CooperVision has launched its European Student of the Year competition, for which it calls on students to conduct research into the anterior eye and contact lenses.
The Future Ocular Research Creativity Event (FORCE) is hosted annually and sees students from college and universities across Europe take part. It aims to inspire students to strive for excellence in their studies, and encourage them to develop their knowledge and contacts, CooperVision explained.
Students who wish to take part in the competition, conduct a clinical project on a contact lens or anterior eye-related subject and produce a clinical review or case report from it. Those selected to represent their college or university will meet at national UK final that is hosted at CooperVision’s headquarters in March 2018.
Students invited to the final will present their work, with a winner selected and given the opportunity to compete in the European FORCE final against students from other countries. The 2018 final will be held at the CooperVision Centre of Innovation in Budapest in May.
A judging panel, which is chaired by Aston University’s Professor James Wolffsohn will select the overall European FORCE Student of the Year winner, who will receive a full delegate package, including travel and accommodation, to attend an international contact lens meeting.
Speaking about the annual competition, Professor Wolffsohn, said: “Evidence-based practice is the core of the optometric profession and FORCE is unique in giving an opportunity to students from every contact lens teaching university to further their career as key opinion leaders and profession shapers of the future.”
Students from nine countries participated in the 2017 European FORCE final, with Alessandra Rossi and Sara Picarazzi from the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy, named the winners for their project evaluating the absorption of eyeshadow in soft contact lenses.
Reflecting on the experience, Ms Picarazzi shared: “I got involved in my first research project thanks to my teacher at university. FORCE opens a great opportunity for study. It’s really important for young researchers starting out on their careers.”