Established in 2015, the Envision Research Institute (ERI) seeks to fill significant gaps that exist in our scientific understanding of the functional implications of vision loss. By conducting applied and innovative research post-doctoral scholars explore new ways to remove barriers to an optimal quality of life for individuals who are blind or visually impaired (BVI). Researchers are encouraged to collaborate with Envision programs that serve those who are blind or visually impaired, including: the Bicknell Envision Vision Rehabilitation Center; the William L. Hudson BVI Workforce Innovation Center; the Cathy G. Hudson Envision Child Development Center; and a host of programs for individuals of all ages, such as adult support groups, art and music programs, Level Up technology training and much more. This unique environment fosters communication and collaboration, allowing researchers to translate their knowledge into applications that can directly impact individuals who are blind and visually impaired. Researchers also gain inspiration and valuable insight into impactful and meaningful questions by interacting with BVI individuals and the professionals that serve them.
Executive Director Ron Schuchard, Ph.D., FARVO, said that applications for research in any area related to the BVI community will be considered for this new class of fellowships, but noted that the ERI is especially interested in receiving proposals for projects surrounding the following areas:
- Connected/Smart Home Assistive Technology;
- Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders;
- Indoor Wayfinding and Navigation; and
ERI Fellowships are funded for up to two years and some fellows continue as sponsored investigators beyond that term. To qualify, applicants must have received a Ph.D., M.D., O.D., O.T.D., D.P.T., Psy.D. or equivalent professional degree at an accredited institution, by the start of their Fellowship. Low vision and blindness research is multi- and interdisciplinary, thus the topic of a candidate’s professional degree is less important than the educational and professional experiences that can support the proposed fellowship research. In addition, interest in BVI research is more important than previous training in BVI research. Fellows may have external mentors if it benefits their training and research activity and may travel up to three months in the first year of their project for external mentor training.
Interested candidates should submit the following documents to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 15, 2021 to be considered:
- a curriculum vitae (CV);
- two (2) letters of reference; and
- a Letter of Intent, not to exceed 1,000 words, that describes the proposed research project, summarizes the applicant’s academic and research background as it relates to BIV research, provides a proposed start date between April 1 and September 30, 2021, and identifies any proposed external mentors, noting what new training they would provide.
About Envision: Envision promotes advocacy and independence for those who are blind or low vision. Founded in 1933, Envision is one of the largest employers of individuals with vision loss in the nation. Headquartered in Wichita, Kan., Envision’s mission is 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. For more information, visit www.envisionus.com.