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Summer Research Training Program for Students

Over the past several years, New England College of Optometry has welcomed applications from qualified optometric students to join its summer Research Training Program in Boston. The program is designed for first year students from NECO and other Colleges of Optometry who can apply for fellowship support from a research training grant (T35) from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Stipends are paid for laboratory research from May through August for a total of approximately $5,700.

The goal of this training is to help students in a professional program gain a strong sense of research, including critical literature review, experimental design, data collection and analysis, presentation and write-up of results, and how new research findings are translated into clinical practice. Trainees should gain a greater understanding of how to conduct vision research and an ability to judge the quality of research-based reports.

Applications materials are typically due in February and students are notified in March.  For the 2016 program, application materials were due on February 19, 2016 and students were notified by March 14, 2016.

Program Highlights

  • Trainees are assigned to one or more mentors contingent upon their mutual interests and choice. (A general description of the research interests of the various mentors for 2016 is given in the T35 Lab Activities for 2016 document below.)
  • Trainees must spend a minimum of 320 hours doing research and attending workshops to complete the program. In 2016, the official program start date was May 23.
  • Workshops are given on evaluating scientific literature, research design and methods, and the ethical conduct of science. Lectures on cutting-edge research were presented by guest speakers. 
  • Trainees are expected to spend time in library research related to their projects.
  • Trainees write up a short report and present their research at the end of the program.

If you have questions about the program, please contact Dr. Jane Gwiazda, Program Director, at or (617) 587-5781.