College of Optometrists celebrate sector’s researchers at annual Diploma Ceremony

  • 15 Nov 2017

The College of Optometrists recognised the achievements of some of the leading researchers in the field of optometry at its annual Diploma Ceremony in Central Hall Westminster in London yesterday.

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Six optometric researchers were presented with a Research Excellence Award for their contributions across a variety of areas:

  • Dr Keziah Latham FCOptom was presented with the Neil Charman Medal for Research for her work in the area of low vision, its assessment and its effects.
  • The George Giles Postgraduate Research Prize was presented to Deanna Taylor MCOptom for her focus on visual disability in dry age-related macular degeneration.
  • Professor Ian Morgan and Professor Kathryn Rose accepted the Bernard Gilmartin OPO Award for their paper, ‘Myopia and international education performance’, which analysed the relationship between myopia, educational performance and engagement in after-school tutorial classes. This prize is awarded to a paper published in Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics as chosen by the OPO editorial board.
  • The Giles Van Colle Memorial Award was awarded to Dr Valldeflors Vinuela Navarro MCOptom for her work to characterise eye movements in children with learning-related difficulties. This is awarded biannually for outstanding research or clinical case work relating to paediatric optometry. This is awarded in conjunction with the Giles Van Colle Memorial Foundation.
  • The Philip Cole Prize for excellence in practice-based research by College members was awarded to Steven Whittaker MCOptom for his evaluation of the practicalities and outcomes of Independent Prescribing Optometry in two practices in Scotland.

College President, Dr Mary-Ann Sherratt MCOptom, also welcomed 284 newly qualified optometrists to the profession at the ceremony, as well as recognising outstanding achievement through the presentation of Higher Qualifications, Fellowships by Portfolio, Life and Honorary Fellowships, Higher Qualification and Membership Diplomas. 

Speaking at the event, Dr Mary-Ann Sherratt said: “Congratulations to all of the young and talented diplomates here today; it’s a great pleasure to welcome them into the profession and wish them well in their career. This ceremony is a great opportunity for us to take the time to honour those who are contributing to the evidence base with our awards for Research Excellence and to recognise the achievements of those who are being awarded higher qualifications and becoming Fellows of the College.”

Amy Weaver MCOptom received her diploma at the ceremony and said: “The diploma ceremony has been a really nice way to celebrate our achievements; we’ve put in a lot of hard work and it’s great to get the recognition today and to listen to the inspirational speeches. It’s great to be a part of the College and to feel like I’m part of a community of people who support each other.”

More information on the Research Excellence Awards.



Notes to editors

The College is the professional body for optometry. It qualifies the profession and delivers the guidance and training to ensure optometrists provide the best possible care. We promote excellence through the College’s affixes, by building the evidence base for optometry, and raising awareness of the profession with the public, commissioners, and health care professionals.

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