Eligibility and application process


Eligibility and application process


The application period for the 2022 DCERF awards is currently open from Sept. 1 - Dec. 1. Winners will be notified by mid-February 2022.

Eligibility Guidelines
Eligible candidates will meet the following criteria:


  • Must be a citizen of a developing country as defined by the most recent World Bank income classifications; low, lower-middle and upper-middle income economies qualify
  • Must have either an MD or PhD or equivalent professional degree
  • Graduate students in scientific areas with an interest in entering basic vision research or residents in ophthalmology who are interested in academic careers as clinician-scientists are also eligible.
  • Must have a desire to pursue a career in teaching and research in vision and ophthalmology, whether clinical or basic, in their home countries
  • Cannot be studying or training outside of his/her home country at the time of his/her recommendation for the award; the candidate must be established in his/her home country and currently employed or practicing in a field related to eye and vision research

Field of Interest
Can be interested in any area of eye and vision research, whether basic or clinical research, epidemiology, public health, infectious diseases, genetics or a particular subspecialty

Level of Research Expertise
The goal of the DCERF program is to strengthen the research capacity of recipients' countries by bringing back information from the Annual Meeting.

  • For candidates from countries with developed research infrastructure:
  • Must be in a position to share the knowledge gained at the meetings with colleagues upon return including potential funding opportunities, links to collaborators and instructors, and to share the latest information on good research practices
  • For candidates from countries without sophisticated research programs in place:
  • Must be in a position to help establish and acquire the basic elements necessary for initiating understanding of carrying out research protocols, preparation of abstracts, and production of manuscripts

ARVO Members/Nonmembers
ARVO Members and nonmembers are eligible. The candidate is not required to submit an abstract to the ARVO Annual Meeting, though it is encouraged for the experience.

Prior ARVO Annual Meeting Attendance
The candidate cannot have attended an ARVO Annual Meeting in the past.

Language Skills
The candidate should have a sufficient command of English in order to participate in the scientific program.

The Developing Country Eye Researcher Travel Fellowship recipients are selected by the ARVO Foundation based on the established guidelines.

Application requirements
Candidates must complete a brief online application to collect their contact information, summary of internet access/capabilities, a personal statement, research interests, one letter of support and CV.

Using the online application, the ARVO Foundation will select DCERF recipients based on their qualifications and the available funding. Winners will be notified by mid-February.

Requirements of Recipients
DCERF recipients are expected to do the following:

  • Recipients must have technological capabilities to attend the Annual Meeting virtually for the duration of the meeting.
  • Recipients are not required to submit an abstract or present at the Annual Meeting.
  • Recipients are expected to participate in all invited events, including the welcome and closing program calls and select virtual events.
  • Recipients are required to submit a letter of thanks and a brief report of their experience to the ARVO Foundation that can be shared with award funders.

Costs and Reimbursement
DCERF recipients are eligible to have the following costs covered up to the maximum award amount:

    • Travel Stipend: For in-person attendance, recipients receive a stipend to cover travel and accommodations for the ARVO Annual Meeting, or
    • Technology Stipend: For virtual attendance, recipients who require additional technology support will receive a stipend to ensure recipient can attend the Annual Meeting virtually
    • Annual Meeting registration
    • One year of ARVO membership
    • Support of an Annual Meeting mentor and the DCERF alumni community