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SPIE Education Outreach Grants Program

As part of its education outreach mission, SPIE provides support for optics and photonics related education outreach activities. The award process is competitive; the grant maximum is $5,000 and some proposals may receive partial funding.

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

Applications are judged 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

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; STEM activities should have an optics or photonics component.

Meet the Cycle 2 Winners  ›

How to

Application Process
There are two application cycles every calendar year. Please see below for deadlines. A complete online application (including supporting documents if applicable) must be submitted by 5:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time) on the deadline date. Incomplete applications will not be submitted for consideration.

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

Cycle 1: Closed - deadline, 31 January 2019
Cycle 2: Closed - deadline, 31 May 2019

Recipients of SPIE Education Outreach Grants are required to complete an online survey on how the Grant was used within 30 days of completing the activity. Past winners who have not submitted a report or completed a survey are not eligible to apply.

Other Important Notes

Sustaining Grants
If an organization has received an Education Outreach Grant twice in a period of 5 years, it can only apply for further support through a Sustaining Grant, limited to a maximum of $2,000. There is no limit to the number of times an organization can apply for a Sustaining Grant, but it will be in competition with all other proposals for every application. Requests for the Sustaining Grants should use the same application form as the Education Outreach Grants.

SPIE's outreach grants cannot be used for:

  • food and beverage costs exceeding 10% of the requested budget
  • alcoholic beverages
  • travel to conferences
  • activities that benefit an individual
  • speaker honoraria
  • teacher stipends or salaries
  • student stipends or salaries
  • overhead and administrative costs of the organization
  • sponsorship of technical conferences or workshops that are not limited to students or educators
  • applicants solely requesting funds for the purchase of classroom equipment to support teaching