Education Grants

Since 2006, the Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation has been working to support the medical community’s efforts to investigate the causes of and to improve treatments for Coats’ Disease, with the goal of finding a cure.  We are offering Education Grants for junior Fellows and researchers to attend one of several conferences:

  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
  • Advances in Pediatric Retina (APR)
  • Retina Society Meeting
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)
  • American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS)
  • American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus (AAPOS)
  • The Retina Society

The Education Grants will support travel and registration to in-person conferences or registration fees to attend virtual conferences. By sponsoring new professionals to attend retina meetings, we hope to raise awareness about the Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation and to encourage research into this disease.

Priority will be given to applicants who are presenting a paper, poster, or abstract on Coats’ Disease or other pediatric retinal disease research.


Application Requirements:

  • Summary of Academic Background and Training (one paragraph) or a current CV.
  • Description of your desired travel (including a timeline for when you will depart and return) and a detailed budget (e.g. transportation, lodging/accommodations, and per diem expenses). If attending a virtual conference, please indicate the registration fee total.
  • Information about your current practice.
  • Brief statement (1-2 paragraphs) detailing your experience and interest in Coats’ Disease. Include (if applicable) any prior or ongoing research, publications, or presentations relevant to Coats’ Disease.
  • Brief statement (1-2 paragraphs) summarizing why attendance to the Conference would be meaningful. The summary may include how attendance may improve your understanding of Coats’ Disease; allow you to network with current or potential future collaborators on Coats’ Disease research; or allow you to present your current work.
  • The application should be no more than 2 pages, single spaced, with one-inch margins and in Arial – 11 pts. or larger;
  • Grant Recipients will be asked to provide a brief post-conference summary in writing and in video that includes the impact of attending the conference or meeting on their understanding of Coats’ Disease and the current state of research on this Disease. Please note: Summaries will be used by the Foundation to inform our supporters and donors of the value of this grant to your research and practice.
  • The Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation must be acknowledged in reports, poster sessions, presentations, papers, and publications resulting from or supported by the Education Grant.


General Information and Use of Funds: 

  • Recipients may receive up to $1,000 to support travel and registration fees to attend in-person conferences. For virtual meetings, the grant will support meeting registration fees. 
  • Deadline for Applications for ARVO: March 1, 2023 with grant notification by April 1, 2023
  • Deadline for Applications to APR, Retina Society or AAO: July 1, 2023
  • Notification of Grant Awards for APR, Retina Society, or AAO will be by: July 15, 2023
  • Applications must be in PDF format and submitted via e-mail to Dr. Deborah Marron, Executive Director, Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation ([email protected]). Additional questions about proposal submission, proposal content and review, or applicant eligibility may be addressed to Deborah Marron at the e-mail specified above.



About the Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation

The Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation funds research to find a cure for Coats’ Disease. The Foundation is the preeminent resource for Coats’ Disease patients and their families. We serve as a hub for the Coats’ Disease community who seek information about specialists who treat this rare disease and updates on the latest research in this disorder. The Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable Foundation that was established in 2006 by the parents of Jack McGovern as a promise to their son that they would never rest until there was a cure for Coats’ Disease.


Our vision is to find a cure for Coats’ Disease. To achieve this, the Foundation is committed to these three goals: Build Awareness of Coats’ Disease; Fund Research; and Build Patient Resources, such as a Doctor Directory of Coats’ Disease clinicians. We encourage all retina specialists who are experienced in treating Coats’ to register with us at We offer Research Grants and have established the Coats’ Disease Patient Registry for researchers to access. For further information on Research Grant Opportunities, please visit



From the 2022 Education Grant Recipient: Stephanie Tammy Hsu

From the 2022 Education Grant Recipient: Mason Seely, Duke University School of Medicine

“ARVO 2022 was an exceptional opportunity to interface with the ophthalmic academic community about new technology and methodologies for understanding and treating ocular disease. Presenting in person at this conference facilitated invaluable opportunities for academic discussion and networking that cannot and could not have been accomplished virtually. I am grateful to the Jack McGovern’s Coat’s Disease Foundation for helping make the associated cost of travel to conferences like ARVO feasible to rising physicians and researchers eager to engage but often unable to attend due to financial barriers. ARVO 2022 was an experience that helped me grow as a clinical investigator that I will never forget.”




“I would like to Thank Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation for their unlimited support. I was so excited when I knew that I was accepted to their 2020 travel grant to attend the virtual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology which is the largest meeting in Ophthalmology providing updates in different Ophthalmology subspecialties including pediatric retinal diseases. The grant gave me the opportunity to attend the most important meeting of the year. This represents an important event in my career. I have attended a lot of presentations, presented posters, and instruction courses which significantly improved my knowledge and gave me the chance to meet, interact and ask questions to the most influential people in Ophthalmology. It is great to share what I have learnt with my colleagues.

It was interesting to watch the presentation by Dr. Vajzovic about pediatric epiretinal membranes and its surgical management. Epiretinal membrane is one of the complications of Coats’ Disease and it was useful to see the differences between pediatric and adult epiretinal membranes on OCT and the use of intraoperative OCT in these cases. Another presentation by Dr. Gaudric emphasized the proper use of laser for treatment of Coats’ disease. The presentation by Dr. Hartnett was extremely educational and useful highlighting a very important points in diagnosis, and management of Coats’ disease.

I am in the process of conducting a retrospective chart review on the outcomes and clinical features of Coats’ disease in middle eastern population. I have learnt a lot from the Coats’ disease related presentations in the AAO which will direct my thought process while conducting that retrospective studies. Additionally, sharing the teaching points in these presentations with my colleagues will improve the quality of care provided to our patients

Thanks again for your support and your hard efforts to expand the knowledge and awareness of such vision threatening devastating disease.” ~ Elhusseiny


“I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend the virtual AAO conference with support from the Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation travel grant. I feel that it was a great experience to learn about the latest research and advances in the treatment of pediatric retinal eye disease. In particular I found the panel discussion on emerging gene and cell-based therapies very stimulating. I also benefited greatly from learning more about laser therapy in Coat’s disease – knowledge which I feel can translate directly into my clinical practice. The virtual format this year offered the ability to attend sessions in both the pediatric and retina subspecialty days and also access to some of the educational material on demand. Overall this experience has encouraged me to attend the conference in future years and hopefully present my Coat’s disease research. It would also be really great to meet with other researchers interested in pediatric retinal disease in person if the future conference format allows for this. Thank you again for supporting me in this educational experience. ” ~ Isdin Oke, MD 


Jack McGovern (center) meets the Inaugural Foundation Travel Grant Awardees at the 2019 Advances in Pediatric Retina course in Salt Lake City. From left to right is Lauren Wright, Giovanna Enriquez, Luis Chimal, Jack McGovern, Margaret Reynolds, Omar Moinuddin, and Ella Leung.