ICO-Retina Research Foundation One-Year Helmerich Fellowships 2020

The International Council of Opthalmology is currently offering the ICO-Retina Research Foundation Helmerich Fellowships in 2020

This fellowship provides support for one year of training in any subspecialty to young ophthalmologists from developing countries who are committed to enhancing ophthalmic education and improving patient care in their home countries.

One of the primary goals and commitments of the ICO is to enhance ophthalmic education to improve eye care and contribute to the preservation and restoration of vision around the world. To fulfil this commitment, the ICO offers educational programs and initiatives to invigorate and support ophthalmic education, especially in developing countries.

Worth of Award

  • Award: US$25,000 to help cover living expenses and return travel.
  • Two ICO-Retina Research Foundation One-Year Helmerich Fellowships are awarded each year to commence within 15 months after award notification.
  • Open for training in any subspecialty.


  • Applicant must reside in a low-resource country.
  • Applicant must be under 40 years of age at the time of applying.
  • He or she must be a graduate of an ophthalmology residency training program.
  • Specialist exam in ophthalmology must be successfully passed.
  • Applicant must be recommended by the ophthalmology head of a teaching institution or public service hospital in a low-resource country.
  • He or she must be accepted for ophthalmology subspecialty fellowship, one year in duration, at an advanced ophthalmology training centre.
  • Applicant must be reasonably fluent in the language of the fellowship training centre.
  • He or she must be committed to returning to a position at a teaching institution or public service hospital in the fellow’s home country.
  • The ICO recommends that candidates pass one or more ICO exams. We consider this in the assessment of applications.
  • Applicants from countries with ophthalmologic societies that are Members of the ICO will receive special consideration.
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How to Apply

The steps to apply for an ICO fellowship are listed below. Please be sure to check the eligibility requirements for the specific fellowship for which you are applying. You will need to create an ICO Account if you do not already have one.

Applicants are expected to return to their home country upon completion of the fellowship.

  • Select a Fellowship: After identifying your country, the ICO Fellowship(s) you are eligible for will be shown.
  • Complete Eligibility Check: You will be asked to provide information in order to determine if you are eligible to receive the selected ICO Fellowship.
  • ICO Eligibility Review: After your information is submitted to the ICO your eligibility will be determined. You will be notified of the decision and asked to complete the application or informed that you are not eligible.
  • Apply to a Host Training Center: If you are eligible, you will select and apply to a host. Please note that you may only apply to one host at a time.
  • Host Application Review: Your request will be reviewed by the host you have selected. If accepted, you will need to confirm details agreed upon between you and the host. If your request is declined, you will need to select another host.
  • Fellowship Application Submitted: You will be notified that your application is complete and will be reviewed by the appropriate ICO Fellowship Committee.
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Deadline: The application deadline is September 30, 2020.

Click here for more details and to apply