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Pre-Residency Fellowship Programs, Nontraditional

West Coast Region

University of Utah Health, John A. Moran Eye Center

Ophthalmic Pathology/Research Fellowship

The fellow will work under Dr. Nick Mamalis and Dr. Liliana Werner. The fellow will learn the basics of both the gross and microscopic evaluation of ophthalmic histopathology specimens submitted to the laboratory.

In addition, the fellowship involves both basic and clinical ophthalmic research. Fellows are involved in multiple projects involving cataract surgery, intraocular lenses, and anterior segment surgery in general. Research projects are performed using cadaver eyes as well as animal eyes.

Clinical research opportunities involve various clinical studies in areas as diverse as cataract surgery adjunct treatments, intraocular lenses, dry eyes, and ocular inflammation. In addition, the fellows are involved in ongoing research projects regarding complications of foldable intraocular lenses.

Applicants should either have an MD or DO degree. In addition to your resume, which you may have already forwarded, please send the following: a personal statement, three letters of reference, US-MLE steps 1, 2, or 3 scores, and any ECFMG certificates if applicable. If it is more convenient, you may simply forward your central application match packet or send your SF Match ID if you applied to the Moran ophthalmology residency program previously.

This fellowship is a wonderful opportunity to gain valuable knowledge in ophthalmology as well as to obtain publications, which would help to prepare for an ophthalmology residency program. The basic stipend is approximately $30,000 per year.


Diane Lund, Executive Assistant
Phone: 801-581-6586
Fax: 801-581-3357

Nick Mamalis, MD

Liliana Werner, MD, PhD

Glaucoma Research Fellowship

The fellow will work closely with the Moran Glaucoma Division, whose members have a wealth of experience with clinical trials, investigator-initiated projects, retrospective reviews, health services research, basic science work, and publications. He/she will learn the nuances of glaucoma research, including literature review, design, IRB approval, recruitment, chart reviews, biostatistics, database management, manuscript preparation, and delivering presentations at national/international meetings. Fellows will be involved in multiple projects involving glaucoma and anterior segment surgery. These research projects will involve human/animal subjects along with experience in analyzing large data sets like Medicare claims data, Utah Population Database, and Epic/iCentra/CPRS EMRs.  

Applicants should either have an MD or DO degree. In addition to your resume, which you may have already forwarded, please send the following: a personal statement, three letters of reference, US-MLE steps 1, 2, or 3 scores, and any ECFMG certificates if applicable. If it is more convenient, you may simply forward your central application match packet.

This glaucoma fellowship is a wonderful opportunity to gain valuable knowledge in ophthalmology along with ample opportunities for publications and presentations at national/international meetings. The basic stipend is approximately $30,000 per year, depending on experience.


Michelle Seegmiller – Executive Assistant to Norm Zabriskie, MD
Phone: 801-585-3071
Fax: 801-581-3357

Program Medical Director & Selection CommitteeNorm Zabriskie, MDIke Ahmed, MDSusan Chortkoff, MDCraig Chaya, MDAustin Nakatsuka, MDBrian Stagg, MD, MSRachel Simpson, MDBarbara Wirostko, MD 

Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute

Low Vision and Eye Movements Pre-Residency Fellowship

The Smith-Kettlewell Fellowship Program in San Francisco consists of pre- and post-doctoral fellowships in basic, clinical, and rehabilitation research relating to the areas of interest of the Program Preceptors. The Fellowship Program consists of fellowships funded by an NEI Training Grant, the Rachel C. Atkinson endowment, and the C.V. Starr Scholarship Fund at Smith-Kettlewell.


Midwest Region

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ophthalmic Pathology Fellowship, Dr. Heather Potter

The Ophthalmic Pathology fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a one-year pre- or post-residency fellowship. This fellowship position will be at the Research Specialist level.

The responsibilities of the fellow are both clinical and research oriented. The fellow evaluates specimens received by the lab, performing both gross dissection and microscopic examination with sign-out of cases by the attending ophthalmic pathologist, Dr. Heather Potter. There are opportunities to participate in either basic science research or histopathologic studies reviewing the substantial library of former cases seen by the laboratory. The fellow is also involved in several education opportunities including teaching the ophthalmology residents and medical students while on the service and leading OKAP directed lectures.

