Ophthalmology Foundation Announcement FAQ

What is the Ophthalmology Foundation?

The Ophthalmology Foundation (OF) works with ophthalmologists, societies and organizations to enhance and provide ophthalmic education worldwide. With special focus on low-resource and underserved countries, we commit to improve global eyecare and advance the preservation and restoration of vision through education-improvement programs such as fellowships, continuing development and resources for ophthalmic educators, and other initiatives. The OF is the successor organization to the ICOFoundation and operates independently.

What does the Ophthalmology Foundation fund? Can I apply for a grant?

Presently, the OF will fund 3 and 12-month fellowships, including the RRF Helmerich Fellowship, administered by the IOFF. Please refer to ioff.org for more information on Fellowship opportunities.

There will be online educational opportunities available very soon and when the global COVID situation is more stable, there will more likely be in-person educational activities organized by the OF.

Can you support my residency/specialist training?

The Ophthalmology Foundation has no plans to financially support residency training or develop a training program, and is unlikely to do so in the future. Please contact your national or regional society for assistance in locating training programs and opportunities for support.

What do you mean by “low-resource and underserved countries?”

This is a term commonly used in the description of countries by such entities as the World Bank and United Nations/World Health Organization. We recognize that this is not a precise measurement and does not always reflect the level of eye care and training available in a country or region. Local ophthalmic capacity will also be considered in addition to the overarching resource-level of individual locations.

What are the education programs you are offering?

A list of our education programs is available on the Ophthalmology Foundation Education Consortium page on our website.

How can I get involved with the Education Consortium or learn about new programs?

As with any new organization, we are creating work groups for the various aspects of our programs. We will be reaching out to individuals and if you have a particular capacity that you believe would add to the mission, we would be delighted to hear from you.

The Ophthalmology Foundation educational programs will be coordinated under the aegis of the new Ophthalmology Foundation Education Consortium. This Consortium works with supranational, national and subspecialty societies, and individuals in facilitating and adding to existing programs as well as creating new virtual education and when possible in person events.

Please explore the program information on our website or contact us at educators@ophthalmologyfoundation.org for more details.

What prompted the transition from the ICOFoundation to the Ophthalmology Foundation?

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) decided that it would prefer to separate from the ICOF and this has been done in response to that. We regret that it is at least temporarily confusing but we have each decided to go our own way and have each wished the other party the best. The Ophthalmology Foundation (OF) is the successor organization to the ICOF and operates independently from the ICO.

We are not in a position to speak for the ICO , and if you have questions regarding their programs we recommend that you contact the ICO directly.