Introduction to the ICO Fellowships Program

The ICO Fellowships Program was organized to help promising young ophthalmologists from low-resources countries improve their practical skills and broaden their perspectives of ophthalmology. Fellows can bring their acquired knowledge and skills back to their home countries and take part in programs such as preventing and treating blindness.

Fellowships are divided into three types.

1. ICO Three-month Fellowships

This fellowship provides opportunities for ophthalmologists from developing countries to have clinical exposure and training in ophthalmic subspecialties. This fellowship meets the needs of different countries and of individual doctors in terms of clinical development of ophthalmology. Approximately 60 people worldwide can receive this fellowship each year. This fellowship is awarded twice a year, with application deadlines of March 31 and September 30.

Diagnosis and Therapy of Retinoblastoma

This fellowship is a clinical learning opportunity offered by ophthalmological teaching institutions in India and Iran. This is a sub-project of the three-month fellowship program and is structured with the same award amounts and deadlines, with the exception that candidates within the country of India or Iran may apply. The ordinary ICO fellowships do not allow candidates to apply for fellowships in their home country.

Fellowship in Pathology, Oncology and Microbiology

This program is part of a three-month fellowship program and is structured with the same award amounts and deadlines, but the project focuses on molecular pathology, clinical eye tumors, experimental pathology, and microbiology training. The training centers are mainly located in Denmark, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

2. ICO-ECF Six-month Fellowship

The project provides 6-month training opportunities for young ophthalmologists from developing countries who wish to improve their ability in and gain a deeper insight into retinoblastoma diagnosis and treatment. The fellowship will be served at teaching institutions in Mexico, China, Jordan, India and Iran and is jointly sponsored by the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) and the Eye Cancer Foundation (ECF). This fellowship is awarded many times a year and the application deadlines are month and day.

3. ICO One-year Fellowships

ICO-Helmerich Retina Research Foundation Fellowships

The fellowships provide support for one year of training in any subspeciality to young ophthalmologists from developing countries who are committed to enhancing ophthalmic education and improving patient care in their home countries. The fellowship sponsor is Mr. Helmerich, and the award will be provided jointly by the Retina Research Foundation and the ICO Foundation. Each year, two candidates receive a Helmerich fellowship. The application deadline is September 30.

ICO-Fred Hollow Foundation Subspecialty Fellowships

This fellowship offers young ophthalmologists from developing countries subspecialty training at a designated ICO Fellowship Training Center or other fellowship training programs. The professional fellowship foundation was established in 2016, and the application deadline is September 30.

How to apply International Eye Council (ICO) Fellowship? 

01 Application requirements

Applicants must be under the age of 40 at the time of applying, and must be committed to return to the fellow’s home country after completing the training.

02 How to select the types of fellowship?

 Identify your country and see the types of ICO fellowships you can apply for.

03 Preparation of Eligibility Documents

Provide your personal information to determine if you are eligible for the ICO fellowship of your choice.

04 ICO Evaluation

Submit your information to the ICO eligibility committee, and then you will be notified of eligible or not.

05 Select the Training Center

If you meet the requirements, please choose your own visiting center. Please note that you can only choose one center for visiting.

06 Visit Center Review Procedure

After your application is submitted, it will be reviewed by the visiting training center. If you are accepted, you will need to confirm some details and appointments with the visiting center. If your application is denied, you will need to choose another visiting training center.

07 Fellowship Application Submission Process

Get notified and the ICO Fellowship Committee will thoroughly review your application process for suitability and matching.

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