Student Travel Fellowships

In an effort to promote its research aims and support young researchers, the American Academy of Optometry and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation provide student travel fellowships. These fellowships are designed to encourage optometry and vision related graduate students to attend key national meetings and exchange scientific ideas and research. 

Each year the Academy offers a limited number of travel fellowships of $750 each for students to attend the annual meeting of the Academy and the ARVO meeting. Fellowships are awarded primarily for accomplishment and potential in optometric research and education. Academic abilities, including clinical abilities if relevant, are considered.  

Please direct all questions to Betty Rodriguez at

2017 Academy Meeting Student Travel Fellowship Opportunities
Award(s) Eligibility Requirements Application

General Student Travel Fellowships

(Includes Frank W. Weymouth STF, Irvin M. Borish STF, Brazelton Low Vision STF, Edward I. Goodlaw STF, Johnson and Johnson STFs, Academy STFs, Academy State Chapter STFs, AOSA STF, Scleral Lens Education Society STF, Elmer H. Eger STF [AAOF], N. Rex Ghormley STF [AAOF])

  • Must be Academy student member
  • Must have had an abstract accepted as a first presenter/author of a paper or poster (for most grants)
Opens July 3, 2017
BSK Student Travel Fellowship (AAOF)
  • Must be Academy student member
  • 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year optometry student
  • Must be a BSK member
Opens July 3, 2017
Kirschen Family Student Travel Fellowship (AAOF)
  • Must be Academy student member
  • 3rd or 4th year optometry student whose goal is to go into private practice
  • Being a paper/poster presenter is desired, but not required
Opens July 3, 2017

Click here to view the full list of grants and their requirements.

Application Requirements:

  • One-page statement, including:

A) Your commitment and interest in optometric research and/or education and your short and long term career goals.

B) Previous research training talks, papers, and posters, plans for a career in research and/or education.

C) Demonstrated and potential for self-motivation, independence and leadership.

D) Summary of academic training, including honors.

  • A copy of the abstract of paper or poster that has been accepted.
  • Recommendation letter from faculty. 

Requirements and application instructions may differ based on award. Materials MUST be submitted online by Monday, July 31, 2017 using the online submission tool. Applications that remain incomplete after the deadline date will not be evaluated. To edit your submission, login to your account.

Additional Information

Award winners to the American Academy of Optometry’s Annual Meeting MUST attend the Student Awards Lunch on Thursday, October 12, 2017 from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM to receive their award checks. American Academy of Optometry Foundation STFs will be awarded at the Celebration Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM.

Once the applicant submits his/her application, an email will be generated to the recommender; the recommender can use this link to upload the applicant's recommendation.

Student Travel Fellowship applications are evaluated by the Academy’s Research Committee, Scientific Program Committee and Membership Committee. Applicants will be notificed of the committee's decision prior to the meeting the applicant wishes to attend. 

Award winners will be given an award based on availability. Although students can apply to attend a meeting for which they have previously been awarded a travel fellowship, priority may be given to first-time awardees. However, previous winners for travel to one meeting (either AAO or ARVO) are encouraged to apply for the other.