Research Training Programs

Training of research scientists is in integral component of the departmental mission at New England Eye Center and Tufts University School of Medicine. At the Vision Research Laboratories (VRL), young scientists apprentice with faculty members in preparation for careers in academic, industry, and hospital settings. Training mechanisms at the VRL include a monthly Research-in-Progress seminar, research group meetings, and individual laboratory meetings.

All students and fellows are also invited to attend the Morning Conferences and Grand Rounds at the New England Eye Center. A basic science conference, organized by the research staff, is held monthly as part of the program. Trainees are given the opportunity to write manuscripts and present research results at national scientific meetings. Most participants at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Ophthalmology and Vision (ARVO) held in Florida each spring.

Eye Doctor Students Looking Through Microscopes

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Programs

PhDs, MDs and ODs are invited to apply for positions at the VRL. Fellows are funded through various mechanisms, including Individual Research Services Awards from the National Institute of Health, private foundation fellowships, foreign government fellowships, and support provided through grants obtained by the individual faculty members. Many of the fellows take the National Eye Institute-sponsored course, “Fundamentals in Vision Research,” which is held in the Marine Biological Labs in Woods Hole in the summer. Participation in formal courses offered at Tufts University School of Medicine is also encouraged.

Fellows receive an appointment at both the New England Medical Center and the Department of Ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine. Participation in activities of the Tufts basic science departments is encouraged and facilitated. Training periods range from one to three years. Fellows are given a formal training certificate at New England Eye Center graduation exercises.

Applications for post-doctoral research fellowships should be made by contacting individual faculty members in their area of interest.

Graduate Students

Students come from the program in Biochemistry, the program in Genetics, and the program in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Tufts Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. Rotation through individual labs gives the student opportunity to experience a wide variety of research projects and environments prior to deciding on a lab to complete their dissertation work leading to a degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Students are funded their first year by a training grant from the National Institutes of Health, and in subsequent years by the chosen mentor’s lab. Applications should be made to the program of interest administered through the Tufts Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.

Medical & Undergraduate Student Fellowships

Students from Tufts University and other universities across the country may spend from three months to more than a year apprenticing in labs. Student fellowships are available from Tufts University and from Research to Prevent Blindness and Fight for Sight.

Student fellowship applications should be made by contacting the individual faculty members in their area of interest.

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