Richard stands at a podium and raises his arms in celebration.

The Richard Wilson Essay Prize

The Nystagmus Network is pleased to launch a student essay competition. Open to students of all levels, from undergraduate to post-doctorate, in the fields of Ophthalmology, Optometry and Orthoptics, currently studying or working at UK institutions.

First Prize: £500, the opportunity to present at the Nystagmus Network International Nystagmus Symposium 2024 in June and an invitation to the charity’s Ruby Year celebration at the House of Lords in November.

Second Prize: £200 and the opportunity to present at the Nystagmus Network International Nystagmus Symposium 2024 in June

Third Prize: £100

All three prize winners’ essays will be published on the Nystagmus Network website.

The competition is inaugurated in honour of Richard Wilson OBE, former Chair of Trustees of the Nystagmus Network who sadly passed away in 2023. The prize will be presented by Richard’s widow, Mrs Jackie Wilson on behalf of the charity at a VIP celebration event in London.

Full details of the competition, including how to apply, this year’s essay topic, the judges and the all-important deadline can be found on the Nystagmus Network website here.

Contact details for the Nystagmus Network

email:     [email protected]

Tel:         01427 718093




Head shot of Nikita Thomas

Congratulations, Nikita

On World Sight Day 2020, the Nystagmus Network is delighted to celebrate the achievement of Nikita Thomas who has been named an Eye Health Hero by the IAPB (the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness).

Nikita, who works in nystagmus research at the University of Cardiff, was nominated by the Nystagmus Network and has achieved her award in the ‘Innovators’ category.

Innovators embrace new ideas and create new possibilities and outcomes. They challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of knowledge to develop new approaches, systems or appropriate technologies in eye health.

Cited for her innovative developmental work in the field of perimetry, Nikita says: “I have a deep-rooted passion for creating solutions that promote equality of access to standard optometric and ophthalmic clinical practices across different patient groups. This has involved transforming the commonly used method of visual field testing into a method that allows for accurate examination of the visual field in patients with voluntary and involuntary unstable fixation, such as nystagmus. I love that my role offers the freedom and flexibility to fully explore my own concepts and ideas, as well as the potential to make a worldwide impact on established clinical procedures.”

The Nystagmus Network added: “Always engaging, professional and knowledgeable, Nikita Thomas is a very popular research delegate at the annual Nystagmus Network Open Day and a poised and eloquent presenter when delivering presentations to members of our patient group.”

Her academic supervisors at The School of Optometry and vision Sciences at Cardiff University said: “Nikita’s work promises to have a significant impact on both the delivery of clinical eyecare and our understanding of the development of the human visual system.”

Congratulations, Nikita!

Read Nikita’s full IAPB citation here

Research on nystagmus and glaucoma

As previously reported here, the Research Unit for Nystagmus at Cardiff University has been looking for people with nystagmus to take part in a survey that aimed to further their understanding of the number of people with nystagmus who have also been diagnosed with glaucoma.

Nikita Thomas, of Cardiff’s School of Optometry and Vision Sciences says: “Thank you for sharing. We’ve had a fantastic response.”

The survey is now closed. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the study. We will report on progress as soon as we can.