ARVO Foundation Collaborative Research Fellowship

This Fellowship is intended to promote international scientific interactions and innovative research. This fellowship pairs researchers from developing countries with established scientists to strengthen ophthalmic research capacities. It supports a one-year project, which can include additional training in specialty equipment or research methodologies. The fellowship was established in 2009 and is generously funded by the ARVO Foundation.

Three fellowships of up to $10,000 each will be awarded; awarded funds are dependent on the budget submitted. The approved funds will be paid as an honorarium and will be sent directly to the applicant to be used for expenses in either location as determined by the two collaborators. Any related taxes are the responsibility of the recipient. Only one award will be awarded annually to any department/institution. Funding period is for one year and cannot be renewed or extended.


Applicants may seek funding to support the development of a new or an established – i.e. no more than one-year old – collaborative research project between a researcher (applicant) and an established scientist (collaborator) of their choice.

Specific eligibility criteria include:

  • Applicant must be a citizen of, and working in, a developing country that has the capacity to support eye research beyond a one-time project.
  • The collaborator may only be selected for one collaboration fellowship per year.
  • The collaborator must be a current ARVO member. ARVO will verify membership and contact the collaborator to confirm their participation.
  • The applicant cannot be a current, or previously been, a fellow at the collaborator's institution.
  • The applicant must have completed his/her terminal degree (PhD, MD or equivalent) within the past 10 years (2013 - 2023).
  • ARVO and ARVO Foundation Officers, Board members and ARVO Foundation Awards Committee members are not eligible to apply for or be nominated for an award nor may they supply letters of support during their terms.
Application process

Applications are accepted via online application. The online form must be completed by the applicant. The online application requires the following information, forms and documents:

  • Applicant Information: Complete all required fields. Please include a biosketch when applying.

  • Collaborator Information: Enter information on the researcher you will be collaborating with on this project.

  • Project Information: The following elements should be developed with the collaborator:

    • Title of Project

    • Goal: Statement of expected project outcome(s).

    • Research Capacity Assessment: Include a statement that you will have permission from the institution(s) to allot the required time, space and equipment to execute the project.

    • Project Timeline: The project period must commence within six months of notification of the award and be completed within one year of the start date.

    • Budget: an itemized budget must be included.

      • Awarded funds may not be used for equipment, institutional overhead or administrative fees.

      • Applicants funded under this program may use some of the funds to travel to the ARVO Annual Meeting if that is concurrent with a trip to the institution of the collaborator.

      • Funding Disclosure: Commercial relationships disclosure is required. Please refer to the ARVO Commercial Relationships Policy information on the ARVO website and enter the appropriate code, company information and funding level. If you have no Commercial Relationships to disclose enter "NONE".

      • Official at applicant's institution: The applicant must provide the name of the individual at their institution who will sign-off on permission to perform the project, if selected

  • Affirmations: Applicant must review the linked documents and affirm compliance with:

  • Additional Information
    • A brief report citing progress made, including information regarding this project's impact on the capacity to support eye research in the economically developing country, is due within thirty (30) days of the end of the project. A description of the use of the Fellowship funds and a final accounting must be included. Unused funds must be returned to the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research.

Review and selection process

Applications are reviewed by the ARVO Foundation Awards Committee comprised of internationally recognized experts. The deliberations of the Foundation Awards Committee are confidential and their decision is final.


Applications open on Aug. 1

Applications close on Oct. 1 (11:59pm U.S. Eastern time)

Recipients notified in Dec. 

2023 ARVO Foundation Collaborative Research Fellowship recipients

CRF recipient - Marianna HollaenderMarianna Hollaender, MD
University of Sao Paulo
Genetic analysis of nanophthalmos in the Brazilian population

CRF Recipient - Rodrigo RiedelRodrigo Riedel, PhD
Evaluation of the regenerative properties of human amniotic mesenchymal stem cells in corneal endothelial dysfunction

CRF Award recipient - Paula TenconiPaula Tenconi, PhD
Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquímicas de Bahía Blanca
The phospholipase D pathway as a potential therapeutic target for inflammatory ocular diseases