Jeffrey Sher MD FRCSC OMA-CNIB Eye Van Award​

The Jeffrey Sher MD FRCSC OMA-CNIB Eye Van Research Award (commonly referred to as the Sher or Jeff Sher Award) was developed to honour the dedication and advancements made by Dr. Jeffrey Sher through his work with the CNIB Medical Mobile Eye Care Unit (CNIB Eye Van). The goal of this award is to encourage individuals to pursue a career in ophthalmology and improve eye health in Northern Ontario. Dr. Sher was an enthusiastic supporter of the CNIB Eye Van program, a fully-equipped mobile eye care unit, providing critical medical eye care to remote areas of Northern Ontario. He participated on an annual basis for 28 years, and served on the CNIB Eye Van Medical Advisory Committee until he passed away in 2012.

The Jeff Sher Award, valued at $5,000, is given annually to a post-graduate trainee (fellow, resident or medical student) in Canada in support of a research project that contributes to eye health and/or medical needs in Northern Ontario. If the funded research project is published, an additional $1,000 will be awarded. This award is available due to the generosity of the ophthalmologists that serve on the CNIB Eye Van.

How to Apply

To apply, please complete this application form with the following information:
  • Provide an overview of the research project, including methodology and expected outcomes, and define the measurements of success.

  • Include the credentials of your mentor and the location of where the study will be conducted.

  • Describe where you will present your research and the target audience, including your intent to publish, and the proposed journal.

Please note: To be eligible for consideration for the same year, please submit your application no later than January 15th.


Recipients must be in or returning to an academic program in Canada.The award is presented annually on March 1st with the expectation that research will commence at that time. Successful applicants are notified in February. Prior to releasing the final payment, a progress report, including a brief report from the project mentor, is required by October 1st.

About Jeffrey Sher MD FRCSC

Specializing in the surgical treatment of diseases of the cornea and anterior segment of the eye, Dr. Sher began practicing ophthalmology in 1985; he operated out of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, and held an academic appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at McMaster University. He also taught ophthalmology residents and medical students, and served on the Resident Education Committee for McMaster’s ophthalmology residency training program. A graduate of the University of Toronto’s medical school and ophthalmology residency program, Dr. Sher completed an additional fellowship in glaucoma at Tufts University in Boston, and cornea and external disease at the University of California in San Diego. Dr. Sher was an active member of numerous medical associations and societies. Over the years, he was the Chief of the Department of Eye Medicine & Surgery at Hamilton Health Sciences, Chair of the Ontario Medical Association Section on Ophthalmology, President of the Association of Ontario Ophthalmologists and Chair of the Hamilton Academy of Medicine Section of Ophthalmology. He was also a Medical Director for the Hamilton Laser Eye Institute, and served as a CNIB Ontario board member.

About the Medical Mobile Eye Care Unit

The Medical Mobile Eye Care Unit (CNIB Eye Van) is a fully equipped, medical ophthalmology unit on wheels. In a single nine-month cycle, a group of 25-30 participating ophthalmologists, assisted by two CNIB ophthalmic assistants, travel to 30 remote Northern Ontario communities, providing critical eye care that people in these regions might otherwise find hard to access. From March to November, the CNIB Eye Van travels more than 6,000 kilometres and the on-board ophthalmologists perform 5,000 patient visits annually. The ophthalmologists conduct vision exams, treat eye diseases, perform minor surgeries, and offer much-needed medical advice and information about how to help maintain vision health. Without the commitment, dedication, vision and hard work of the CNIB Eye Van ophthalmologists, the program would not exist. This unique and innovative Medical Mobile Eye Care Unit is an integral part of the Prevention of Blindness programs within CNIB and the Ontario Medical Association. The goal of the CNIB Eye Van is to prevent blindness in underserviced Northern Ontario communities through early diagnosis and treatment of eye disease. The program also provides educational opportunities for medical students, residents and local medical communities about issues relating to eye diseases and the prevention of blindness.