SPIE Outreach Grants Program

Support for education and outreach projects that light the future of optics and photonics

Inspire others with optics and photonics

SPIE Outreach Grants promote awareness of light-based technologies through a variety of events and activities. From classroom outreach kits to educational community displays, grant-funded projects inform and inspire diverse audiences of all ages.

A woman and a girl smile happily as they put lenses on their eyes at an outreach event

Grant details

Make a difference through general optics and photonics outreach or International Day of Light (IDL)-specific events! Submit your proposal to receive up to $5,000.

Please note: SPIE is committed to the principles of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). We encourage all proposals to have EDI principles at their foundation.

The award process is competitive, and some proposals may receive partial funding.

The 2024 SPIE Outreach Grant application closed 1 December 2023. The 2025 grant application will open in Fall 2024.


  • Applicants must be current SPIE Members
  • Qualifying not-for-profit organizations, such as universities, optics centers, science centers, primary and secondary schools, youth clubs, industry associations, and international optical societies, are eligible for outreach activity support, as long as the applicant is an SPIE Member. STEM activities must have an optics or photonics component.
  • An endorsement from a staff member or advisor at the applying organization is required as part of the application process.

Evaluation criteria

The key criterion in evaluating and ranking applications is the potential to increase optics and photonics awareness and impact students and/or the larger community.

A point system is used to judge applications on:

  • potential to impact chosen audience
  • potential to raise awareness and interest in optics and photonics
  • clarity and structure of the project
  • clear timeline and budget

Please contact outreach@spie.org if you experience technical problems or have questions.