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Scottish Ophthalmology trainees encouraged to focus in on Research Award opportunity

Scottish Ophthalmology trainees encouraged to focus in on Research Award opportunity

11th June 2024

The NHS Research Scotland (NRS) Ophthalmology specialty is urging trainees to apply for a funding award to support their development

The Scottish Ophthalmology Trainee Research Award (SOTRA) will provide up to £12,000 funding for an ophthalmology trainee working in Scotland to conduct a research project within their post.

The NHS Research Scotland (NRS) Ophthalmology award – supported by Théa Pharmaceuticals – provides funding for protected time to contribute to, conduct, and lead ophthalmology research, and may be used to fund equipment.

Madeleine Bayne, NRS Portfolio Manager for Ophthalmology, said: “The SOTRA helps to strengthen the research culture as well as its capacity within ophthalmology.

“It can, for instance, be used to fund equipment requirements or facilitate the time required to be spent on a research project, potentially leading to an exciting discovery.

“With the award, generously supported by Théa Pharmaceuticals, our fundamental aim is to develop more home-grown research and encourage Scotland’s next generation of researchers by providing them with the skills and experience necessary to thrive and help make vital contributions to our collective understanding.

“Our support is not restricted to just the SOTRA, however. The NRS Ophthalmology team is keen to hear from any aspiring researchers so that they can be supported to find the right funding.”

Dr Andrew Tatham, Consultant Ophthalmologist at NHS Lothian and NHS Research Scotland Clinical Lead for Ophthalmology said: “The SOTRA is a great opportunity for ophthalmology trainees in Scotland to further their experience in clinical research.

“We hope that the funding can help to inspire the next generation of ophthalmologists to be research active, leading to future breakthroughs in vision.

“Indeed, we are fortunate in eye care to have exciting new diagnostic technologies and treatments on the horizon, with enormous potential to benefit patients and reduce the devasting impact of sight loss. The next generation can be instrumental in helping to develop those.

“The Scottish eye care clinical research community is small but growing, with an increasing number of clinical trials ongoing across NHS Scotland. The SOTRA is one example of how we can support new investigators who wish to undertake research.”

He added: “It is vital that we lay the foundations today for patients to benefit from new and better treatments tomorrow.”

To apply for the award, interested applicants should complete the form; if you are not an NHS Scotland employee and the form is inaccessible, request it as an email attachment from and return to by 13 September 2024.

NRS Ophthalmology supports the delivery of high-quality clinical research and manages participant recruitment to time and target, both for ophthalmology studies which are led from Scotland, and studies led from other nations which Scottish sites are participating in. 

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