Support for Vision Research

The Company supports research as a vital part of its continuing commitment to the prevention and treatment of vision impairment. We support better vision for all and we aim to inspire future generations committed to visionary eye care.  We believe that no-one should be held back because of impaired vision.

Our bursaries, awards and medals recognise and encourage people at all stages of a career in clinical research and/or academic study.

The Spectacle Makers’ Charity offers awards to ophthalmologists in training whose papers and posters have been accepted for presentation or who are offered prestigious overseas internships.

Our Bronze Medals reward prize-winning articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals which extend knowledge across the optical community. The Master’s Medal encourages publication by early-stage researchers, studying for, or within 1 year of achieving, a higher level degree.  The Ruskell Medal rewards research which makes a significant difference to our understanding of vision and is published by someone who is within their first 5 years of achieving a doctorate, whether working in academia or in clinical practice.

Through our Silver Medals, we acknowledge individuals and organisations whose innovation and achievement over a 5-15 year period has led to a significant advance in scientific knowledge, clinical practice or education of the next generation of scientists and researchers. We award Gold Medals only rarely, to exceptional individuals whose focus throughout their whole career has been the improvement of vision and who have had a major influence in the world of vision science and understanding.

WCSM’s medal programme is overseen by the REM (Research, Education, Public Engagement and Medals) Group – a group of eminent scientists and academics drawn from various UK universities and colleges. There are good links with all academic departments and institutions and entry to the medal competitions is open to anyone who fulfils the criteria.


Open Applications

There are two Research Medals currently open for submissions.

The 2022 Master’s Medal will be awarded to an early-stage researcher with the best peer reviewed paper within the broad area of vision science or eyecare. To be eligible for the Master’s Medal, applicants must be registered for a research degree at doctoral level (PhD, MD, professional doctorate) with a UK higher education or medical institution, or be within one year of the date on the award letter for their doctorate. UK citizens undertaking research at this level outside the UK, and those working in clinical practice, are also eligible.  Your supervisor will need to confirm that the output submitted for the Master’s Medal forms part of your doctoral studies. We encourage applications from all eligible candidates, regardless of specialism, age, race, disability, gender or self-identification. Find out more and apply here.

The 2022 Ruskell Medal will be awarded to an applicant who has been undertaking post-doctoral research for no more than 5 years and is deemed by the panel to have published the best peer reviewed paper within the broad area of vision science or eyecare, spanning laboratory studies to translational or public health research, within the qualifying period.  To be eligible for the Ruskell Medal, applicants’ work must have been produced under the aegis of a recognised UK academic or medical institution. UK citizens currently engaged in research outside the UK are also eligible. Applicants must be within five years of the award of a doctorate (PhD, DPhil, MD or professional doctorate) at the date of submission. Find out more and apply here.