ESCRS research projects driving innovation
Education and research have always been at the heart of the ESCRS’s mission to serve its members and advance patient care in the field of cataract and refractive surgery.
It’s a commitment that takes concrete form in a number of ESCRS research awards regularly open for competition, which offer substantial funding for the best research projects as decided by an expert evaluation panel.
Two principal types of research funding are currently available from the ESCRS: the Clinical Research Awards and the Pioneer Awards. To these, the ESCRS has recently added the Systematic Review Awards and the Digital Research Awards as two new categories.
CLINICAL RESEARCH AWARDS
The Clinical Research Awards aim to support and encourage independent clinical research in cataract and refractive surgery. The amount of funding awarded to a successful applicant is up to €750,000, which is open to clinicians and researchers with a current ESCRS membership who have been a member for at least the last three consecutive years. Applicants must hold a full-time clinical/research post at an EU-based clinical or academic centre.
Ideas and initiatives such as clinical research into the use of specific medical treatments and surgeries, clinical research on the pharmaco-economic analysis of particular treatments, or research into the optimal management of national and global healthcare systems in ophthalmology may be eligible for consideration in the Awards.
Open to young ophthalmologists aged 40 or younger, the Pioneer Awards support and encourage independent clinical research in cataract and refractive surgery. Applicants are invited to introduce and develop a body of clinical research work addressing a challenging “problem” to devise a practical “solution” for the benefit of patients.
The Pioneer Awards target funding any new initiative, which may include: a novel research idea for development of clinical trial studies, a non-interventional or observational study, a natural history/epidemiological study, a comprehensive series of retrospective case-control studies, and a patient or disease registry.
The Awards are open to ESCRS members who have been a member for at least the last three consecutive years and who hold a full-time clinical/research post at an EU-based clinical or academic centre. The amount for funding awarded to a successful applicant is between €5,000 and €50,000 (maximum) for a project with a duration no longer than two years.
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AWARDS
The 2022 ESCRS Systematic Review Awards (“SRA”) is a new initiative sponsored by the Society to produce a high-quality body of research intent on preparing, collating, analysing, synthesising, and reporting medical research.
The initiative will provide a new scholarly output in cataract and refractive surgery or medicine focused on the methodology created by the Cochrane Library. The competition is open to all ophthalmologists (MD, and/or PhD, or experienced ophthalmic nurses) holding a full-time clinical/research post at an EU-based clinical or academic centre.
ESCRS is offering up to five SRAs in 2022–23, with funding up to €10,000 for each applicant.
DIGITAL RESEARCH AWARDS
This latest ESCRS initiative is designed to support and encourage research leading to digital transformation in cataract, refractive, and corneal surgery. The competition is open to all clinicians and researchers.
Support of up to €500,000 is available over a maximum of three years for a project with suitable infrastructure and experience leading to the collection of high-quality healthcare data in routine clinical practice and/or the development of open access data sets for clinical research either from prospective data collection or the transfer of existing anonymized data sets to the public domain.
Projects may be small or large, with clear goals and a well-designed plan for project execution. Researchers should be able to frame at least one important clinical research question that appropriate analysis of collected data will ultimately help answer.