The British College of Optometrists has now been in existence for 15 years. One of its first actions was to establish a formal system of research support. The initiation of the scheme and its subsequent expansion is described. In the first year £5,000 was allocated but current expenditure for 1994/1995 is £78,671. Research topics funded are described as are the award of higher degrees by universities and also the current occupation of former scholars. The thesis submission rate for College scholars compares well with those of the major established Research Councils.