Cornea Research Fellowship

The Wills Eye Hospital Cornea Service offers a 6-month to 1-year full-time research fellowship designed to provide medical students or ophthalmologists, both from with the United States and international sites, with the experience necessary to become a successful clinical researcher.

Our goal is to provide an opportunity for research fellows to conduct high-impact, evidenced-based projects that advance the field of Cornea and External Diseases. By performing these studies, we hope that our research fellows will contribute valuably to their local, national, and international communities.

Fellows will acquire the skills necessary to:

  • Perform a scientific literature review
  • Design evidence-based research projects
  • Write research protocols and grant applications
  • Submit research projects to an IRB
  • Recruit patients for research studies
  • Conduct ocular testing on research patients
  • Perform medical chart reviews for retrospective studies
  • Enter and analyze study data with biostatisticians
  • Write and submit manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals
  • Submit and present research results at national meetings
  • Participate in ongoing research team meetings


Applying to the Cornea Research Fellowship

If you are interested in our Research Fellowship Program in Cornea & External Disease, please compete and return the following:

  • Application Form (download)
  • Brief (one page) statement  about your professional goals and proposed activities during the period.
  • Photocopy of your score report for USMLE [all steps] 1, 2, & 3 if J-1 sponsored.
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Small photograph

Applicants should also arrange for the following:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and medical schools attended, sent either from the schools to us directly, or an official, sealed transcript with the school registrar's signature sent to us by the applicant.
  • Letters of recommendation should be sent by at least three professional associates (one to include your residency program director and/or the Chair, Department of Ophthalmology).

Your application is not complete until all required materials have been received. Research fellowship applications will be reviewed year round and scheduled subject to availability.

Note: The research program is self-funded by the applicant for the duration of the program, including all living expenses. Wills Eye does not provide any funding.


In order to travel and reside in the United States during the length of your fellowship, you must obtain a J-1 visa.  Please allow at least 1-2 months, depending on your country of residence, to complete the process. Information on obtaining a J-1 visa: click here.

The “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status” or DS-2019, click here.

For more information, please contact:

Nick Zambino
Wills Eye Hospital
Cornea Department
840 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Email:  nzambino@willseye.org
Phone:  215-928-4710
Fax 215-928-3854