Allergan Foundation Research Grants


To support talented optometry and vision science faculty and researchers in the area of glaucoma or the anterior segment. The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) is now accepting  proposals for projects in glaucoma and  anterior segment for research grants sponsored by The Allergan Foundation.

The awards are open to all faculty and researchers in optometry and vision science. Preference will be given to North American applicants. Each selected research grant, one in the area of glaucoma and one in the area of anterior segment, will receive $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 (AAO).

The Principal Investigator must be a member of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). It is also encouraged that the Co-Investigators be members. To learn more, please visit the AAO website: Candidate for Fellowship

All funds, as per policy of the American Academy of Optometry and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation, will be issued in U.S. currency to the primary institution of record.

Awards support research conducted for a period of one year in the area of glaucoma or the anterior segment. Recipients must submit a minimum 500-word report of his or her research findings to the AAOF at the end of the award period in order to be eligible for subsequent awards sponsored by The Allergan Foundation or AAOF.

Eligibility and Application

The submission window opens May 15, 2020 and closes July 15, 2020.

The application must be submitted online via our online submission system. Please click the apply now button when the window is open to submit your proposal.

Each proposal must contain the following components:

  • Cover page: project title, institution and address, name (including degree(s)) and titles for Principal Investigator (and a maximum of three Co-Investigators) with contact information.
  • Introduction: background and significance; specific aims; preliminary studies; and study design and methods. This section should total no more than 5 pages.
  • References (maximum of 1 page)
  • Budget and budget justification (maximum of 1 page) *NOTE: It is the policy of the Foundation not to cover indirect cost.
  • Biographical sketch(es) of Principal Investigator and up to three Co-Investigators (maximum of 2 pages for each investigator) that must include:
    • Full contact information 
    • Education/training; research and professional experience; honors and awards
    • A copy of three key papers by the Principal Investigator that best represent his or her scientific publications (do not include abstracts, theses, or other applications). May include copies of papers in press.
  • A signed Letter of Assurance (one page) by Dean or President indicating that the proposal has been reviewed and meets with the standards of the institution and, if warranted, observes all rules and regulations regarding compliance with research on human or animal subjects.
  • Signed AAOF Research Agreement once recipient is chosen and before money is disbursed.

The AAO Research Committee and external reviewers with topical expertise, as needed, provide a scientific merit review. All applicants will receive a detailed summary statement. Following scientific review, the Programs Approval Committee (PAC) selects recipients based on merit and programmatic goals. Results are provided to the Foundation Board for final decisions on funding.

Priority will be given to North American applicants but is not a requirement to apply. 

Grant Notes

The AAOF is a non-profit organization and our policy is not to cover any indirect costs associated with the Allergan Foundation Research Program or any other of our programs.

The award recipient and an institution representative will be invited to attend the next AAO annual meeting in order to be recognized and participate at AAOF events and the annual AAOF Celebration Luncheon held on Saturday. 

Any manuscript or publication material produced must acknowledge the American Academy of  Optometry Foundation and The Allergan Foundation.

Recipients are encouraged to submit a manuscript to Optometry and Vision Science.

All award recipients by application and acceptance of an award agree to allow the AAOF and/or the sponsor of the program to which they applied to publish their name, image, institution information, and any statement or quote provided by the recipient. These may appear in a variety of media formats that will announce and promote the program including, but not limited to, the AAOF’s and/or sponsor’s annual report, website, annual meeting promotional materials.

For further information contact:

Jennifer Rubin
Grants and Awards Manager
2909 Fairgreen Street
Orlando, FL 32803, USA
Phone: 321-319-4872


Loretta B. Szczotka-Flynn, OD, PhD, FAAO
Case Western Reserve University
Modeling Corneal Endothelial Cell Health Parameters as Predictors of Keratoplasty Stress


Alison M. McDermott, PhD
Northumbria University
Project: Therapeutic Potential of Medicinal Maggot Secretions for Ocular Surface Disease 

Rose Y. Reins, PhD
The Ocular Surface Institute, University of Houston College of Optometry
Project: Evaluation of Vitamin D treatment for Dry Eye induced ocular surface inflammation

Steven Allan Burns, PhD, FARVO, FAAO
Indiana University School of Optometry
Project: High resolution, adaptive optics imaging of the trabecular meshwork in vivo

Nicole Carnt, PhD, BOptom, FAAO
Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney
Project: An investigation of the host immune reaction in response to corneal infection

Nancy A. McNamara, OD, FAAO

University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry
Project: Defining the role of corneal epithelial progenitor cells in the pathogenesis of immune-mediated, aqueous-deficient dry eye disease
Photo Credit: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)

The application window is now closed.

Apply Now

Allergan logo

Loretta S

Loretta Szczotka - Flynn, OD, PhD, FAAO