Connecting Ophthalmologists from Around the World to Achieve Eye Health for Everyone

ICO Fellowships

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Overview

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) Fellowship Program supports promising young ophthalmologists from low-resources countries to enhance their practical skills and broaden their perspectives of ophthalmology. Fellows are expected to bring the acquired knowledge and skills back to their home countries and take part in programs to preserve eye health and prevent vision impairment.  The ICO gratefully recognizes grants, gifts, and pledges to the ICO Fellowship Program.

Available ICO Fellowships

Please see the current criteria and application requirements below, as this will help you complete the application process:

ICO-Three Month Fellowship

The ICO Three-Month Fellowships help promising young ophthalmologists from low-resources countries to enhance their practical skills and broaden their perspectives of ophthalmology.  Fellows are expected to bring the acquired knowledge and skills back to their home countries and take part in programs to preserve eye health and prevent vision impairment. Award: US$ 6,000 to help cover living expenses and return travel.

The ICO Three-Month Fellowship is offered in the following subspecialties:

  • General Ophthalmology
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
  • Uveitis
  • Glaucoma
  • Cornea & External Diseases (no Refractive Surgery)
  • Medical Retina
  • Vitreo-Retinal Surgery
  • Oculoplastics
  • Cataract Surgery
  • Ocular Oncology
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • Ocular Pathology
  • Community Eye Health
  • Trauma

 

Application Deadlines:

  • For applications submitted by the 31 March deadline, the fellowships are awarded and notices are sent out in July. The earliest start date is 1 October of the same year.
  • For applications submitted by the 30 September deadline, the fellowships are awarded and notices sent out in January. The earliest start date is 1 April of the same year.

 

Requirements:

  • Residency training must be completed before applying for the fellowship.
  • Specialist exam in ophthalmology must be successfully passed.
  • Applicants are not allowed to apply for fellowships in their home country.
  • Applicants are permanently based and work in one of the eligible countries
  • Applicants must return to home country after the training, resume previous positions, and apply the knowledge gained during the fellowship.
  • Applicants must be reasonably fluent in the language of the fellowship training center.
  • The ICO recommends that candidates pass one or more ICO Examinations. This is considered in the assessment of applications.

 

Applicants from countries with ophthalmology societies that are an ICO Member Society will receive special consideration.

ICO-World Glaucoma Association (WGA) Three-Month Fellowships

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) and World Glaucoma Association (WGA) Three-Month Fellowship opportunity is open to qualified candidates from Sub-Saharan Africa who specialize in glaucoma. This fellowship is part of the ICO Three-Month Fellowship Program.

The ICO-WGA Three-Month Fellowships help promising young ophthalmologists from Sub-Saharan African countries improve their practical skills and broaden their perspectives of ophthalmology.  Fellows are expected to bring the acquired knowledge and skills back to their home country and take part in programs to preserve and restore vision. Award: US$ 6000 to help cover living expenses and return travel. ICO-WGA Fellows are invited to attend the biannual World Glaucoma Congress and will be referred to host institutes in this country for their three-month observerships. Several ICO-WGA Three-Month Fellowships are awarded biannually, in relation to when the World Glaucoma Congress is being held. The next application deadline will be announced in due time. For applications, please contact icofellowship@icoph.org.

Requirements:

  • Residency training must be completed before applying for the fellowship.
  • Candidates must come from sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Specialist exam in ophthalmology must be successfully passed.
  • Applicants are permanently based and work in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Applicant must return to home country after the training, resume previous positions, and apply the knowledge gained during the fellowship.
  • Applicant must be reasonably fluent in the language of the fellowship training center.
  • The ICO recommends that candidates pass one or more ICO Examinations. This is considered in the assessment of applications.
  • Applicants from countries with ophthalmology societies that are an ICO Member Society will receive special consideration.

