• Individual Members
  • Early Career Members
  • Student Members
  • Student Events
    Student News
    Student Chapters
    Chapter Management
    Form a Student Chapter
    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
    Scholarships
    Student Author Travel Grants
    MKS Instruments Awards
  • Corporate Members
  • SPIE Professional Magazine
  • Visiting Lecturers
  • Women In Optics
  • BACUS Technical Group
 
Print PageEmail Page

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Membership

  1. What is a "student" (for membership and registration purposes)?
  2. I don't have a credit card. How can I pay for membership?
  3. I renewed my membership online but I'm not listed on my Chapter's website. What happened?
  4. What forms must a U.S. based chapter complete in order to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?
  5. How can my Chapter conduct bulk membership renewals?

Chapter Identity

  1. When should we use the Chapter logo?
  2. Which logo should we use on our Chapter Website?
  3. What version of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator were used to create these logos?
  4. May we use the SPIE Corporate logo?

Officer Travel Grant

  1. Do I need to be a Chapter Officer to use the Travel Grant?
  2. Do I need to use the Travel Grant to go to the Optics + Photonics Symposium?
  3. How many students from my Chapter can apply for the Officer Travel Grant?
  4. Are there any guidelines for the letter of recommendation?
  5. What is the timeline for the Officer Travel Grant?
  6. How much money is the Travel Grant?
  7. How can I get my grant amount increased?
  8. What is included with the Officer Travel Grant?
  9. Are there any restrictions/rules on how we can spend the Travel Grant?
  10. How do I get reimbursed for my Travel Grant expenses?

Officer Travel Grant: Travel to Optics + Photonics

  1. Do you have any tips for obtaining a visa?
  2. I'm flying into Los Angeles. How can I get to San Diego?
  3. Can I drive to San Diego instead of flying?
  4. At which hotel will we be staying in San Diego?
  5. How do I reserve a hotel room for the conference?
  6. What is the deadline for reserving a hotel room?
  7. My spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner would like to accompany me to San Diego. Can we get a room together at the hotel?
  8. Can I fly home via a different city or on a later date after the conference?
  9. May I stay longer at the hotel than the six days that SPIE has agreed to pay?

Officer Travel Grant: Attending Optics + Photonics

  1. How do I get my registration fee waiver and purchase short courses?
  2. What is the Banquet, and can I get free tickets?
  3. Can I get more registration fee waivers or free hotel rooms for other students who are coming to the Conference from my Chapter?

Student Chapter Leadership Workshop

  1. What is the Student Chapter Leadership Workshop (SCLW)?
  2. Do all Officer Travel Grant recipients have to attend the SCLW?
  3. Can other students from my Chapter attend the SCLW?
  4. If I am participating in the SCLW only, do I need to pay the conference registration fee?
  5. Is there a dress code for the Leadership Workshop?

Optics + Photonics Chapter Exhibition

  1. How do I request free poster space for my Chapter at the Optics + Photonics Exhibition?
  2. What is the size of the poster board that will be used for student displays?

Visiting Lecturer Program

  1. May we invite a lecturer who is not listed in the Visiting Lecturer Directory?
  2. How should we estimate a lecturer’s expenses?
  3. How is a visiting lecturer reimbursed?
  4. Can our chapter be reimbursed if we cover some of the lecturer's expenses?

Important Documents

  1. Where can I find reimbursement forms for OTG recipients, volunteers, and Visiting Lecturers?

 

Membership

What is a "student" (for membership and registration purposes)?

SPIE defines a student as someone engaged in full-time studies, who has not yet attained their terminal degree.  Post-Docs are not eligible for student membership and discounts.

Last Updated: April 2007

I don't have a credit card, how can I pay for membership?

SPIE accepts checks (in USD), money orders, purchase orders, and bankwire transfers.  Download an individual membership application for more information.

Last Updated: April 2007

I renewed my membership online but I'm not listed on my Chapter's website. What happened?

When renewing online you must make sure to also select your Student Chapter Affiliation from a drop-down menu.  If a specific Chapter is not selected, your Chapter Membership will not be renewed. Contact students@spie.org to fix this problem. Please note, it will take at least 24 hours before your name appears on your SPIE chapter website roster.

