August 2019


New grant from the ASCRS Foundation encourages global humanitarianism

by Julia Donaldson ASCRS Foundation Coordinator

At this year’s ASCRS ASOA Annual Meeting Opening General Session, David Chang, MD, ASCRS Foundation International Initiatives Chair, teased an exciting new undertaking. “Later this year, we’ll launch a new international service grant program for young eye surgeons who are interested in gaining exposure to humanitarian work in developing countries.”
Although the ASCRS Foundation has always encouraged the growth of residents and fellows with its other awards, this would be the Foundation’s first program to unite those dynamic young eye surgeons directly with its exciting work in lesser served communities abroad. This past month, the ASCRS Foundation officially opened applications for the initiative, dubbing it the YES (Young Eye Surgeons) International Service (YIS) grant.
This grant’s purpose is to inspire young eye surgeons to become involved with global eyecare on a long-term basis. The award will provide an opportunity for grantees to volunteer with local community eyecare programs, teaching institutions, and healthcare systems in the developing world. Grantees will have the opportunity to work with not only the ASCRS Foundation but also its international partners like HCP, ORBIS, SEVA, and others to develop a customized international volunteer plan. Ideally, an applicant’s experience and interest in specific regions will help guide his or her own volunteer plan.
The ASCRS Foundation and the society’s membership are already well-known for their efforts to alleviate the global eyecare crisis. The hope for this grant is to provide the opportunity for young eye surgeons specifically to help make a difference in communities around the world. As Dr. Chang explained during his speech, “Our goal is to potentially spark career-long interest in global volunteer service.”
The grant application is open to ASCRS members who are third-year residents, fellows, or young eye surgeons in their first 5 years of practice. The ASCRS Foundation grant will cover 2–4 weeks of travel expenses, room and board, and the administrative costs of the international assignment. Grantees will attend the 2020 and 2021 ASCRS ASOA Annual Meetings, where they will receive complementary registration. YIS grant awardees will be provided with several opportunities to share their stories and inspire volunteerism in the larger ophthalmic community.
The application period opened July 1, 2019, and will close Sept. 20, 2019. The application can be accessed online at If you have questions about the application process or eligibility requirements, email Julia Donaldson, ASCRS foundation coordinator, at

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New grant from the ASCRS Foundation encourages global humanitarianism New grant from the ASCRS Foundation encourages global humanitarianism
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