Amplify Scholarship

Investing in future Black scientists.

Application Dates
02 Nov 2021 - 07 Dec 2021
Program Prize
  • US$7,500
  • One-year Optica Student Membership
  • Access to mentorship platform and connection with a mentor

The Amplify Scholarship is awarded annually to 10 Black undergraduate or graduate level students. This grant is both merit and need-based. In addition to the funding, recipients gain access to our global network of mentors and the supporting companies.

We encourage you to visit our campaign page where we are amplifying the voices of Black scientists and engineers worldwide. These individuals are examples of what future Amplify Scholars can aspire to at all career levels.

Application Information

How to Apply


Important Dates

Opens 02 November 2021
Closes 07 December 2021

Applicant Requirements
  1. Self-identify as Black
  2. Be currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at a university
  3. Undergraduates: have a major in physics, math or engineering and a demonstrated interest in optics and photonics.
  4. Graduates: have a major and/or concentration in optics or photonics demonstrated with your research and coursework.
  5. Demonstrate academic potential (GPA, publications, references, other awards/merits)
  6. Program requirements recognize and exclude career breaks from timelines (eg, eldercare; maternity or paternity leave) 
Application Requirements
  1. CV or resume
  2. Personal statement describing academic/professional background and interest in optics and photonics in 500 words or less.
    • What are your educational, research, and career goals?
    • Describe your experiences and interests related to optics and photonics (e.g., laser science, fiber optics, lens design, vision science, imaging and sensing, electrical or mechanical engineering, biomedical optics, quantum theory, or applications.)
  3. Budget reflecting anticipated academic expenses and other sources of funding.
  4. Copies of academic transcripts from the last 2-3 years demonstrating competence in physics or engineering.
  5. Two letters of recommendation addressing your interest in optics as well as merits for receiving this scholarship.


Founders US$120,000+


Thorlabs Inc


Facebook Inc
Contributors US$20,000+

Federico Capasso

Federico Capasso, Harvard University

Corning Inc

Corning Incorporated

IPG Photonics Corp

IPG Photonics Corporation
Contributors US$10,000+

Eric Mazur

Eric Mazur, Harvard University

OFS Laboratories

OFS Laboratories


Synopsys Inc

JA Woollam

JA Woollam Inc
Other Contributors
  • 3DEO
  • Gary Bjorklund
  • Jason Eichenholz
  • Fibertek Inc
  • Optica Executive Team
  • 2016-2020 Optica Ambassadors
Fundraising Committee
  • Antigone Marino, Chair, Institute of Applied Science & Intelligent Systems (CNR), National Research Council
  • Aline Dinkelaker, Co-Chair, Leibniz Institut fur Astrophysik Potsdam
  • Arti Agrawal, University of Technology Sydney
  • Yaseera Ismail, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Yoshitomo Okawachi, Columbia University
  • Danuta Sampson, University of Surrey


About the Endowment

This program was developed by the Optica Ambassadors in response to the lack of Black representation in optics and photonics.

“Science lives in a society affected by, and in many ways built upon, systemic racism. As Optica Ambassadors, we are committed to fighting for justice, equality, integrity and inclusivity in the scientific community and beyond. We recognize we need to do more by sustainably supporting, amplifying and promoting Black scientists, engineers and students. Black lives matter.”

-2016 – 2020 Optica Ambassadors