Last Updated: October 2015

What forms must a U.S. based chapter complete in order to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?

U.S. chapters looking to open a bank account must complete and submit IRS Form SS-4 directly to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to receive their EIN. On an annual basis, U.S. Chapters need to file the 990-N tax form. This form is very short, but if not filed for three consecutive years, the organization will automatically lose its tax exempt status. 

Last Updated: July 2017

How can my Chapter conduct bulk membership renewals?

Some chapters may prefer to conduct bulk memberships instead of individual membership renewals in order to pay for all memberships at once using one payment method. In order to do this, please  complete our Bulk Membership Renewal Form. You may also include new members on this form, so long as all fields are completed. Once completed, please send the form to students@spie.org. We will review the information and send an invoice for payment.  

Last Updated: April 2016


 

Chapter Identity

When should we use the Chapter logo?

Individual Chapter logos should be used to promote events that are run or sponsored by the Chapter. Chapters can use their logo as they see fit to create their identity. If the Chapter sponsors events that they did not organize and/or run, then the logo should only be used to identify the Chapter as a sponsor. Sponsorship the may involve monetary funding, donated supplies, or volunteering your time.

Last Updated: June 2007

Which logo should we use on our Chapter Website?

It depends. The GIF logos provided by SPIE are small in size (180x50px) but have transparent backgrounds, making them ideal for websites with colored backgrounds. The provided JPG logo is larger (500x160px) but has a white background. For other sizes, we recommend scaling the three color (RGB) EPS file and then saving it as a JPG or GIF.

Last Updated: June 2007

What version of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator were used to create these logos?

EPS files were created using Illustrator 11.0 while GIFs and JPGs were created with Photoshop 7.0.

Last Updated: June 2007

May we use the SPIE Corporate logo?

Generally, Chapters are asked not to use the SPIE Corporate logo except to specifically identify the organization. Events organized by our Student Chapters require enormous amounts of time and dedication. These new logos were designed to increase the visibility of our Chapters while giving proper credit where it is due.

Last Updated: June 2007


 

Officer Travel Grant

Do I need to be a Chapter Officer to use the Travel Grant?

No, officers are encouraged to use it as an incentive/reward for service to the Chapter however, it can just as easily be used as a tool to recruit/identify new officers. The Chapter, as a whole, must decide who will be the designated Travel Grant recipient.

Last Updated: October 2015

Do I need to use the Travel Grant to go to the Optics + Photonics Symposium?

No, you may use the grant to attend one of the following SPIE conferences: Photonics West, Optical Metrology in odd years, Photonics Europe in even years, and Optics + Photonics. However, Optics + Photonics is our premiere student-focused conference providing the most student activities, networking opportunities, and fun of all our conferences. Students applying for a Travel Grant to attend any meeting other than Optics + Photonics should submit their applications and supporting documentation at least 12 weeks before the first day of the conference. More information regarding application deadlines may be found on our Chapter Management page.

Last Updated: April 2016

How many students from my Chapter can apply for the Officer Travel Grant?

The first priority when awarding Travel Grants is to ensure that as many Chapters as possible are represented. Therefore, only one person from each Chapter will be considered. The entire Chapter should choose the one person they want to represent them at the conference. The main travel grant award winner can certainly choose to share the award with other members of the Chapter who would like to attend the same conference (which can be a condition for them being chosen in the first place), but only one student can be the official grant recipient. The official grant recipient will be responsible for sharing the funding if he or she chooses to share the grant. We will not grant registration fee waivers for accompanying chapter members. Only the official travel grant recipient will receive a registration fee waiver.

Last Updated: April 2016

Are there any guidelines for the letter of recommendation?

The letter of recommendation should address your involvement with (and contributions to) your student chapter; as well as why you are a good representative from your chapter. Your advisor may also want to include how attending the conference would be beneficial for you personally.

Last Updated: November 2013

What is the timeline for the Officer Travel Grant?

Officer Travel Grants must be submitted at least 12 weeks prior to the start of the conference. Please see our Chapter Management Page for specific dates.

All visa arrangements are the responsibility of the student.

Last Updated: April 2016

How much money is the Travel Grant?

