Developing Country Eye Researcher Travel Fellowship program, ARVO Foundation For Eye Research

Developing Country Eye Researcher Travel Fellowship program

The Developing Country Eye Researcher Travel Fellowship (DCERF) program brings aspiring scientists from developing nations to the ARVO Annual Meeting. The goal of the program is to provide young researchers with access to the latest in vision science while offering the opportunity to network with colleagues, mentors and thought leaders to develop an effective vision research program in their home countries.

DCERF recipients are assigned to established ARVO members who serve as mentors during and after the Annual Meeting. A welcome breakfast is held to aid the recipients in navigating the Annual Meeting and gives them the opportunity to meet and network with others involved with this fellowship. A breakfast is also held on the final day of the Annual Meeting in order for recipients and mentors to share their experiences.

Applications are open annually from Sept. 1 through Dec. 1 via the online application. Winners are notified by the end of January. 

The Fellowship began in 2008 and has since brought 122 researchers from 44 different countries to the ARVO Annual Meeting.

DCERF award includes*:

  • Airfare and hotel accommodations
  • Per diem
  • Annual Meeting registration
  • One year of ARVO membership
  • Support of an Annual Meeting mentor and the DCERF alumni community

*Up to the maximum $4,500 per award


  • Must be a citizen of a developing country as defined by the most recent World Bank income classifications; low, lower-middle and upper-middle income economies qualify
    • Please note that applicants from Argentina, Croatia and Panama are no longer eligible to apply following changes to the income classifications that took effect on July 1, 2018
  • Must have either an MD or PhD or equivalent professional degree
    • Graduate students in scientific areas with an interest in entering basic vision research or residents in ophthalmology who are interested in academic careers as clinician-scientists are also eligible.
  • Must have a desire to pursue a career in teaching and research in vision and ophthalmology, whether clinical or basic, in their home countries
  • Cannot be studying or training outside of his/her home country at the time of his/her recommendation for the award; the candidate must be established in his/her home country and currently employed or practicing in a field related to eye and vision research

For more details ARVO Foundation For Eye Research

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