Research Grants

Applying to the BSK Student Research Grant

The Beta Sigma Kappa (BSK) Student Research Grant Program continues for more than 75 years as the only source of research funding dollars provided solely to students at accredited schools or colleges of optometry in the United States and Canada. This program’s funding has benefited hundreds of optometry students whose academic curiosity led them to seek answers to a vast variety of professionally-based questions covering a wide area of vision science and clinical practice. We encourage all optometry students to apply for BSK research grant funding in support of your planned project.
Applications and guidelines are available through the links below, or from the BSK Faculty Advisor at your school or college of optometry. Once completed, the application should be sent electronically to Mira Aumiller, OD, FAAO, BSK Executive Director, at All optometry students, irrespective of membership in BSK, are eligible to apply for research grants from BSK.
Currently, the maximum grant award is $2,000.00.
The deadline for receipt by the BSK Executive Office of completed applications for student research grants is April 1. Applications received after that date cannot be accepted. After review by the BSK Board of Regents, the BSK Central World Council will select the grant recipients and award funding by the beginning of June.

Grant Review Process

Proposals are reviewed by Beta Sigma Kappa’s Board of Regents:
Willard B. Bleything, O.D., M.S.
Anne E. Clark, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Anthony P. Cullen, MSc, O.D., PhD, DSc, FCO, F.A.A.O., Dip.C.L.P.
Elizabeth Hoppe, B.S., O.D., M.P.H., Dr. PH
Thomas Freddo, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O.
Gerald E. Lowther, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O.
Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD
Joan Stelmack, OD, MPH
David Troilo, PhD

BSK Student Grant Application Materials

Beta Sigma Kappa grant application materials are provided on this website. Please thoroughly read the grant overview, rules, and guidelines prior to completely the grant application.

2019 BSK Student Grant Winner

Matthew Barnes, NECO Student
Effects of digital light stimuli on emmetropization

2019 BSK-AOF Grant

Sima T. Mozdbar, OD

Assistant Professor at UH
University of North Texas Health Science Center,
North Texas Eye Research Institute
Cognitive Dysfunction and the 2-Item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire

2019 BSK Travel Grant

Salwa Saleh
Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University


2018 BSK-AOF Grant Winner

Xiaohua Zhuang, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Illinois College of Optometry
Title: Flicker Adaptation Probes Detection of Contrast Sensitivity Loss in Early Glaucoma

2018 BSK Travel Grant Winner

Lea Hair
University of Houston, College of Optometry

2018 BSK Student Grant Winner:

Hannah Yoon
New England College of Optometry
The effects of timing and duration of exposure to light with balanced cone excitation in the prevention of myopia



Cameron Sefton
NECO Student
Chromatic and achromatic visual evokes potential following mild traumatic brain injury


Adam J. Peiffer, OD
Advanced Practice Fellow, Binocular Vision and Pediatrics
Collaborative Assessment of Neurocognition and Vision in Adolescents with Sports-related (CANVAS) Concussion Study


Catherine L. Heyman, O.D., F.C.O.V.D., F.A.A.O
Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University
Accommodative Response in Children with Visual Impairment as
Compared to Age Matched Children with Normal Vision

2017 BSK Student Grant Winner:

Yuno Iwabuchi
Pacific Univeristy College of Optometry
A study on the use of soft, hybrid, and piggback contact lenses for daily wear orthokeratology


2016 BSK Student Grant Winners:

Lenna Walker
New England College of Optometry
Blur Perception & Eye Movements: Relationship to Refractive Error

Micaela Gobeille
New England College of Optometry
Measuring Outcomes of Low Vision Rehabilitation Delivered by a Mobile Clinic

2016 BSK-COVD Grant Winner:

James Kundart, OD, Med, FAAO, FCOVD-A
Pacific University College of Optometry

“Comparison of enchroma and chromapop filters for the correction of color vision deficiency”

2016 BSK-AOF Grant Winner:

Anna Ablamowicz, OD, FAAO
University of Alabama at Birmingham

“Investigation of an inflammatory component of lid wiper epitheliopathy in dry eye disease”

2016 BSK Travel Grant Winner:

Lenna Walker
New England College of Optometry

“Blue perception & eye movements: relationship to refractive error”


2015 BSK Student Grant Winner:

Hilary Hamer
New England College of Optometry
A Visual Memory Mechanism for Binocular Summation in Alternating Stroboscopic Vision Therapy

2015 BSK-COVD Grant Winner:

Jameel Kanji OD, MSc.
New England College of Optometry
Assessment of Concussion-Related Visual Dysfunction in Pediatric and Adolescents

2015 BSK-AOF Grant Winner:

Jillian F. Meadows, OD, MS, FAAO
University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Optometry
The Isolated and Interactive Effects of Omega-3 and Omega-6 FattyAcids on the Lipidome and 
Inflammatory Proteome of HumanMeibomian Gland Epithelial Cells in Health and Disease

2015 BSK Student Travel Grant Winner:

Sara Nourani

University of Houston, College of Optometry
Optic nerve head and lamina cribrosa geometry and their relationship with axial
length in young, normal eyes


2014 BSK Student Grant Winners:

Sheila D. Morrison
Pacific University, College of Optometry
Exploring the fluid reservoir and tear exchange beneath a scleral lens
Laura Goldberg
New England College of Optometry *(additional funding)
The role of atropine in the emmetropization response to changes in color and luminance contrast
2014 BSK-COVD Grant Winner:
Tamara Oechslin, OD, MS
The Ohio State University College of Optometry
Imaging of Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Effects (I-CITE)
2014 BSK-AOF Grant Winners:
Kristine Dalton, OD, PhD, MCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA
School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Waterloo
Examination of the effects of mild truamatic brain injury on visual function, visual-motor 

coordination and postural stability in adolescents.

Melanie Akau, OD, FAAO
New England College of Optometry
Quality of life, macular thickness, and central visual field characteristics in primary open angle glaucoma


2013 Grant Award Winners

Tanya D'Cruz, University of Waterloo, School of Optometry and Vision Science
"Can adaptive processes explain AC/A ratios?"
Laura Goldberg, The New England College of Optometry
"Determining the sign of defocus in accommodation and emmetropization: The role of atropine in the emmetropization response 

to changes in color and luminance contrast."

Stacy Hu, The New England College of Optometry
"Efficacy of non-invasively delivering Ranibizumab (Lucentis) to the back of the eye for the treatment of macular degeneration."

To make a donation of any amount to help fund our grants please click here. Thank You!




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