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Application, Requirements, and Criteria

SPIE Education and Travel Scholarships

SPIE offers Optics and Photonics Education Scholarships and Travel Scholarships for students located anywhere in the world, from high school (pre-university/secondary) through graduate school and PhD programs, who are studying or planning to study optics, photonics or related field.

Students are not eligible to receive multiple SPIE scholarships for the same academic level. For example, if you received a scholarship during your undergraduate studies and have not completed your undergraduate studies, you are not eligible to re-apply. However, if you have completed your undergraduate studies and you are now pursuing a master's degree, you are eligible to re-apply for another scholarship.

Students are not eligible to receive two scholarships in the same year.

Optics and Photonics Education Scholarships (Closed)

The Optics and Photonics Education Scholarships are for high school, pre-university, secondary school, undergraduate and graduate students. Postdoctoral students (students who have completed their PhD) are not eligible to apply. The scholarship awards are in varying amounts ranging from $2,000 to $11,000. The Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship generally supports tuition, books, research activities, and other education-related expenses. If awarded the Optics and Photonics Scholarship, funds should be used for the 2016-2017 academic year (Aug 2016-Jul 2017).

Travel Scholarship Cycle 1 (Closed, Cylce 2 to open shortly)

The Travel Scholarships are for students who would like to attend conferences and exhibitions organized by SPIE. If students are applying for other SPIE travel funds to a symposium, they are not eligible to use the Travel Scholarship for the same meeting.

Deadline: 20 September


All Students, both full- and part-time are eligible to apply.

  • You must be a Student Member of SPIE. Standard Student Membership Fee is $20 (US).
  • High school, pre-university, secondary school students will receive a one-year complimentary Student Membership. Fill in the Pre-College Membership Application Form and return to scholarships@spie.org
  • Must be enrolled or planning to enroll in an optics, photonics, imaging, optoelectronics program or related discipline (e.g., physics or electrical engineering) at an accredited school for the school year beginning in the Fall 2016 (Aug 2016-Jul 2017)
  • Two recommendations are required. An automated message will be sent to your recommenders providing them with a link to your application where they will fill in a questionnaire. Relatives are not eligible to make recommendations.
  • If you are reapplying, SPIE must have your Annual Scholarship Report on file prior to submitting the application (17 February) and the scholarship application form must show new activities from when you last applied. Annual Scholarship reports are required from all winners..
  • Incomplete applications will not be eligible for consideration.
  • All students will be notified of the results of their application in May/June.

Evaluation Criteria

The key criterion in evaluating and ranking applications is the "prospect for long-term contribution that the granting of an award will make to the field of optics, photonics or related field." Need, in and of itself, shall not be considered as a criterion.

All scholarship applications are judged on their own merit, based on the experience and education level of the individual student. High school (pre-university, secondary school), undergraduate, and graduate students will be judged relative to other applicants with similar educational backgrounds.

How To Apply

SPIE is using SmarterSelect to provide an easy and secure way to submit your application. Please contact scholarships@spie.org if you experience technical problems or have questions.

Please only apply for one scholarship. Students are not eligible to apply for both programs in the same year.

Thank you,

The SPIE Scholarship Committee Team