For Optometrists and Vision Scientists

The American Academy of Optometry and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation provide several awards and grants for optometrists and vision scientists.
Awards of Recognition
Research Grants
All awards of recognition are by nomination only (no individual applications).

The 2022 nomination window will open in January 2022. Please submit the following by email to Helen Viksnins at

  • A letter of nomination sent directly from an Academy Fellow, explaining why the nominee is particularly deserving of the award for which the nomination has been made. Please include the nature of the nominator's relationship with the nominee.
  • A copy of the CV of the nominee.
  • A letter seconding the nomination from another Academy Fellow

Additional letters of support will not be included in the nomination package.

Award Name



Awarded annually to a distinguished scientist or clinician scientist in recognition of a career-long record of advancement of knowledge in vision science.
April 1, 2022
The award is given annually to a distinguished scientist or clinician scientist in recognition of the quality, significance, impact, and relevance to optometry of his or her current research contributions.
April 1, 2022
Awarded to a person who has made outstanding contributions to the enhancement and development of relationships between optometry and other professions.
April 1, 2022
Awarded to individuals who have contributed significantly to the Academy.
April 1, 2022
Awarded to individuals who have contributed significantly to the Academy.
April 1, 2022
Recognizes an optometric educator who has demonstrated ongoing and consistent excellence in educating optometry students and/or the advancement of optometric education.
April 1, 2022
Presented to an individual who has made a distinguished and significant contribution to clinical excellence and the direct clinical advancement of visual and optometric service and thus the visual enhancement of the public.
April 1, 2022
Honors those persons who have rendered extraordinary and/or distinguished long-term service to the Academy.
April 1, 2022
The award will be presented annually to a distinguished clinician who has made outstanding and sustained contributions to the Academy’s Lectures and Workshops Program.
April 1, 2022

The Garland W. Clay Award (established in 1978) is presented to the author or authors of the most important paper published in Optometry and Vision Science in the preceding five years. The Editorial Board will judge Importance by criteria that include, but are not limited to, the number of citations in the world scientific literature, impact on vision science, value to the practice of optometry, and relevance to the mission of the Academy.

Selected by the Editorial Board of Optometry and Vision Science
Recognizes an outstanding young scientist or clinician scientist who shows exceptional promise in conducting independent research directly related to etiology, prevention, detection, diagnosis, or management of clinical ocular disorders.
April 1, 2022
This award will recognize an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to improve eye care within a country or region.
April 1, 2022
This award recognizes an individual, individuals or organizations for extraordinary international contributions to optometry or international eye care.
April 1, 2022
This award is in memory of, and in honor of, those Academy Fellows who founded the Section on Contact Lens of the American Academy of Optometry.
The Section on CCLRT Executive Committee nominates the recipient(s). 
The award is in the form of a plaque that is given to a clinician, researcher, or scholar who has made a significant contribution to the cornea and contact lens field by virtue of his publications, lectures, or research efforts.
The Max Schapero Memorial Lecture Award Committee decides who shall be chosen to receive this annual award.
Given to an individual for his/her exemplary contributions to public health and/or environmental vision over many years.
Nominations are due by May 30, 2022, to Dr. Kent Harrington.

Grant Name


Application Window

Allergan Foundation Research Grant
To support talented optometry and vision science faculty and researchers in innovative research in the area of glaucoma or the anterior segment. One, one-year award, of $60,000, plus a $750 travel grant for the Principal Investigator and up to three co-investigators on the project to attend the next annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry.
Will not be given this year
The program’s funding is designed to benefit individuals early in their career whose academic curiosity leads them to seek answers to a vast variety of professionally-based questions covering a wide area of vision science, clinical practice, or eye related public health.
June 1 - Aug 1, 2021
To positively influence and reduce the age at which optometric researchers attain large scale federal support and to increase the number of optometrists who receive such support. Maximum of $50,000 in direct costs per year for up to two years. The applicant’s institution will be required to provide matching funds.
LOI due 2/16/2021

To answer clinically meaningful questions that will have a significant impact on patient care in optometry, and to provide a mechanism for Academy Fellows to conduct clinical research. Up to $100,000 award per project for direct costs.
LOI due 2/16/2021
Provides a stipend of $25,000 to support an individual to further their knowledge in the broad area of dry eye. This grant is not designed to merely extend a period of study or employment. Funds from this award may not be used to purchase major equipment for an institution for dry eye research.
May 1 - July 1, 2021
Intended to increase interest and reward excellence in the field of low vision for faculty at North American schools and colleges of optometry. One, $1,000 grant, will be awarded in 2018.
Apr 1 - June 1, 2021