One of the prime aims of the College is the advancement for the public benefit of the study of and research into optometry, optics, vision science and related subjects and the publication of the results.

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We do this by:

We also raise awareness of research relevant to College members and promote the skills used in reviewing and evaluating evidence. We take research queries from members and support member research projects with advice wherever possible.

We work with everyone who can help us achieve these aims, from practising optometrists, hospitals, vision science and other related university departments, to vision sector bodies, vision and health-related charities, national funding bodies and patients. We publish invitations to apply for funding when possible and work with those interested in being co-applicants on project proposals.

Our aim is to be as collaborative as possible to the benefit of our work, and to make the results of our research as freely and widely available as possible.

The British Congress of Optometry and Visual Science (BCOVS) 2020

The annual BCOVS took place on 7 - 8 September via Zoom, for the first time this year.

Research Strategy 2018-2020

Our work in the area of research is guided by the Research Strategic Objectives and the processes in this Strategy. It has the overall aim of ensuring that the profession of optometry, and the practice of our members, is supported by evidence that members can understand.

Research projects

College research projects help to build a scientific evidence base that informs and influences College and national policies. They are all run and/or financially supported by the College.

Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics (OPO)

OPO is the top optometry journal in the world - and ranked in the top 25% of both ophthalmology and sensory systems journals.

Research funding awards

We are working to build an evidence base for the profession by funding community, university and hospital-based researchers at all levels.

Useful research links

There are a number of organisations that can provide advice and support for members considering, or currently undertaking, research.

Research opportunities

The College provides regular opportunities for members to get involved with a range of research projects. We also invite those running research projects to list their opportunities on our website.


I joined the College when I first became a lecturer in 1989. And, over the years, the College has helped fund research in my lab and then given me the opportunity to report my findings to practitioners. It has also been a repository for evidence-based information on clinical best practice that I, and the undergraduate students I teach, can consult with confidence.

Professor Jeremy Guggenheim MCOptom, Cardiff University