The Ruskell 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 recognise research in ophthalmology and/or vision science which contributes significantly to the advancement of our understanding of vision and the prevention of unnecessary blindness.

The Ruskell Medal is named after the late Gordon Ruskell, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Optometry and Visual Science at City University, a classical anatomist whose interest in optometry and neurology resulted in many discoveries in ocular science. The bronze Ruskell medal is individually inscribed and is accompanied by a purse of £750.

Submissions are now invited for the 2024 Ruskell Medal.

To be eligible for the Ruskell Medal, applicants’ work must be produced under the aegis of a recognised UK academic or medical institution. UK citizens currently engaged in research outside the UK are also eligible. All applicants must be within 7 years of the award of a doctorate (PhD, DPhil, MD or professional doctorate) at the date of submission. Candidates at an earlier stage of their career are advised to look at the criteria for The Master’s Medal; those who can demonstrate a sustained personal contribution over a period of more than 7 years at post-doctorate level can apply for The Silver (Fincham) Medal*.

The Ruskell Medal will be awarded to the author of the best peer-reviewed paper in 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) between 30 June 2023 and 1 August 2024 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. This includes original research as well as systematic reviews that generate new findings. It does not include audits, editorials, letters, commentaries, opinion pieces or reviews that do not lead to new knowledge within a subject area. Articles under review, or accepted for publication but not yet generally available, 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. The level of contribution will be taken into account by the judging panel.

We encourage applications from all eligible candidates, regardless of specialism, age, race, disability, gender or self-identification.

Applications must be made 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. Please note that the maximum file size is 8MB. 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 closing date for submissions is  6pm on Monday 5 August 2024.

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 the applicant or team members and The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers or The Spectacle Makers’ Charity. Personal letters of support will not be taken into account in the judging entries and should not be provided.

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 may not reapply for the same Medal. 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. Candidates may not apply for more than one medal in the same year.