ICO-ECF Six-Month Fellowships for Diagnosis and Therapy of Retinoblastoma

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) and Eye Cancer Foundation (ECF) six-month training opportunity is available for young ophthalmologists from low-resource countries who wish to gain a deeper insight into retinoblastoma diagnosis and treatment. Fellows are expected to bring the acquired knowledge and skills back to their home country and take part in programs to preserve and restore vision. Award: US$ 8000 to help cover living expenses and return travel. Applications can be submitted throughout the year. For more information, reach out to icofellowship@icoph.org.

Requirements:

  • Residency training must be completed before applying for the fellowship.
  • Specialist exam in ophthalmology must be successfully passed.
  • Applicants are permanently based and work in one of the ICO fellowship eligible countries. Additionally, in the country there needs to be documented limited opportunities to gain advanced knowledge in retinoblastoma diagnosis and treatment and there is a recognized need for expanding services in this area of ophthalmology care.
  • Applicant must return to home country after the training, resume previous positions, and apply the knowledge gained during the fellowship.
  • Applicant must be reasonably fluent in the language of the fellowship training center.
  • The ICO recommends that candidates pass one or more ICO Examinations. This is considered in the assessment of applications.
  • Applicants from countries with ophthalmology societies that are an ICO Member Society will receive special consideration.

The ICO-National Eye Institute (NEI) One-Year Fellowship in Ocular Genetics

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) and National Eye Institute (NEI) One-Year Fellowship in Ocular Genetics is offered in collaboration of the ICO with the National Eye Institute of the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, USA. Eligible candidates are invited to apply for a twelve-month training in ocular genetics which will be served at NEI/NIH. Award: US$ 25,000 to help cover living expenses and return travel. The next application deadline will be announced in due time.

Requirements:

  • Applicant must be a graduate of an ophthalmology residency training program.
  • Specialist exam in ophthalmology must be successfully passed.
  • Applicants are permanently based and work in one of the eligible countries.
  • Applicant must be recommended by the ophthalmology head of a teaching institution or public service hospital in the home country.
  • Applicant must be committed to return to a position at a teaching institution or public service hospital in the fellow’s home country.
  • Applicant must be reasonably fluent in English.
  • The ICO recommends that candidates pass one or more ICO Examinations. This is considered in the assessment of applications.
  • Applicants from countries with ophthalmology societies that are an ICO Member Society will receive special consideration

ICO-Allergan Advanced Research Fellowship

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) and Allergan Advanced Research Fellowship allows a young ophthalmologist to continue basic or clinical research at a chosen university, preferably in a foreign country to where they live. The fellowship is open to candidates from all countries. Applications will be accepted for research work in the following subspecialties: Glaucoma, Neuro-Ophthalmology, Pediatric Ophthalmology, Retina, Tumours, Uveitis, Dry Eye, and Cornea. There is one fellowship awarded per year, with US$ 50,000 stipend. The application deadline 31 March each year. The ICO-Allergan Advanced Research fellow will be chosen and notified in July of the same year.

Basic Requirements:

  • Applicant must be a graduate of an ophthalmology residency training program and a specialist exam in ophthalmology must be successfully passed.
  • Minimum 12 months of research training must be completed
  • Applicant must be under 40 years of age at the time of applying.
  • Applicant must be reasonably fluent in the language of the fellowship training center and/or English.
  • The ICO recommends that candidates pass one or more ICO Examinations. This is considered in the assessment of applications.
  • Applicants from countries with ophthalmology societies that are an ICO Member Society  will receive special consideration

Research Requirements:

The following additional documents need to be submitted as part of the application process:

  • Detailed curriculum vitae
  • Detailed publication list and impact factors
  • Description of previous work in the field of the application
  • Application endorsement by the current program director/employer
  • Detailed description of how research work should be continued during the fellowship
  • Feasibility confirmation of the chosen host university
  • Confirmation from the present program director/employer that the applicant may return after his/her fellowship and resume his/her position.
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