Deutsch Fellowship

Explore the frontier of research in biophotonics.

Application Dates
15 Jun 2022 - 05 Aug 2022
Program Prize

One year fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital Wellman Center for Photomedicine

This one-year multidisciplinary fellowship specifically fosters interactions between researchers from diverse fields of science and medicine and supports post-doctoral investigators pursuing training in either basic or clinical research. It is offered in partnership with the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Wellman Center for Photomedicine.

Application Information

How to Apply

Applications will be available at

Important Dates

Opens 15 June 2022
Closes 05 August 2022

Applicant Requirements
  • Select one or more positions available for the fellowship: 2023 Position Descriptions
  • Hold a Ph.D., M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree  
  • Be at the postdoctoral training level at the time of the award and within 5 years of completion of your degree, excluding breaks in a career timeline (e.g., eldercare, maternity or paternity leave)
Application Requirements
  • Basic contact and education information
  • Personal statement describing academic/professional background and interest in the fellowship – no more than 500 characters.
  • CV/resume
  • A 3- to 5-page research proposal in a field of biomedical optics, including specific aims, significance, innovation and approach.
    • The applicant is encouraged to develop the project after contacting and consulting with one or more prospective PIs at Wellman Center
    • A collaborative project involving more than one Wellman PI is particularly encouraged
    • A brief list of Wellman PIs and their research summaries is located in the application
  • At least one and no more than two published technical papers or similar with personal contributions within the past 24 months in PDF format.
  • Two letters of reference
Additional Information:  
  • Non-US individuals are encouraged to apply
  • Massachusetts General Hospital is an equal opportunity employer; women and minority applicants are encouraged to apply
  • Fellows will receive a nontransferable, primary appointment at the MGH Wellman Center for Photomedicine
  • If a fellow already has, or subsequently receives, other fellowship funding, he/she is eligible for the Deutsch funds only if the projects are different scientifically, permitted by the other sponsor and only to the extent that the combined stipend does not exceed the fellow’s institutional base stipend
  • The program is intended for one year, with the opportunity for a no-cost extension if conditions allow
  • Any remaining funds at the end of the fellowship period, or extension, will be forfeited




2021 Recipient

Danielle Harper
Danielle Harper
Wellman Center for Photomedicine, USA

Since joining Dr. Benjamin Vakoc’s lab at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Danielle has been investigating how interaction with different tissues changes the polarization state of light incident upon them. By understanding these changes, she is able to draw conclusions about what tissue lies beneath the surface. With the support of the Thomas F. Deutsch Fellowship, she will develop a state-of-the-art polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography imaging system to allow her to bring this technology directly into the operating theater to help surgeons identify nerves.

Danielle completed her undergraduate degree in Physics at the University of St Andrews in 2015 before carrying out her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Bernhard Baumann at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria. Since early 2020 she has been a Research Fellow at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine where she works in the lab of Prof. Benjamin J. Vakoc. In addition to her research endeavors, Danielle is also a strong advocate for the importance of STEM outreach and enjoys getting hands-on with the planning of optics demonstrations.


It is truly an honor to be selected as this year’s Thomas F. Deutsch Fellow. I am so excited to have the opportunity to apply optical imaging techniques to an unsolved problem in neurosurgery, and I can’t wait to get started.

Past Recipients

  • Markus Seeger, Technical University of Munich, Germany (2020)
  • Vicente Parot, Harvard University, USA (2019)
  • Yue Zhuo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA (2018)


This fellowship is endowed through donations from the Deutsch family, contributors from the optics and photonics community and a generous contribution from IPG Photonics.