The UW Eye Pathology Lab, established in 1925 by F.A. Davis and directed for many years by Daniel Albert, is the only dedicated eye pathology in Wisconsin. The laboratory evaluates specimens received not only from ophthalmologists within the state of Wisconsin but also from pathology laboratories across the United States. Given the many unique specimens seen by our service, there are ample opportunities for case reports and photo submissions.

The Research Specialist will spend 51% time at the Wisconsin Reading Center (WRC) as part of a one-year position. The WRC portion of the fellowship includes exposure to and training in the analysis of retinal images such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) and angiography, ultra-wide field imaging, color photographs, auto-fluorescence images, and fluorescein angiograms.

The researcher will be involved in multiple projects assessing novel imaging outcomes for retinal diseases, including retinal vein occlusion, diabetic retinopathy, retinal dystrophies, and macular degeneration. There will be opportunity to work with new and ongoing imaging research aimed towards conference presentations and publications.

The Research Specialist will be supervised and mentored by WRC Medical Director Dr. Blodi and Research Director Dr. Domalpally, as well as the co-medical directors and WRC staff. Training may occur with WRC Co-Medical Directors, faculty, and senior research staff.

Application for the pre-residency fellowship should include the following:

  1. Either your SF match application printout OR your CV + Official USMLE STEP 1 and 2 score reports.
  2. Two letters of recommendation
  3. Personal statement reflecting upon how this fellowship will help you (1 page max)

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Michele Kempfer ( for more information about the program.


Michele M. Kempfer
600 Highland Ave, Room K6/454 CSC
Madison, WI 53792-4673
Phone: 608-262-9092
Fax: 608-263-0543

Kresge Eye Institute

Quality Improvement Fellowship

The Quality Improvement Fellowship at Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit is a one-year, paid, pre-residency fellowship for MDs or DOs who intend to pursue a residency position in ophthalmology. The role of the QI Fellow is to create and execute new research projects and to assist residents, fellows, and medical students in preparing new projects. They will also work two days per week in the resident-run ophthalmology clinic, under the direct supervision of an attending physician, and attend all of the resident didactic lectures. Lastly, the QI Fellow will earn a Basic Certificate in Quality and Safety from the IHI, and will assist the KEI residents in creating and executing quality improvement projects throughout the year. 


Deborah Chesney

Southern Region

University of Miami, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Ophthalmic Pathology Fellowship

The Bascom Palmer Eye Institute offers a one-year funded fellowship in ophthalmic pathology. The fellow will evaluate all specimens that are received in the laboratory and will be expected to engage in new and going research projects. Graduates of accredited programs in ophthalmology or pathology, as well as pre-residency candidates, will be considered.

Please download our fellowship application online and return it to Isabel R. Perez with the required supporting documents.


Isabel R. Perez (Residency/Fellowship Program Coordinator)
P.O. Box 016880
Miami, FL 33101

Toll-Free: 800-329-7000 ext. 6391
Phone: 305-326-6391
Fax: 305-326-6580

University of North Carolina

Ophthalmology Research Fellowship

This is a one-year research fellowship program with Dr. David Fleischman (glaucoma) and Dr. Alice Zhang (surgical retina) at UNC. The program offers an opportunity to participate in research at the institution and to meet and be part of a great team of ophthalmologists. This program has been in place for the past 7 years. The majority of students who came through were successful in securing an ophthalmology residency the very next year (10 out of 11) and four became UNC residents.

The research fellow will help take over projects that are ongoing and not yet completed by our current fellows. The year is aimed to begin in March/April 2022 until April 2023 (can be altered depending on your needs). Projects are mostly clinical, some requiring review of databases, others requiring recruitment and interaction with patients in the clinical setting. During your research year, you will also have the opportunity to shadow in the OR and in the clinic, and attend resident teaching and wet lab sessions.

Both supervisors are excited to mentor you towards the next step in your career. You will be given sufficient time off needed to attend all interviews. Please send an email to with a few sentences outlining what you hope to gain out of this research year. If you applied to UNC through SF match, please specify your SF ID#, otherwise please forward your CAS application. The program will begin reviewing applications on a rolling basis until February 23, 2022.

