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Arrange a Lecture

A primary benefit of Membership in SPIE is the opportunity to interact with world-class scientists and engineers at the leading edge of technological advances in optics and photonics. Each student chapter in good standing can request travel support for one lecturer per calendar year using the Visiting Lecturer funding. Unused benefits do not rollover into following calendar years. 

Your chapter may apply for your 2020 Visiting Lecturer Travel Grant beginning 1 October 2019. Note that 2020 Visiting Lecturer Travel Grants is funding for approved Visiting Lecturers whose lecture occurs in the 2020 calendar year. Your chapter must submit the request form at least 3 weeks prior to the scheduled lecture. The latest that you may request a 2020 Visiting Lecturer is 1 December 2020, which would be for a lecture occurring in late December 2020. 

Steps required to organize a lecture:

  1. Select a speaker from the list provided. SPIE Visiting Lecturers are listed alphabetically in the Lecturer Directory. Listings include contact information, biographic data, and lecture topics. To invite individuals not listed in the directory, you must first email vlp@spie.org to get approval. Invited speakers must have at least three consecutive years of non-student SPIE membership and have significant involvement with SPIE to be eligible for this program.

  2. Contact the speaker directly to request a lecture and suggest possible dates. In the invitation, it is best to indicate a deadline to respond so that both the organizer and the lecturer are aware of the expected timeline for communication. Two weeks is a good minimum for expecting a response. An example of a closing paragraph follows: "We would be honored to have you deliver a lecture between [list lecture date suggestions]. Please notify me of your interest in delivering a lecturer by [date]. If you are interested, we can work with you to determine a more specific timeline of your visit." Please do not send out multiple invitations to different lecturers at the same time. Allow enough time in advance of your lecture to individually invite lecturers. If you do not receive a response by the set date, it is reasonable to either send a reminder or invite another lecturer. 

  3. Upon acceptance of the invitation, request a detailed estimate of travel expenses from the lecturer. Ask for specific numbers regarding airfare, ground transportation, hotel and food. SPIE will cover two nights lodging for a one day lecture and up to $70 a day in food, plus related travel expenses (flight, ground transportation, etc.), up to $1,500 USD to support the lecture. Please review the full travel policies on our website.

  4. Complete an SPIE Visiting Lecturer Request Form and submit it to SPIE for approval (no reimbursement will be authorized without prior approval by SPIE). Must be submitted to SPIE at least three weeks before the planned event.

  5. Upon approval by SPIE, work with the lecturer directly concerning logistical details for the visit (airport transportation, A/V needs, meals, etc.).

  6. Ask your lecturer to make their own travel arrangements and submit receipts to SPIE within 30-days of their presentation.