2018 Programs, Grants and Recognition Highlights

Below is a snapshot of some of our 2018 activities made possible by the generous support of our donors who are committed to developing the next generation of leaders in optics and photonics.

For the full report, please view the 2018 OSA Foundation Annual Report.


2018 Siegman International School on Lasers: Hosted 94 students from 30 countries (43% developing nations), with women making up 28% of the attendees. To date, the school has hosted 417 students.

The Innovation School: Launched in 2017, this 4-day workshop hosted nearly 50 attendees, mentors, and lecturers specializing in career, professional development training, and mentorship opportunities. To date, the school has hosted 100 students and early career professionals mostly from industry.


Professional Development Sessions: Over 500 students and early-career professionals attended sessions at OSA meetings on topics ranging from resume writing/development, transferable skills, leveraging LinkedIn, to networking strategies.

Lunch and Learn Networking Sessions: Sessions hosted at 6 OSA Congresses (Biomedical, Imaging, Optical Design, and Advanced Photonics, Laser, and LAOP), allowing 300 students and early-career professionals to spend 90 minutes engaging with industry leaders for career advice.

Student Chapter Grants: 10 student chapter and section grants were given to chapters in 6 countries providing professional development and youth outreach that impacted over 16,000.

Optics Suitcase: 152 optics suitcases were distributed to student chapters around the world to assist with youth education outreach programs and introduce children to the dynamic and exciting properties of light.  Approximately 9,200 children were inspired.


Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Entrepreneurship (WISTEE): Gathered 85 professionals from 19 countries and 57 organizations interested in promoting gender equity. Almost 400 people have benefited since 2015.

American Association of University Women (AAUW): 21 Tech Trek camps reaching 1,600 girls featuring Professional Women's Night and hands-on demonstrations utilizing the Explore Optics Kits.


Ambassador Program:  Utilizing OSA early-career members to provide mentoring, job search advice, technical knowledge and training to students.  The 2018 Ambassadors reached 4,500 students and early-career professionals through student chapter visits and conference trainings.

Prizes and Scholarships: The OSAF annually awards the Stoicheff, Pollicove, and Bonenfant Scholarships; the Corning, Li, Maiman, Kaminow, and Wolf Prizes; and the Incubic, Bennet, and Hilbert Travel Grants.