University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center

Clinical Research Fellowship

The Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis offers a one- or two-year clinical research fellowship/coordinator position. This is a compensated position working directly with Penny Asbell, MD, FACS, MBA, FARVO, on clinical trials on cornea diseases and procedures. This position involves hands-on patient care experience and allows the candidate to gain exposure to clinical trials research methodology, protocol development, IRB, data analysis, ophthalmic sample collection and processing, and detailed ocular examination skills. Additionally, there is significant potential for publication of papers and presentations at conferences and participation in department grand rounds and meetings. Memphis enjoys all the amenities of a small city with plentiful sports, music, arts, and outdoor activities, with suburban and city accommodations, and a low cost of livingThis position is appropriate for both pre- and post-doctoral candidates who are interested in clinical trials and ophthalmology.    

To apply: Please send CV to Dr. Penny Asbell at 

East Coast Region

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Clinical Research Fellow/Coordinator Position

The Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, offers a one-year funded Clinical Research Fellow/Coordinator position. This position involves direct interaction with all faculty members working on multiple research projects, although the focus is primarily in glaucoma and pediatric ophthalmology. A portion of the work involves patient recruitment and regulatory work, but the position allows a candidate to gain significant experience in research study design, statistical analysis, and writing.  

The research fellow is expected to contribute significantly to work that will result in multiple publications. Funding is available for presentation at national conferences and potentially for statistical coursework. This position may be appropriate for both pre-doctoral as well as post-doctoral candidates. The most recent fellow in this position just matched for ophthalmology at one of his top choices. 

To apply: contact Dr. Osamah Saeedi, Director of Clinical Research, directly at


Osamah Saeedi, MD (Director of Clinical Research)
419 W. Redwood Street, Suite 470
Baltimore, MD 21201


The Ocular Immunology and Uveitis Foundation, C. Stephen Foster, MD

Ocular Immunology and Uveitis Pre-Residency Research Fellowship

The Ocular Immunology and Uveitis Foundation (OIUF) offers a one-year, funded pre-residency fellowship in ocular immunology/uveitis at Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution in Waltham, MA, just outside of Boston. This program is directed by C. Stephen Foster, MD, a pioneer in the development of treatments for ocular inflammatory disease. Our other preceptors in the program are Stephen D. Anesi, MD, and Peter Y. Chang, MD, both of whom were trained by Dr. Foster.

We provide comprehensive training in the evaluation and management of patients with all forms of ocular inflammatory disease, both anterior and posterior segment, including uveitis. In addition to participating in daily clinics at our private outpatient practice, research fellows participate in active research projects based on personal interests, including participation in clinical trials, basic science in a fully equipped laboratory, and clinical topics, with ample opportunity to publish in recognized journals. Our program includes a strong didactic lecture series with invited experts across multiple disciplines. Additional learning opportunities are offered through monthly journal club and case conference meetings.

We encourage abstract submission to ARVO and provide funding for fellows to attend with abstract acceptance. Research fellows participate in one or more physician conferences, with nationally recognized faculty members, which we organize each year. In addition to our U.S.-trained research fellows, we welcome research fellows and observers from around the world. These individuals, who are typically highly-trained and skilled ophthalmologists, add to the experience of our research fellows by bringing diverse viewpoints for discussion.

We are conveniently located in close proximity to Boston while enjoying the many benefits of being just outside a major city (free parking, reduced cost of living, top-rated schools in neighboring towns, excellent restaurants). Please submit a resume, cover letter, three letters of recommendation, and CAS application if available to Scott Evans at


Scott Evans, MBA
1440 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02451

Telephone: 617-620-8033

Tufts Medical Center/New England Eye Center/ New England Eye Center

OCT Research Fellowship

Since 2003, the New England Eye Center has offered a one-year fellowship to a medical student interested in pursuing OCT research, in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. James Fujimoto at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The research involves the clinical application of innovative OCT technologies in patients at NEEC.

The student has the opportunity to design, initiate, and complete clinical studies on the utility of these devices in retinal diseases and glaucoma. A background in engineering or computer science is helpful but not required.

This is a one-year, full-time commitment starting in July and ending in June every year. A yearly stipend is offered.

To apply, send your CV to Dr. Waheed ( and cc Stephanie Dunn ( and Gabi Zsemlye (    


Nadia K. Waheed, MD
800 Washington Street, #450
Boston, MA  02111

Maine Eye Center

Pre-Residency Fellowship

The Maine Eye Center offers a Pre-Residency Clinical Fellowship under the direction of Dr. Lisa Neavyn and Dr. Brooke Miller. Fellow responsibilities include triaging urgent care patients, working in subspecialty clinics, and pre-rounding on inpatient ophthalmology consults at the hospital in addition to 24-hour call one week per month. Research opportunities are self-directed with good support from attendings.

