Chang Pivoting Fellowship

The world needs visionaries with expertise in optics and photonics.

Application Dates
15 Apr 2022 - 30 May 2022
Program Prize

USD 50,000


The Milton and Rosalind Chang Pivoting Fellowship provides unrestricted funding to talented, early-career optical scientists and engineers who believe their expertise can improve society outside of the lab. We encourage those with vision and exceptional talent to apply and pursue a newfound passion.

The fellowship is an investment in a person’s commitment to advancing science through non-traditional career paths such as public policy, government, and journalism.



Application Information

How to Apply

Applications will be available at

Important Dates

Opens 15 April 2022
Closes 30 May 2022

Applicant Requirements

Be a current early career member who has received a terminal degree within the last five - seven years or will receive a terminal degree by the application deadline.

Program requirements recognize and exclude career breaks from career timelines (e.g. eldercare, maternity or paternity leave). 

Application Requirements
  • Statement of Intent (500 words or less)
    • Highlight your intent to leverage your scientific expertise and knowledge to the betterment of the field and society outside of the traditional career paths.
    • Include your goals and objectives, skills to be applied or gained and strengths to be developed
  • Personal Statement (500 words or less)
    • Share how your life experiences have shaped who you are.
    • Include how you want to pivot your career.
  • CV/ resume
  • Two references

Selection Committee

  • Thomas. Baer, Stanford University
  • Janet Fender, US Air Force
  • Ursula Gibson, Norges Teknisk Naturvitenskapelige University, Optica Past President
  • Linda Smith, Ceres Technology Advisors, Inc.
  • Nirmal Punjabi, Indian Institute of Technology and 2020 fellow

2021 Recipient

Madison Rilling
Madison Rilling
Optonique (Québec’s Photonics Cluster)

Madison received her Master’s in Medical Physics and PhD in Physics from Université Laval (Quebec, Canada), where her research focused on developing imaging-based radiation dose-measuring tools for radiotherapy treatments. Madison recently joined Optonique, Québec’s cluster for excellence in optics & photonics, as Director of Talent & Outreach. Parallel to her research, Madison became actively involved in science policy, namely as a student advisor to Quebec's Chief Scientist. She is currently a member of Canada’s Chief Science Advisor’s inaugural Youth Council and a board member of Science & Policy Exchange, a non-profit organization aimed at building bridges between academia, industry, and government.

“Being selected for this fellowship is an honor beyond compare! That Optica believes in my potential to pivot and my ideas enough to invest in me in this substantial way means so much.”

Past Recipients

Nirmal Punjabi, India Institute of Technology, Bombay, India (2020)
Araceli Venegas-Gómez, University of Strathclyde, UK (2019)


The Pivoting Fellowship was generously endowed by Milton & Rosalind Chang.

About the Endowment