The amount of the Officer Travel Grant is determined geographically. That is, region of origin compared to destination region. For a map of regions and a table of grant amounts, please see the Chapter Management page.

Last Updated: May 2017

How can I get my grant amount increased?

The budget for the Officer Travel Grants is carefully established each year. For this reason, grant amounts will not be increased even if the grant recipient decides to share the funding with another chapter member. The grant amount will remain the same. 

Last Updated: April 2016

What is included with the Officer Travel Grant?

The award supports travel, food, and lodging costs associated with attending the meeting. Grant recipients also have their conference registration fee waived. At Optics + Photonics, SPIE arranges six nights of free lodging for Travel Grant recipients. At Photonics West, Photonics Europe, and Optical Metrology we will give an extra $350 to use towards lodging.

Last Updated: April 2016

Are there any restrictions/rules on how we spend the Travel Grant?

Travel Grant money may only be used to reimburse expenses for travel, food, and lodging. Beyond the basic restrictions of common sense, we do not require you to use specific vendors, airlines, or spend the travel money in a specific way. Use it how you need to. Keep in mind, however, that you will only be reimbursed for conference-related expenses. Souvenirs, tickets to the zoo, transportation to tourist attractions, and the like are not supported by the Officer Travel Grant. Our reimbursement policy is updated before each meeting with specific information regarding locations and times of reimbursement payout sessions. However, our guidelines remain the same. Please read the our reimbursement policy for more details on what can and cannot be reimbursed. As always, look for bargains, buyer beware, and be safe.

Last Updated: April 2016

How do I get reimbursed for Travel Grant expenses?

The method of reimbursement depends on which SPIE conference you attend. Please read our reimbursement policy information sheet for full details on valid reimbursement expenses.

Optics + Photonics attendees:
To minimize paperwork, we prefer to reimburse all students in cash (USD) while in San Diego. You will go to your payout session as designated on the OP17 Reimbursement Policy with your receipts and a completed reimbursement form. You will be reimbursed up to the maximum amount of your award letter. If you need money immediately upon arrival, we can offer a small cash advance on Saturday after the Leadership Workshop. The currency on the receipt does not matter-it will be converted to US dollars and refunded to you in cash.

Other SPIE Conference attendees:
Domestic students (from US and Canada) will fill out an expense reimbursement form and send it to students@spie.org along with copies of your receipts for travel, food, and lodging related to the conference within 30 days of the conference. Those that are international students (not from US and Canada) will need to present receipts and a complete reimbursement form during their designated payout session onsite as outlined in the reimbursement policy for that conference. You will be reimbursed up to the maximum amount of your award letter.

Keep track of your receipts throughout the week. Expenses can not be reimbursed without a receipt. Our Accounting Department policy is this: "Travel grant money is considered an expense reimbursement and we absolutely must have receipts for the full amount in order to pay you. No exceptions."

Last Updated: May 2017


 

Officer Travel Grant: Travel to Optics + Photonics

Do you have any advice for obtaining a visa?

The most important thing to remember when applying for a visa is to start early. Sometimes the approval process can take months. For more information about best practices/tips, please see our Tips for Obtaining a Visa document.

Last Updated: April 2016

I'm flying into Los Angeles. How can I get to San Diego?

If coming to San Diego from Los Angeles, your best option is to take the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner. Fares to San Diego start at about $37. There is a shuttle from the LA airport to the Amtrak station (this website may be of help). The shuttle fare is about $9. Please do not take a taxi from Los Angeles to San Diego. It will cost several hundred dollars.

Last Updated: April 2017

Can I drive to the conference instead of paying for airfare?

Your method of travel to the conference is up to you. SPIE will reimburse for plane tickets, train tickets, or gas receipts, but not car rentals. Keep in mind that driving means you will likely have to pay for parking in the city and this can be expensive. Regardless of your travel method, the grant amount in your award letter will remain the same.

Last Updated: March 2015

At which hotel will we be staying in San Diego?