This is a one-year, paid clinical fellowship with benefits.

To apply: Please contact SF Match and have your application forwarded to 

For more information:

Pediatric Ophthalmology and Ocular Genetics at Wills Eye Hospital

Bradway Research Scholar Fellowship

This is a funded, full-time position, which starts July 1. International applicants are welcome. The Supervisor for this position is Dr. Kammi Gunton. 

Wills Eye Hospital Pediatric Ophthalmology and Ocular Genetics is a very busy service where we see an enormous range of pathology in both adults (genetics and strabismus) and children. We currently have over 90 active research and writing projects that involve any number of our 14 physicians, 24 ophthalmology residents, pediatric ophthalmology fellow, ocular genetics fellow, genetic counselor, medical students and visiting research fellows from around the world. The Bradway Scholar manages this research and writing program, including administrative duties, project tracking, management of electronic files, obtaining informed patient consent for research projects, data collection, database construction and oversight, coordination of meetings, manuscript and grant preparation/writing/submission, Institutional Review Board submission preparation, as well as the supervision and assistance of students. Other duties are assigned as they may arise. The Bradway Scholar will manage projects ranging from bench laboratory to clinical and cover the areas of pediatric cataract, adjustment to vision loss, pediatric glaucoma, ocular genetic disorders, and all aspects of pediatric ophthalmology. Opportunities abound for the Bradway Scholar to publish and develop their curriculum vitae. The Bradway Scholar is expected to be the lead researcher on at least two projects. 

In addition to hands-on research activities, a research lecture series is conducted for the benefit of all trainees on the service. The Bradway Scholar is also allocated one-half day weekly of clinical/surgical observation and the opportunity to attend a wide variety of didactic educational opportunities at Wills. 

To Apply:

  • A maximum one-page personal statement as to why you want to take this position and your future plans.
  • Current curriculum vitae.
  • Photograph of yourself (not required but very helpful).
  • If you have previously published (not required), a copy of the 1-2 publications of which you are most proud.
  • One letter of recommendation (two letters preferred).

All documents should be sent electronically. The recommendation letters must also be sent as hard copies on original letterhead with the original signature. 

Only completed applications will be considered for interviews (offered by phone if not available to attend in person). Deadline for receipt of completed applications is February 26.


Karen Scannapieco
Pediatric Ophthalmology and Ocular Genetics
Wills Eye Hospital
840 Walnut Street, Ste. 1210
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5109

Wills Eye Hospital

Ocular Oncology Research Internship

This is one or two years of ocular oncology internship training before ophthalmology residency.

Duties of the research internship include: conducting clinical research projects with compilation of data in a relatively independent fashion, publication of research, assistance with related ocular oncology education, and presentation of research at meetings.


Sandra Dailey

The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary

Pre-Residency Glaucoma Research Fellowship

This is a one-year research fellowship with Dr. Ritch. He is a world-renowned expert in glaucoma, and is especially known for his work with pseudo-exfoliation syndrome, normal-tension glaucoma, and pigment dispersion syndrome.  Responsibilities include recruiting patients and conducting the research projects, ranging from retrospective chart reviews to literature reviews and prospective imaging studies. There are also opportunities to teach junior medical students.

This position is a paid position that is open for both medical students and MDs. 


Robert Ritch, M.D.

The information in this document was obtained directly from pre-residency programs or their websites. We welcome updates, corrections, or additions as needed. Please contact with any content recommendations.

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Grand Rounds at the Moran Eye Center/Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Utah have been a tradition for more than three decades.

At Moran CORE, we are pleased to make available our weekly one-hour Moran Eye Center Grand Rounds lectures for ophthalmologists and all healthcare professionals worldwide.

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Contact Us

University of Utah School of Medicine

Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

John A. Moran Eye Center
Academic Office
65 Mario Capecchi Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84132

Phone: 801-585-3719
Fax: 801-581-5806

Jeff Pettey, MD, MBA, Vice Chair of Education
Phone: 801-581-2352

Rachel G. Simpson, MD, Associate Program Director
Phone: 801-581-2352

Elaine Peterson, C-TAGME, Academic Programs Manager
Phone: 801-585-6701

Meghan Johnson, Program Manager, Academics
Phone: 801-213-4044

Chandler Thompson, Executive Assistant
Phone: 801-581-3023

Barbara Korous, Director, Operations