Amplify Scholarship

Investing in future Black scientists.

Application Dates
14 Oct 2022 - 09 Dec 2022
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 master's 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

Application is now open. Apply here today.

Important Dates

Opens 14 October 2022
Closes 09 December 2022

Applicant Requirements

1. Self-identify as Black

2. Be currently enrolled as an undergraduate or master's student at a university with one or more years left to complete your education.

  • Undergraduates: have a major in physics, math, chemistry or engineering and a demonstrated interest in optics and photonics.
  • Master's: have a major and/or concentration in optics or photonics demonstrated with your research and coursework (If you are a master’s student who plans to continue on to a Ph.D. but have not yet finished your master’s you are eligible).

3. Demonstrate academic potential (GPA, publications, references, other awards/merits)

4. Program requirements recognize and exclude career breaks from timelines (eg, eldercare; maternity or paternity leave) 

Application Requirements

1. CV or resume: Must not exceed four (4) pages

2. Student response:

Undergraduate students: (300 Word limit per/question)

  • Describe your experiences and interests related to physics, math, chemistry and engineering.
  • Describe your interests in optics and photonics including but not limited to laser science, fiber optics, lens design, vision science, imaging and sensing, electrical or mechanical engineering, biomedical optics, quantum theory or applications.

Master's students: (300 Word limit per/question)

  • Describe any research, lab or classroom work related to optics and photonics including but not limited to laser science, fiber optics, lens design, vision science, imaging and sensing, electrical or mechanical engineering, biomedical optics, quantum theory or applications. 
  • Describe your goals related to optics and photonics (pursuing a Ph.D., working in industry, etc.).

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.

2023 Recipients

Chenui Eugene Aban
Daniel Pimbi
Texas Tech University, USA
Adewale Akinyimika
Letícia Marques Caviola Foiani
Federal Universty of ABC, Brazil
Paula Kirya
University of California San Diego, USA
Jennifer Bragg
Peter Mugaba Noertoft
Stanford University, USA
Shayla Breedlove
Alain Marcel Dikande Simo
University of Buea, Cameroon
Ayomikun Esan
Camilla Costa
University of São Paulo, Brazil
Ibrahim Issah
Adeyinka Yusuf
Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany
Rutendo Jakachira
Sabaa Khan Rasulkhan 
Multimedia University of Kenya, Kenya
Arielle Joasil
Jane Akinyi
Multimedia University of Kenya, Kenya
Ngei Katumo
Ifeanyichukwu Godwin Ani
Federal University Gusau, Nigeria

Past Recipients


Founders US$100,000+
Elsa Garmire & Robert H. Russell

Elsa Garmire & Robert H. Russell

Contributors US$20,000+
Federico Capasso

Federico Capasso
Harvard University, USA

James C. Wyant

James C. Wyant
University of Arizona, USA

IPG Photonics

in honor of Valentin P. Gapontsev

Contributors US$10,000+
Eric Mazur

Eric Mazur
Harvard University, USA

OFS Laboratories
J. A. 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

2023 Selection Committee

Joshua Burrow Brown UniversityUNITED STATES
Rj Doidge Thorlabs IncUNITED STATES
George Okyere Dwapanyin University of St AndrewsUNITED KINGDOM
James Hilfiker J. A. Woollam Co IncUNITED STATES
Paul Ikechukwu Iroegbu Chongqing UniversityCHINA
Yaseera Ismail University of KwaZulu-NatalSOUTH AFRICA
Dikande Alain Moise University of BueaCAMEROON
A. Boh Ruffin Corning IncUNITED STATES
Lei Wang Meta Platform IncUNITED STATES