Rhonda Robinson Contact Lens Residency Award

History and Purpose

Residency training is becoming an increasingly important aspect of optometric training. A post-OD residency program significantly advances a graduate's preparation as an eye care provider and provides additional experiences in clinical instruction and academia. Many schools and colleges of optometry now require residency training as a basic prerequisite for new clinical faculty.

The Rhonda Robinson Contact Lens Residency Award is intended to promote the practice and development of the field of contact lenses by providing incentive and support to talented optometric residents who demonstrate a passion and commitment to practice, research, and education.


The Rhonda Robinson Contact Lens Residency Award recipient will receive a $2,000 award and $750 travel grant to the Academy meeting.

Eligibility and Application

The submission window opens April 1, 2021 and closes June 1, 2021.

One award will be granted to any optometrist currently serving in a 2021 - 22 academic year calendar contact lens residency through a North-American school, college of optometry is eligible to apply. Anyone who has yet to begin a residency for the 2021- 22 academic year calendar is ineligible.

Applications must be submitted via our online submission system and must include the following:

  1. The applicant must be a member of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO); whether as a student, candidate, or Fellow at the time of acceptance of any award.  To learn more, visit the AAO website: Student Membership for student membership information and Candidate for Fellowship for how to become a Fellow.
  2. A brief description of the residency program. 
  3. CV with applicant's education, clinical, research, teaching experience, honors, in the form of a PDF.
  4. A one-page statement of career goals and list the date/status of when AAO membership was obtained.
  5. Three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to comment on educational qualifications, research abilities, and potential.  One of which must be the Residency Director or Program Coordinator of the institution. The recommender will receive an email once the applicant has submitted their application with directions on how to upload their letter.  

Applications will be reviewed by the Cornea Contact Lens Refractive Technology (CCLRT) Section of the Academy. Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of their educational background, their ability, and their potential to advance in their career.

Award Notes

It is the standard policy of the AAOF that an award recipient who receives a travel stipend to attend an event, cannot receive a second travel stipend from the Foundation or its affiliate, the AAO.

Guidelines are subject to change as determined by the AAOF and/or the award sponsor.  Applicants are reminded to please review all information before submitting their application to ensure it meets all criteria.

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

For further information contact:

Jennifer Rubin
Award and Student Membership Engagement Manager
622 E. Washington St #300
Orlando Fl. 32801
Phone: 321-319-4872

Past Recipients

2021 -Inaugural year

Photo Credit: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)