Research Opportunities for Students
Introductory Information for Undergraduate Students
- Research in labs within Berkeley Optometry is available to all undergraduate students although pre-optometry and pre-med students and those on a Vision Science PhD track are likely to be most interested in the vision and eye research conducted in these labs.
- UC Berkeley undergraduates can participate in URAP (Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program: research.berkeley.edu/urap/). URAP covers research for credit. Also, students staying with the same lab for two consecutive semesters may be nominated for a summer research fellowship by their advisor. Other sources of funding include the Biology Fellows Program (http://bsp.berkeley.edu/bfp.html). Work study positions are also sometimes available; students should check with labs of interest to them.
- Please visit the Vision Science website (vision.berkeley.edu/VSP/) to learn more about different research projects and contact faculty via email to directly inquire about research opportunities in their labs.
Introductory Information for Optometry Students
The National Eye Institute — T35 Summer Research Training Program
- An NEI grant funds summer research training for optometry students who may want research to be part of their career. OD students participate in a 10-week, full-time research program. The current stipend is $5,200 and students are strongly encouraged to present their research at conferences such as the annual American Academy of Optometry meeting.
- Twelve appointments are available each summer. Both Berkeley and non-Berkeley optometry students may apply. First-year students are strongly encouraged to apply; second-year students generally find it more difficult to meet the required time commitment.
- Students must be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
- For more information, please visit the NEI page at NEI Summer Research.
Students Interested in an OD and a Vision Science PhD
- To promote research among clinicians, the National Institute of Health (NIH) has created a loan forgiveness program for ODs undertaking graduate research, for example, by enrolling in a research degree in Vision Science (Masters or PhD).
- Students must have completed their OD program to be eligible for loan forgiveness. Thus it is highly recommended that the OD be completed before enrolling in a PhD. Also, ideal candidates should have some prior research experience. The T35 program described above provides appropriate experience.
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Admissions and Student Affairs Office (ASAO)
School of Optometry
Berkeley, CA 94720-2020
Tel: (510) 642-9537
Fax: (510) 643-7111