The Master’s Medal

Since receiving its Royal Charter in 1629, the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers has encouraged research into the prevention and treatment of vision impairment. Each year, the Company awards a bronze medal to encourage those taking higher degrees or pursuing higher level studies to publish their work. The Master’s Medal is individually inscribed and accompanied by a purse of £750.

The 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, spanning laboratory studies to translational or public health research. The paper should have been published (including ePub ahead of time) within the period 30 June 2023 to 1 August 2024, based on higher-level study, and must report and interpret the results of research, defined as the process of investigation leading to new insights or new knowledge within a subject area. Articles under review, or those accepted for publication but not yet generally distributed, are not eligible. The applicant must have made a significant contribution to the work and this must be confirmed in writing as part of the application. (Details are given on the application form).

Please note that abstracts, data audits, reviews, commentaries and editorials will not be considered since they do not meet the definition of research.


This medal is targeted at those in the early stages of publishing research. Applicants must be registered for a research degree at doctoral level (Level 8 - PhD, MD or 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 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.

Applications must be submitted by the candidate themselves, using the online form. All papers and supporting statements must be uploaded in PDF format including a typeset copy of the research paper confirming the date of publication. The maximum file size is 8MB.

You will receive an automatic confirmation when your submission has been received. Please be patient – this may take a few minutes for large files. Any problems with completing the form or uploading papers should be notified immediately to Entries which are not complete in every respect will be treated as disqualified and will not be forwarded for consideration by the judging panel.

The judging panel will be drawn from professors and senior staff working in UK universities and at senior levels in clinical practice. Care is taken to ensure that submissions are assessed by individuals with no supervisory or collaborative connection with the applicant. No account will be taken of any current or previous connection between applicants, supervisors or team members and The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers or with The Spectacle Makers’ Charity. Personal letters of support will not be taken into account in judging entries and should not be provided.

The closing date for entries is 6pm on Monday 5 August 2024. The panel expects to make its final decision in mid-September. All applicants will be notified of the outcome by email. The judging panel’s decision is final and no appeals or requests for individual feedback will be accepted.

The winner will be invited to receive their medal and purse at the Company’s Court Luncheon at Apothecaries’ Hall in London on Wednesday 2 October 2024. Further publicity for the individual and any sponsoring employer, practice or academic institution can be expected as the Medal award will be featured in press releases and via social media channels.

* Previous winners of the Master’s Medal may not reapply and candidates may not apply for more than one medal in the same year. Winners of the Master’s Medal may progress to apply for the Ruskell Medal, and winners of the Ruskell Medal may in turn apply for the silver Fincham Medal at an appropriate later stage in their careers. A separate Call for Submission and online application form for The Ruskell Medal can be found on the relevant page of this website.