BCLA Summer Research Scholarship

The BCLA Summer Research Scholarship is awarded to two students annually in full-time education. The purpose of the eight-week independent scholarship, worth £1,500, is to give undergraduate students about to start their final year of university/college a unique opportunity to benefit from:

  • An introduction to study at postgraduate level in the field of contact lenses and/or the anterior eye
  • Project design, data analysis and dissemination of results
  • Familiarisation with software packages 

Application process

1. Two awards per year will be granted, subject to suitable applications being received.

2. All applications must be prepared in English and submitted via email to  membership@bcla.org.uk

3. No supervisor can receive the award more than once in two years.

4. Scholars must be in the penultimate year of study in their university/college course.

5. The project cannot be part of coursework required for their study by their university/college.

6. Supervisors whose scholar withdraws from a Summer Scholarship for any reason should notify the BCLA immediately. Supervisors have a duty to notify the BCLA of any difficulties or setbacks they encounter in their research.

7. Supervisors and scholars are required to comply with the regulations of the institution where they are undertaking the research. This includes any requirements imposed by legislation on animal experimentation and Research and Ethics Committees (or equivalent).

8. It is a requirement of the award that scholars must submit a short report (up to four A4 sides of 12 point double-spaced print) on the work undertaken by the end of the year of the project and are encouraged to submit an abstract submission for the next BCLA Clinical Conference. The report may be posted on the BCLA website.

9. Supervisors and scholars are required to acknowledge the support of the BCLA in any verbal presentations, written reports, papers or thesis produced as a result of the research undertaken.

10. Any manuscript resulting from the project must be submitted for consideration as a publication to Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, the journal of the BCLA.

11. All applications will be assessed by the BCLA Academic Committee.

12. Applications will be judged upon their originality, aims, methodology and feasibility within the eight-week time frame. In considering the applications, the following criteria will be used:

i. the potential contribution to the field of contact lenses and the anterior eye;

ii. the qualifications, experience and proven effectiveness of the supervisor;

iii. the likelihood of the student continuing in research as a result of conducting the project;

iv. the objectives, plans and promise of the outlined research;

v. and the facilities and resources available for the proposed project.

13. The decision of BCLA Council is final and binding. Under no circumstances will correspondence be entered into.

14. BCLA Council members may not submit an application for the award during their period of office.

15. The closing date for receipt of applications for 2021 is 30 April 2021


Scholars will be awarded £1,500 for the eight-week project. There are no additional funds for the institution or supervisor.


Eight weeks during the summer vacation

Professional qualifications

The CV of the proposed supervisor and student should be submitted with the application.

Research training

It is expected that the student will gain some experience in:

a) Introduction to research at postgraduate level

Why is research important?

  • Types of research studies (such as clinical trials, retrospective, studies, questionnaires, etc)
  • Ethical issues (including the use of human and animals in research, the Helsinki Declaration, application procedures to Research and Ethics Committees – although it is expected that relevant ethics is sought before the summer studentship commences)


 b) Project design, data analysis and dissemination of results

  • Experiment design protocol
  • Participation in data collection
  • Writing up report
  • Presentation of work at the BCLA Clinical Conference (can be presented by the supervisor)


c) Computing and IT skills

  • Journal literature searches
  • Electronic database searches such as Medline, PubMed etc.
  • Familiarisation with software packages such as word processing, spreadsheets, statistics packages, etc

Previous winning final reports are available to view below.

2013 Winning Entry

2012 Winning Entry

2012 Winning Entry

2010 Winning Entry

2009 Winning Entry

2008 Winning Entry


Application form

BCLA Summer Research Scholarship Application Form

Please email completed application forms to  membership@bcla.org.uk or post.