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SPIE Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship Application FAQ


When is the deadline?

  • February 15. All materials must be submitted by 5:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time) on this date. Start early!

When will I be notified of the results?

  • All students will be notified of the results of their application in May/June.

I received a scholarship, can I apply again?

  • Yes you can apply again if you have been awarded a scholarship in previous years. The Annual Scholarshp Award Report form is required and your application must show new activities from which a previous award was received.

I wasn't awarded a scholarship and would like to re-apply. Is it possible to obtain feedback on why I didn't receive one?

  • If the information is available, feedback on the results of your application will be given upon request.

Does SPIE require transcripts?

  • Transcripts are optional.

Are CV/resumes required?

  • CV/resumes are optional.

What should I write about in my essay/personal statement?

  • Write about your academic/work career that you are passionate about, explain what it is, and why. Keep the evaluation committee's criteria in mind.
  • Be concise, avoid long drawn out responses. Keep in mind the Commitee reads many applications.
  • For scholarships that have a financial need component, tell your story if there is something out of the ordinary.
  • Be yourself.

Who should I ask to write the recommendation letters and what should he/she write about?

  • The recommender should know you personally and he/she should be able to write about your character, commitment, experiences and successes (family members cannot submit recommendations).
  • Good examples of people to ask for references include past or present teachers/professors, and past or present employers (not family members).
  • Provide the recommender with a CV/resume/list of activities and accomplishments, and a copy of the scholarship evaluation criteria.
  • Give your recommender adequate time to prepare your letter.  

 General Suggestions:

  • Make a checklist of what you need to have a complete online application packet (completed online application and two letters of recommendation are required for submission).
  • Make a copy of your application and keep in your files.
  • Incomplete applications will not be submitted for consideration.  
  • Make sure all contact information and email address is accurate.
  • Do not mail hard copies of your application to SPIE.