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ICO Fellowships Program

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) Fellowships Program was organized to help promising young ophthalmologists from developing countries improve their practical skills and broaden their perspectives of ophthalmology.  Fellows are expected to bring the acquired knowledge and skills back to their home countries and take part in programs to preserve vision and prevent blindness.

The ICO gratefully recognizes grants, gifts, and pledges to the ICO Fellowships Program. Support ICO Fellowships by contributing to the ICO, ICOFoundation, or the International Ophthalmological Fellowship Foundation (IOFF).  The IOFF was formed in Germany to support the fellowships. View ICO Fellowship donors.

Learn more about the online application.

Three-Month Fellowships (offered by the ICO and its supporters)

These fellowships provide young ophthalmologists from developing countries with exposure to and training in several subspecialties in ophthalmology.  The program is intended to be flexible to meet the needs of different countries and individuals.  Approximately 60 Fellowships are awarded each year.

The ICO Three-Month Fellowship is awarded twice a year, with application deadlines of March 31 and September 30.

View more information on the ICO Three-Month Fellowships.

One-Year Fellowships
The ICO and its supporters offer three types of one-year fellowships.

ICO-Retina Research Foundation Helmerich Fellowships
This fellowship provides support for one year of ophthalmology subspecialty training.  Fellowships are awarded to young ophthalmologists from developing countries who are committed to enhancing ophthalmic education and patient care in their home countries.  The fellowship honors Mr. W. H. Helmerich III and is sponsored by the Retina Research Foundation in cooperation with the ICOFoundation. 

Two ICO – Retina Research Foundation Helmerich Fellowships are awarded each year. The application deadline is September 30.

Each year since 2010, this fellowship has been awarded to two exceptionally well qualified young ophthalmologists from developing countries.  View past recipients (PDF-187 KB.)

View more information on the ICO – Retina Research Foundation Helmerich Fellowships.

ICO-Fred Hollows Foundation One-Year Subspecialty Fellowships

This fellowship provides young ophthalmologists from developing countries with subspecialty training at a designated ICO Fellowship Training Center or other fellowship training program. 

Two ICO - Fred Hollows Foundation One-Year Subspecialty Fellowships are awarded each year. The application deadline is September 30.

View more information about the ICO - Fred Hollows Foundation One -Year Subspecialty Fellowships.

ICO-SAARC One-Year Subspecialty Fellowships
This is a fellowship exclusively for ophthalmologists from the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka), providing a combination of training with local, regional, and international hosts to improve education and access to eye care in the region.  It is co-sponsored by the ICO and the Southasian Academy of Ophthalmology, and is supported by The Fred Hollows Foundation.

Ten to twelve ICO - SAARC Fellowships are awarded each year. The application deadline is September 30.

View more information about the ICO - SAARC Fellowships.

More Information

Please review the current criteria and application procedures below, as this will help you complete the application process:

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    How to Apply

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    Fellowship Host Directory

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    Fellowship Application Documents

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Alumni Profiles

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Contact ICO Fellowships

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Fellowship News

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