

Emerging Vision Scientists (EVS) Capitol Hill Research Exhibition/Education Days - September 18 and 19, 2019

ARVO attended the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR)'s Emerging Vision Scientists (EVS) Capitol Hill Research Exhibition/Education Days, which spanned various activities focused on the benefits of federal funding in eye and vision research. AEVR's International AMD Awareness Week 2019 Congressional Briefing entitled, New Stem Cell-Based Therapies for Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Blast-Related Eye Injuries, featured ARVO member Kapil Bharti, PhD.

ARVO staff had the chance to meet all EVS's during a Congressional Reception on Sept. 18, during which AEVR President and ARVO member Paul Lee, MD, JD presented remarks. ARVO staff also had the opportunity to accompany EVSs and the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) during Congressional office visits on Sept. 19, educating members of Congress and their staff on the importance of NIH and NEI funding on critical eye and vision research. Read NAEVR's full summary here.

Prevent Blindness National Summit - July 17, 2019

ARVO members and staff were amongst the attendees and presenters at the Focus on Eye Health National Summit, A Lifetime of Vision hosted by Prevent Blindness on July 17 in Washington, DC. Highlights of the Summit — sponsored in part by ARVO — included keynote speaker Bill Barkley, a visually impaired adventurer, advocate and author, and presentations and discussions on the preservation of vision throughout a lifetime. Attendees included ARVO members, patient advocates, community-based organizations, national vision and eye health organizations and government agencies. The Summit concluded with the presentation of the Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health to ARVO member Cynthia Owsley, PhD, MSPH, FARVO. View the presentations.

The previous day included Congressional visits during Eyes on Capitol Hill Advocacy Day on July 16, also hosted by Prevent Blindness. Patient advocates, including ARVO members, from around the country came to Washington, DC to meet with their legislators and staff to discuss the importance of eye and vision health.

Dry Eye Awareness Month Congressional Briefing - July 10, 2019

ARVO members Benjamin Sullivan, PhD, Deborah S. Jacobs, MD, Bridgette Shen Lee, OD and David A. Sullivan, PhD, FARVO participated on a panel alongside other dry eye researchers on July 10, during a Congressional briefing hosted by the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) and the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) as part of Dry Eye Awareness Month. In addition to being educated on dry eye and the importance of dry eye research funding through NIH and NEI, Congressional staff were also invited to have their tear film osmolarity tested, courtesy of TearLab.

Celebrate Life Sciences Fair - June 21, 2019

ARVO staff had a great evening attending the Celebrate Life Sciences Fair in Washington D.C. More than 200 Congressional staffers attended and ARVO had the opportunity to discuss key issues affecting the scientific community and how worldwide research would benefit from an increase in federal funding towards NIH and NEI. 

Emerging Vision Scientists Congressional Reception - September 27, 2018

On September 27, 2018, ARVO members shared their research with members of Congress and their staff at the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) Emerging Vision Scientist Congressional Reception. The 21 researchers, all whom have completed their degree but have yet to receive their first R01 from the NIH, spoke about the importance of government funding to their careers.

In its fourth year, the reception has grown to be a prominent event in the vision research community. Speakers included Michael Steinmetz, PhD, director of extramural science programs at NEI. Several members of Congress and their staff attended the event alongside representatives from Research to Prevent Blindness, the Age-related Macular Degeneration Foundation and Foundation Fighting Blindness. The reception also recognized the 25th anniversary of AEVR.


Huang poster

Steinmetz, Jorkasky podium

EVS class of 2018

Images: (TL) Assistant Professor Dimitra Skondra, MD, PhD (right), discusses her researchto Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-IL, center) and NEI Director of Extramural Science Programs Michael Steinmetz, PhD (left), (TR)  Research Assistant Professor Jenny Huang, OD, PhD poses in front of her poster on myopia research, (BL) NEI Director of Extramural Science Programs Michael Steinmetz, PhD, shares the podium with AEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky (right), (BR) The AEVR Emerging Vision Scientist class of 2018

Annual Advocacy Day

Advocacy Day, organized by the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR), is an annual U.S.-based opportunity for students and established researchers to share their science with their representatives, describe how their work and careers depend on federal funding and invite policymakers to visit their labs.

This event brings ARVO members from the U.S. and abroad to Washington, D.C. to talk to members of Congress — including new members and those assigned to key committees with NIH funding oversight — and their staff about the importance of science research funding. Participation in this event is also part of ARVO’s Science Communication Training Fellowship (required for U.S. fellows only).

View 2019 Advocacy Day summary

View 2019 Advocacy Day photo album