Application & Review Timeline

  • Call for Submissions (January 2, 2019)
  • Letter of intent submission deadline (April 1, 2019)
  • Invitation to submit proposal (May 30, 2019)
  • Grant proposal submission deadline (August 1, 2019)
  • Review Committee completes review of proposals (September 5, 2019)
  • AAO Board of Directors ratifies review committee recommendations (October 2019)
  • Notification of awards and funds dispersed (at Academy 2019 Orlando and the 3rd World Congress of Optometry)
  • Funds disbursed January 2020

The American Academy of Optometry (AAO) is pleased to announce a new clinical research award for Fellows of the Academy. This publication describes the funding opportunity and submission requirements.

Applications and questions should be directed to Helen Viksnins, Senior Director, Programs, at


Eligibility Requirements


Past Recipients

Purpose of Award

  • To answer clinically meaningful questions that will have a significant impact on patient care in optometry.
  • To provide a mechanism for Academy Fellows to conduct clinical research.

Makeup of the Award

  • Up to $100,000 award per project.
  • Project must be completed within two years.
  • Academy will fund direct costs only (no funding for indirect expenses/Facilities & Administration Expenses (F&A).

Eligibility Requirements

  • Each research group must name an individual Academic Partner who has research experience and has published in refereed journals in the area of investigation.
  • All listed investigators (PI and co-investigators) must be Academy Fellows in good standing.
  • Ideally 60% of the investigator group will be in clinical practice outside of an academic institution. If this is not possible because of the particular study topic, an explanation must be inlcluded.
  • The research project must address a relevant clinical question and have the potential to positively impact patient care in optometry.
  • Investigator(s) must submit study results to the Academy’s Scientific Program Committee for presentation at the Annual Meeting and to Optometry and Vision Science or other peer-reviewed journals for publication

The Letter of Intent

Prospective applicants should submit a letter of intent (LOI) for the purpose of defining the applicant’s eligibility. The LOI must stipulate that the principal investigator (PI) and all co-investigators are Academy Fellows in good standing and specify all practice location/affiliations. 

In a given application cycle, an applicant (PI) can only submit one LOI and upon eligibility approval, one proposal. Additional LOIs or proposals from the same PI per funding cycle will not be considered.

The LOI will be reviewed by the review committee. If the LOI meets with their approval, a notice will be sent to the applicant PI inviting the submission of a full proposal.

The LOI must be no more than 5 pages and should include the following:

  1. Study Objectives and Research Question/Hypothesis: Describe the objectives of the study, and the research question/hypothesis posed.
  2. Rationale for Proposed Research: Briefly describe what important clinical problem the research project is addressing and how the proposed study achieves the purpose of the American Academy of Optometry Clinical Research Award.
  3. Description of Methods: Provide an overview of the proposed study design and methods.
  4. Names and CVs of the Academic Partner, Principal Investigator, Research Team: List key members of the research project team, including consultants, with a description of each member’s role in the project and their affiliations/appointments.
  5. Budget overview

Download the full description (Word).

Submission of the Completed Application

The LOI and full application should be sent as a PDF via email to Helen Viksnins at the Academy office. 

Awardees will be announced at the 2019 annual meeting awards ceremony.

  • 2017    Tawna Roberts
  • 2019    Ava Bittner