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Research

The Bradford School of Optometry & Vision Science research group comprises a cohesive, multi-disciplinary approach to investigating vision and visual perception to address important research questions.

The group continues to build on over 35 years of vision research at the University. Research embraces a broad range of disciplines including; ophthalmology, optics, ocular imaging, machine vision, psychophysics, biomechanics and visual neuroscience.

Our aim is to further our understanding of the basic mechanisms of human vision in health and disease, as well as the functional consequences of visual loss. In pursuing this aim we have prioritised a strong translational research dimension and have developed an excellent track record of applying basic research to address clinical problems. The group has achieved a diversity that is naturally collaborative and multi-disciplinary, working with optometrists, ophthalmologists, orthoptists, medical engineers, physicists, psychologists and neuroscientists at local, regional, national and international levels.

Our research strategy is to pursue fundamental and applied research into the basic mechanisms of human vision with the goal of developing new techniques for the assessment of visual function in disease processes and in provision of novel testing and amelioration strategies to help individuals deal with functional visual loss arising from poor development, ageing or disease in the home, workplace or other environments.

Research themes

The School undertakes research, both fundamental and applied, as well as consultancy projects across a wide range of vision-related topics. In the most recent, independent assessment of our research quality (the UK Government's 2008 Research Assessment Exercise), 80% of our submission was deemed to be 'internationally significant'.

The Vision Science research group comprises 14 full-time academic staff, one Research Fellow, 4 Post-Doctoral Research Assistants and 16 Ph.D. students.

The research we conduct is funded by a variety of national bodies, including BBSRC, EPSRC, NIHR, The Wellcome Trust, The Thomas Pocklington Trust and the Rail Standards Safety Board. Significant intra-professional research support has also been obtained from the College of Optometrists, Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians as well as support from within the optical industry.

Research by the Vision Science group currently takes place within two main themes:

Photo of someone looking at eye examination images on a computer

What is it like to study at Bradford?

Vision Science graduate Samantha Strong explains why she chose Bradford to do her PhD.

Collaborations and networks

The research we conduct is funded by a variety of national bodies, including BBSRC, EPSRC, NIHR, The Wellcome Trust, The Thomas Pocklington Trust and the Rail Standards Safety Board. Significant intra-professional research support has also been obtained from the College of Optometrists, Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians as well as support from within the optical industry.

Members of the Vision Science Group (VSG) engage in an extensive range of collaborative research networks. Partners in these networks include:

UK and International Universities

  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Aston
  • University of Plymouth
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of York
  • City University
  • Herriot-Watt University
  • Bangor University
  • University of Waterloo, Canada
  • Flinders University & Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • State University of New York, University of Houston, University of Indiana in the USA
  • University of Paris, France
  • University of Erlangen, Germany

NHS Hospitals

Complementing the collaborative links with university academic departments, an important aspect of the VSG’s clinical research involves research and development with local NHS Teaching Hospitals.

  • Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • St James’s University Hospital, Leeds
  • York Hospital
  • Manchester Royal Eye Hospital

Industrial partners

  • Essilor
  • BBC
  • ARUP
  • IBM
  • AutoDesk
  • Rail Standards Safety Board
  • Institute of Occupational Medicine
  • Public Carriage Office
  • HM Prison Service.

Professional Bodies

  • Association of Optical Practitioners
  • British Contact Lens Association
  • College of Optometrists
  • National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)
  • British Geriatrics Society  
  • Royal College of General Practitioners