In 2017, we will be reserving a block of rooms at Four Points by Sheraton. Amenities of the hotel include:

  1. Complimentary Hotel Shuttle
  2. Swimming Pool
  3. Fitness Center
  4. Complimentary WiFi

The hotel address is:
Four Points by Sheraton San Diego Downtown
1617 First Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
United States

Front Desk: 1-619-239-9600
Toll Free: 1-866-716-8133

For more information:
Download: Four Points by Sheraton Guide 
Visit: Four Points by Sheraton Website

Hotel reservations for the Travel Grant are handled through SPIE.

Last Updated: May 2017

How do I reserve a hotel room for the conference?

To get the SPIE conference rate, SPIE must book your room. When your travel plans are finalized, please enter your details into the Hotel Sign-up form and we will reserve a room in your name. If other members from your chapter will accompany you, please also have them fill out the form to ensure a correct number of rooms is reserved. The form must be filled out by 9 June to guarantee a room.

Last Updated: May 2017

What is the deadline for reserving a hotel room?

9 June, 2017. Any OP17 Officer Travel Grant winner who is unable to complete the Hotel Sign-up form by then will be automatically reserved a room for arrival/check-in on 4 August and departure/check-out on 10 August.

Last Updated: May 2017

My spouse/fiancé/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner would like to accompany me to San Diego. Can we get a room together at the hotel?

SPIE prefers additional people traveling with you to be accompanying chapter members instead of significant others. However, it may be possible depending on hotel room availability. You would be responsible for any additional lodging fees beyond what is listed in your award letter. As students are generally paired in rooms, choosing to room with your partner instead means that another student will be displaced so you will have to absorb that half of the room cost. The cost of a room per night is approximately $152 after tax. Please contact SPIE Student Services for more information or to discuss your specific situation.

Last Updated: May 2017

Can I fly home via a different city or on a later date after the conference?

It is okay to add personal time or travel before or after the conference and you can fly to and from different cities. However, SPIE will only pay for what it would cost to fly directly to and from San Diego around the conference dates. Before making your flight reservation please find some comparison flights to and from San Diego. If the flight you would like to purchase from a different city, different date, etc. is the same or less, then SPIE would reimburse the whole cost. If it is more, SPIE would only reimburse the amount of the comparison ticket. If you have questions, please email students@spie.org with your comparison flight and your desired flight. There is no need to get a confirmation from SPIE before you purchase your desired airfare. Please print both your comparison flight quote and desired flight itinerary/proof of purchase and bring them with you to the reimbursement session at the end of the conference.

Last Updated: July 2017

May I stay longer at the hotel than the six days that SPIE has agreed to pay?

It is no problem to stay longer than six days in the hotel, as long as you inform us ahead of time. Then we can make one reservation for you which guarantees the lower rate. SPIE will pay for the six days as described in the Travel Grant Award Letter; you will be responsible for the remaining days (which will be noted with the hotel).

You may have to be very clear with the hotel when checking out and make sure that they look on the "SPIE Supplied Rooming List." You will need to pay separately for the additional nights (beyond the pre-paid six) that you have stayed at the hotel. Be sure to ask for a receipt that shows what you have paid. It is usually best to pay with a credit card in these cases. Extra nights in the hotel are not eligible for reimbursement under the Officer Travel Grant unless they are due to flight scheduling.

Last Updated: March 2015


 

Officer Travel Grant: Attending Optics + Photonics

How do I get my registration fee waiver and purchase short courses?

To receive your registration fee waiver, please complete the form that was sent to you by email. 

Last Updated: May 2017

What is the Awards Banquet, and can I get free tickets?

The Banquet is a formal dinner where Society awards are presented.Banquet tickets are not included in the Travel Grant award and must be purchased. 

Last Updated: May 2017

Can I get more registration fee waivers or free hotel rooms for other students who are coming to the Conference from my Chapter?

No. Students may still submit expenses for lodging and registration during the reimbursement session from the Travel Grant, but no additional "freebies" can be granted.

Last Updated: March 2016


 

Student Chapter Leadership Workshop

What is the Student Chapter Leadership Workshop (SCLW)?

The Student Chapter Leadership Workshop is an event during which all Student Chapter Officers can gather to share information, network, and participate in educational and professional development activities. The theme of the Workshop varies each year but topics usually include: Education and Public Outreach, Career Development, and Chapter Building and Management skills. This event features outstanding speakers and a fun-filled atmosphere!

