29 November 2006 Return to news listings
Over the past year the College has developed an exciting research strategy in order to advance the study of and research into visual sciences. In addition to the funding of post graduate scholarships, summer scholarships and travel bursaries the College is implementing an applied research programme to raise research awareness within the profession and build capacity in optometric primary care research; and will be working on a programme to commission research to inform national and College policy.
Following revisions to the College Trust Deed last year the Board of Trustees approved the establishment of a new Research Committee, to have the status of a Standing Committee of the Board (the Committee was previously a sub-committee of the Academic Committee). In addition three co-optees were nominated to the Committee: Dr Sue Ambler (Head, R&D Division, Royal Society of Pharmacists, Great Britain and Trust Director, The Pharmacy Practice Research Trust); Professor Bernard Gilmartin (Professor of Optometry, School of Life and Health Sciences, University of Aston); Mr John Sparrow (Consultant Opthalmologist, Bristol Eye Hospital).
The College has been investigating how it could build on the success of the London-based EyeNET organisation by introducing similar Primary Care Research Programmes within various regions across the country. After a number of meetings with Department of Health representatives in the four home countries, the Board of Trustees agreed at its last meeting to enter into a contract to provide a Research Support Facility for Optometrists (RSFO), which will be launched at the College Conference in March 2007.
Basic and Translational Research
This year the College awarded four post-graduate research scholarships (keeping the total number of ongoing scholarships at ten), four summer scholarships and five travel bursaries.
The College has begun work on building a database of visual science research conducted in the UK. In the next financial year the College aims to fund visual science and other research projects to build a knowledge and evidence base to inform and influence national and College policies on all aspects of optometry.
Influencing UK Optometric (vision sciences) Research Portfolio
One of the College’s goals in the next financial year is to: