The WCSM Education Trust

Founded in 2010, the principal aim of this Charity is to advance study, knowledge and education in the field of optics for the public benefit (and particularly for the benefit of the vision impaired).

In 2016, the WCSM Education Trust established a new bursary scheme for those starting optical training courses in the UK.  In the last 3 years we have helped more than 60 people in their first year of training as orthoptists, dispensing opticians or optometrists.  Bursaries are also open to those beginning foundation dispensing courses and courses leading to Level 4 optical support and optical technician diplomas.

A Travel Award Scheme for ophthalmologists in training was launched in 2017, offering awards of up to £1000 each to help with the costs of presenting research findings at national and international conferences and extending the Trust's reach to ophthalmology.  


Travel Award winner Michael Gilhooley won the 2019 NANOS Best Abstract Award for his presentation on "Melanopsin: targeted ectopic expression for optogenetic visual restoration"

The 2019 programme of bursary awards will be launched at the end of September 2019. The 2020 Travel Award scheme for ophthalmologists in training will open in January 2020.

Forms will be downloadable from this website.  The Education Trust will verify applicants' registration and attendance on their nominated course before considering any application and applications will only be accepted in a prescribed form.  Bursary payments will be made at the end of February 2020; travel awards are usually paid at the end of April.  This is a competitive scheme and only the most deserving students will be successful.  We do not offer hardship grants or individual sponsorship.

Information on the bursary scheme will be distributed via all universities and optical training institutions in the UK and will be advertised through the website and on Twitter (@spectaclemakers).  Information on travel awards will also be distributed via the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Successful applicants must hold a UK bank account, in their own name, into which funds can be paid. Award winners in both the bursary scheme and the Travel Award programme must provide written reports on their progress. The Trustees will take a continuing interest in their future careers. 

APPLICATION FORM AND GUIDELINES WILL APPEAR HERE FROM THE END OF SEPTEMBER 2019

APPLICATION FORMS FOR THE 2020 TRAVEL AWARD SCHEME WILL FOLLOW IN DECEMBER 2019