Bradford duo win at first ‘student summit’

A new contest to encourage new research from within the UK’s optometry universities – backed by contact lens giant CooperVision – saw two students from Bradford carry off the prize.

Despite it being the inaugural contest, in all the competition attracted representations from almost all the universities in the UK which run optometry degrees.

Each entry was required to present their findings at CooperVision’s south coast headquarters at a special two-day event which took in learning, networking and social activities.

The contact lens giant approached 10 universities this summer, and asked their students to submit findings on contact lens topics to be in with the chance of winning £2,000 each. An optical lecturer from each university marked the submissions and selected one winner from each university to receive £2,000 each. The overall winners received a full delegate package for next year’s BCLA conference along with the prize money.

Seven universities took part in the finals, some having two participants, some having one. It was the duo of Pat Friis (pictured left) and Barney Norris (right) from Bradford University who carried off the first prize. Also pictured are CooperVision’s professional relations manager Karl Aberdeen and University of Bradford lecturer Dr Catharine Chisholm.

Chair of the judging panel, David Challinor, OT’s editor-in-chief, commented: “All seven entrants were of a very high standard – they were truly ‘a magnificent seven’ – and it was a very tough decision to pick a winner. But in the end we felt that Barney and Pat’s presentation was the strongest overall in terms of learning qualities, responding to questions by the judges, and presentational abilities.”