View more information about the 2016 Leadership Workshop.

Last Updated: May 2017

Do all Officer Travel Grant recipients have to attend the SCLW?

Yes. The SCLW is a requirement of the Officer Travel Grant. Please keep this in mind when scheduling your flights. To be eligible for reimbursement, you must arrive in time to attend the SCLW on 5 August. You will be able to check in to your hotel room after 3:00pm on 4 August if that is your check-in date.

Last Updated: May 2017

Can other students from my Chapter attend the SCLW?

Of course! All Student Chapter Members are welcome at the SCLW. However, we must know who is coming so that we can provide materials for these added students. All extra attendees must be approved by Student Services and we reserve the right to limit the number of participants if necessary. Please email students@spie.org with a list of additional students planning to attend.

Last Updated: March 2015

If I am participating in the SCLW only, do I need to pay the conference registration fee?

Since the conference has not officially begun no registration fee is required. However, if you are an accompanying chapter member you must either register for the Exhibit Only badge (free admission to the exhibit but not to technical talks), or if you wish to see any of the technical talks, you will need to register as a student and pay the student registration cost of $360. Officer Travel Grant recipients will register as a student and receive a conference fee waiver.

Last Updated: May 2017

Is there a dress code for the SCLW?

There is no dress code for the event. Some students dress very nice; others do not. You will want to be comfortable, but also want to make a good impression when networking. For this reason, business casual is probably the best style of dress. Please note that the room will be air-conditioned. Make sure you bring a jacket or sweater even if it is warm outside.

Last Updated: July 2017


 

Optics + Photonics Chapter Exhibition

How do I request free poster space for my Chapter at the Optics + Photonics Exhibition?

Fill out the online Student Chapter Exhibitor Contract. Deadline is 17 June, 2016.

Last updated: April 2016

What is the size of the poster board that will be used for student displays?

Each chapter will be given half of one side of a cork board. The poster should fit in the display area of 45 inches x 45 inches (114cm x 114cm). Posters should mount to the cork board with push pins (provided on-site).

Last Updated: March 2015


 

Visiting Lecturer Program

May we invite a lecturer who is not listed in the Visiting Lecturer Directory?

While it is possible to invite lecturers who are not listed in the visiting lecturer directory, they must be SPIE Members. For a quick check of potential speakers’ membership status you can use the online Member Directory (you must be logged in to SPIE.org to access this page).

Last Updated: November 2009

How should we estimate a lecturer’s expenses?

When you have a lecturer in mind, you should contact the speaker directly to request a lecture and an estimation of travel expenses. When you have all of that information, each chapter must request a lecturer using the online form. When filling out the ‘Expense estimate’ section, please provide a fair amount of detail. Keep in mind that the visiting lecturer reimbursement will cover up to $1500 of expenses.

Last Updated: 20 November, 2009

How is a visiting lecturer reimbursed?

All funding is paid via reimbursement directly to the lecturer; and SPIE can only reimburse for expenses accompanied by receipts. The lecturer should send these receipts to vlp@spie.org along with a completed Reimbursement Form within 30 days of the lecture.

Last Updated: April 2016

Can our chapter be reimbursed if we cover some of the lecturer's expenses?

To limit confusion and paperwork, we prefer to only reimburse the lecturer for all incurred expenses. However, there are some exceptions where we will agree to reimburse a chapter for some expenses, but these must be approved prior to the lecturer's visit.

Last Updated: February 2011


IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

 Where can I find reimbursement forms for OTG recipients, volunteers, and Visiting Lecturers?

For reasons of simplicity, we wanted to put all of these forms in one place.

OTG Reimbursement Form - US Meetings - Fillable PDF

OTG Reimbursement Form - US Meetings - PDF

OTG Reimbursement Form - European Meetings - Fillable PDF

OTG Reimbursement Form - European Meetings - PDF

Volunteer and Visiting Lecturer Reimbursement Form - US Visit - Filliable PDF

Volunteer and Visiting Lecturer Reimbursement Form - European Visit - Fillable PDF

Volunteer and Visiting Lecturer Reimbursement Form - General - PDF

Last Updated: April 2016