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European-based clinicians and researchers are being encouraged to craft imaginative proposals in the field of cataract and refractive surgery for the 2014 ESCRS Clinical Research Awards. With the final deadline for Expressions of Interest set for 31 January 2014, the ESCRS sees the Clinical Research Awards as the ideal opportunity to support worthy projects in cataract and refractive surgery. “The awards were instituted in order to support, encourage and fund individuals that actively conduct clinical research in the field of cataract and refractive surgery,” explained Prof Rudy Nuijts MD, PhD, current treasurer of the ESCRS and chair of the ESCRS Research Committee.

“One of the aims of the ESCRS is to facilitate and support an independent culture of clinical study for the ultimate benefit of patients with cataract and refractive disorders, and to engage and encourage the networking potential of the ophthalmic clinical community across the EU to improve both patient care and outcomes in Europe,” he added. As Prof Nuijts noted, the ESCRS is the ideal platform for initiating clinical multicentre studies that seek to provide evidence-based responses to important research questions that have implications for most health systems in Europe. “Having such data also facilitates discussions with national health authorities and governmental decision-makers,” said Prof Nuijts.

Prof Nuijts, whose own research group at the Maastricht University Medical Centre, Netherlands, received funding from the ESCRS for its ground-breaking PREMED study on cystoid macular oedema after cataract surgery, said that the ESCRS is fully committed to supporting innovation and creativity in European clinical research. “The ESCRS is prepared to invest substantial funding in the right project with suitable infrastructure and experience. We want to see how passion and curiosity can be applied to a significant clinical problem and are keen to support the best and brightest clinical research ideas with the capacity to change how we manage and treat our patients in the field of ophthalmology,” he said.


Scope of possibilities

As Prof Nuijts emphasised, the scope of possibilities for clinical research proposals is very wide indeed. The Judging Panel will consider ideas ranging from clinical research into the use of specific medical treatments or surgeries, or from the application of qualityadjusted life years (QALYs) in clinical care, to the management of national and global healthcare systems in ophthalmology or clinical research on the pharmaco-economic analysis of particular treatments.

He added that the ESCRS Clinical Research Awards are as much to do with good clinical science and medicine as they are to do with the capability to execute a solid research project creating near-term clinical impact. The combination of clinical science and clinical research expertise is the key to convincing the external Judging Panel of a credible and attractive clinical research programme.

All Expressions of Interest will be evaluated by the ESCRS Research Committee, from which short-listed entries will be invited to make a full proposal. The awards are open to clinicians and researchers holding a full-time clinical/ research post at an EU-based clinical or academic centre and all proposed projects must be in the field of cataract or refractive surgery.


More information on the  ESCRS Clinical Research Awards can be found at:


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