In 2012, in recognition of extraordinary contributions to optometry and contact lenses, the AAOF established a fund to honor an exceptional mentor and role model of our profession, Dr. Joseph T. Barr. Through his career, Dr. Barr has served in multiple roles including as a professor at The Ohio State University College of Optometry, Chair of the AAO Section on Cornea and Contact Lenses, editor of Contact Lens Spectrum, and Vice-President Clinical & Medical Affairs Global Vision Care at Bausch + Lomb. Dr. Barr’s commitment to make a difference in the profession continued with his membership in the President’s Circle of giving, as a previous member on the Foundation Board of Directors, and as chair of the AAOF Corporate Advisory Committee.
As an academic, researcher, clinician and industry leader, Dr. Barr acknowledges that some of his success is due to a combination of having wonderful mentors and amazing support systems in his early career development. It was valuable in his early career to have even a small amount of funding to seed research. This small amount of seed funding often led not only to important knowledge, but also to further questions that needed answers and often further funding. This enabled him to learn, grow, and eventually lead and shape the direction of optometry. The creation of a fund in his honor offers an avenue to create that opportunity for another future optometric leader.
To provide an entering first or second year MS or PhD (can be in a graduate program alone, or combined with professional/residency program) vision science or physiological optics student attending a school/college of optometry support of $2,000 for research project seed funding in the area of cornea/ocular surface or contact lenses. Priority will be given to North American applicants but is not a requirement to apply.
The funds will be payable to the institution of record for a new upcoming project not already funded from another source, plus $750 travel funding to the AAO annual meeting for use within one year from award issue.
Recipient must attend the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Optometry and attend the AAOF Celebration Luncheon to receive their award. The recipient is also required to perform volunteer service at the AAOF Booth. Recipient must not have applied during the same application year nor previously received an Ezell Fellowship.
This award will be eligible competitively for a one-time renewal.