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Chapter Benefit Changes for 2012

The following changes to chapter benefits will go into effect as of 1 January 2012. Changes to the Chapter Management page will occur at that time. While some adjustments were made to simplify the funding process, the majority of changes were made in order to provide more quality funding to student chapters. For tips on how to make the most of your funding and connect with other SPIE chapter officers, please join us for a Webinar.

Activity Grant
For the most part, the Activity Grant itself has not changed. The $250 Collaborative Grants have gone away in favor of a new program to increase funding; Chapter Alumni. This year at Optics + Photonics, we invited chapter alumni from the past decade to join us during the Student Chapter Leadership Workshop. Not only did they provide valuable input, but they also enjoyed interacting with current chapter members. This workshop encouraged us to make alumni involvement more of a focus for student chapters. For this reason, all alumni who are members of SPIE will now count toward your total chapter membership. This means you could contact former chapter members, get them to rejoin SPIE, and increase your Activity Grant limit. The number of current alumni members is available on your chapter page. Now, instead of just 10 chapters receiving a little extra funding (as was the case with the Collaborative Grants), many more chapters will have the opportunity to bring in extra funds.

Officer Travel Grant
The biggest change with the travel grants is that the amount of the grant will now be determined by region. That is, the amount of the grant depends on the origin and destination regions. The map below may be used as a guideline. If there is ever a question of regions, the list of which countries fit in which regions is located here.
Regional Map for Officer Travel Grants

Officer Travel Grant funding table

This new system allows students to plan further in advance if they need to seek out alternate funding sources. If extra funding is needed, grant winners are encouraged to submit an abstract to the conference and apply for a Contingency Student Travel Grant. This grant is intended for students with accepted papers and generally ranges from $300-$500.

Related to the Officer Travel Grant is the Student Chapter Leadership Workshop. Traditionally held at Optics + Photonics, the workshop has been growing steadily and is now attended by more than 200 chapter leaders. For this reason, the workshop is expanding in 2012 and will be offered at Photonics Europe in addition to Optics + Photonics. To be eligible for a travel grant to attend Photonics Europe, please fill out an application by 12 December.

Student Conference Grant
For years, SPIE has supported up to four student chapter Collaborative Conference Grants at $2500 each. However, this amount of money is not always enough for chapters to really be able to host a great conference. Therefore, we have completely redesigned the student conference grant.

Introducing the SPIE FOCUS Conferences. First, instead of four $2500 grants per year, we will now offer two $7000 grants. The increase in grant amount allows chapters to offer their own travel grants, cover on-site expenses, and invite additional lecturers. On top of the increased funding, SPIE will also send staff to the event and sponsor a Best Paper prize.

Chapters interested in hosting the first SPIE FOCUS Conference should email students@spie.org. Formal grant applications will be available after 1 January 2012.

Remember, if you have any questions about the funding changes, or if you just want to connect with other SPIE chapter officers, please join us for a Webinar in December.