Research Opportunities

Dean’s Scholars Program

The Dean’s Scholars Program is a summer research training program for optometry students who have completed their first year of optometry school. The trainee, who is paid a stipend, works in a faculty lab and takes an intro to research course. The goal of the program is to provide research experiences for optometry students who are simply interested to see what ophthalmic research is like, or have an interest in an academic, or research career within optometry. While you may be taking a couple of OD classes during the summer, the Dean’s Scholar Program is very time-flexible and is easily managed by students who are well organized.

The Process:

Faculty interested in having student researchers will present a brief overview of their research at the introductory lab tour, held in the fall semester and open to any student. The tour will help you determine if the program matches your interest, previous experience, or capabilities. Then you are encouraged to approach the faculty to ask for more information and whether they can support you as a Dean’s Scholar. Only those project’s that can be started and mostly performed in the summer will be considered for the program. In addition to the actual research, Dean’s Scholar participants will take two short research related courses. At the end of the summer, Dean’s Scholars are expected to present the progress of their project either as a poster or a talk. Those who complete the summer program will be recognized on their IU transcript as Dean’s Research Scholars. Projects that are incomplete or there is a desire to extend it past the summer can continue at the discretion of the student and faculty advisor. 

A stipend of $6000, $3000 from the faculty and $3000 from IUSO, is provided. $2000 will be disbursed on June 1, July 1, and August 1.


If you have any questions about this program, please speak with the program director, Professor, Don Miller.

Undergraduate research opportunities

Qualified undergraduate students can gain valuable vision science and optometric-based research experience in any of our research labs.

Get to know our research areas and research faculty, and contact faculty members directly. Be sure to provide a brief cover statement and a CV, along with the names and contact information for three references.


For questions about formal research training through a graduate program in vision science, contact Dr. Stephen A. Burns, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, at