[visionlist] ERI Fellowship Opportunities

Ron Schuchard, PhD, FARVO Ron.Schuchard at envisionus.com
Mon Feb 8 17:25:56 -04 2021

The Envision Research Institute is pleased to announce the exciting opportunity to participate in our research fellowship program.  We have two open positions that have funding available for start dates from April to Summer 2021.

The Envision Research Institute (ERI) conducts research to improve the quality of life and independence for the blind and visually impaired (BVI).  Significant gaps still exist in our scientific understanding of the functional implications of vision loss.  The ERI seeks to fill these gaps by carrying out applied and innovative research in blindness and low vision, with the goal of removing functional barriers for these individuals.  Therefore, ERI dedicates our research to investigating the functional implications of vision loss, access to interventions, optimizing rehabilitation therapies, and developing accessibility technology.  The ERI fellowship program is an integral part of ERI's mission and research.

ERI is uniquely positioned to investigate these needs and gaps in BVI research given our longstanding and direct contact with BVI populations.  Researchers are encouraged to collaborate with Envision programs that serve BVI people such as:  1) Vision Rehabilitation Center; 2) Workforce Innovation Center; 3) Support Programs; 4) Child Development Center; and 5) Envision Industries.  This unique BVI environment fosters communication and collaboration, allowing researchers to quickly translate their knowledge into applications that can directly impact individuals who are blind and visually impaired.   In the other direction of information flow, researchers gain inspiration and valuable insight into impactful and meaningful questions by interacting with BVI individuals and the professionals that serve them.

Envision Fellows are among the best vision rehabilitation investigators; innovative and out to change the world for BVI individuals.  They take their diverse educational backgrounds and apply them creatively to improve the quality of life and independence for BVI people through their research endeavors.  Therefore, interest in BVI research is more important than previous training in BVI research.  Please go to the following link to see more information about the people and research activities of the ERI, past and current [www.research.envisionus.com/Projects].  We are currently excited about the following research areas but any BVI research area can be proposed for the fellowship research:  1) BVI Assistive Technology including Connected/Smart Home Assistive Technology; 2) Employment Research; 3) Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders; 4) Indoor Wayfinding and Navigation; and 5) Telerehabilitation.

A Fellow must have received, by the start of their Fellowship, a PhD, MD, OD, OTD, DPT, PsyD or equivalent professional degree at an accredited institution.  Low vision and blindness research is multi- and interdisciplinary, thus the topic of the professional degree is less important than the educational and professional experiences that can support the proposed fellowship research.  ERI Fellowships are funded for up to two years and some fellows continue as sponsored investigators.  A Fellow may have external mentors if it benefits their training and research activity.  Fellows may travel up to three months in the first year to receive training at an external mentor's institute.

Interested candidates should submit to research at envisionus.com a CV, two letters of reference and a Letter of Intent that contains the following:

*         Description of your academic and research background as it relates to BVI research

*         Description of a research project you are interested in pursuing at ERI

*         Proposed fellowship start date

*         If desired:  Proposed external mentor(s) and what new training they would provide for the Fellow

Letters of Intent should not be more than 1000 words.  Applications will be accepted until March 15, 2021.

If you have questions about this fellowship opportunity please email Ron Schuchard at ron.schuchard at envisionus.com.

Ron Schuchard, PhD, FARVO
ERI Executive Director
Envision, Inc.
610 N. Main St.
Wichita, KS 67203
O: 316-440-1506
F: 316-440-1540

Envision: To improve the quality of life and provide inspiration and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired through employment, outreach, rehabilitation, education and research.

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