Student Travel Fellowships

The Academy Student Travel Fellowships (STF) submission window is now closed.

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 (STF). These fellowships are designed to encourage optometry 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. Fellowships are awarded primarily for accomplishment and potential in optometric research and education. Academic abilities, including clinical abilities if relevant, are considered. Students MUST be a student member of the Academy to be eligible. Students MUST have an accepted abstract for Academy 2021 Boston.  

It is the standard policy of the Academy that recipients who receive a travel stipend to attend an event, cannot receive a second or duplicate travel stipend for the same event, from the Academy or its affiliate, the Foundation.

Students do not apply for a specific Academy student travel fellowships; however, when evaluating the applications, the reviewers place the most weight on the primary criteria specified for each fellowship.

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. Letters must be submitted by August 1, 2021. 

Additional Information

Award winners to the American Academy of Optometry’s annual meeting MUST attend the Student/Resident Awards Lunch on Thursday, November 4 to receive their award checks. American Academy of Optometry Foundation STFs will be awarded at the Celebration Luncheon on Saturday, November 6 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 notified 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.