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SPIE Education Outreach Grants Program

As part of its education outreach mission, SPIE provides support for optics and photonics related education outreach activities. The award process is competitive; the grant maximum is $5,000 and some proposals may receive partial funding. The application period for the 2020 grant cycle is closed. The 2021 grant cycle will open in October 2020.

Meet the grant winners  ›


How to Apply


The 2021 application cycle will open in October 2020.

Please contact outreach@spie.org if you experience technical problems or have questions.

The key criterion in evaluating and ranking applications is the potential to increase optics and photonics awareness among students or the larger community.

Applications are judged on:

  • potential to impact chosen audience
  • potential to raise awareness and interest in optics and photonics
  • clarity and structure of the project
  • clear timeline and budget

Qualifying not-for-profit organizations such as universities, optics centers, science centers, primary and secondary schools, youth clubs, industry associations, and international optical societies are eligible for outreach activity support; STEM activities should have an optics or photonics component.

Recipients of SPIE Education Outreach Grants are required to complete an online survey on how the Grant was used within 30 days of completing the activity. Past winners who have not submitted a report or completed a survey are not eligible to apply.

Incomplete applications will not be submitted for consideration.


Other Important Notes


Sustaining Grants
If an organization has received an Education Outreach Grant twice in a period of 5 years, it can only apply for further support through a Sustaining Grant, limited to a maximum of $2,000. There is no limit to the number of times an organization can apply for a Sustaining Grant, but it will be in competition with all other proposals for every application. Requests for the Sustaining Grants should use the same application form as the Education Outreach Grants.

SPIE's outreach grants cannot be used for:

  • food and beverage costs exceeding 10% of the requested budget
  • alcoholic beverages
  • travel to conferences
  • activities that benefit an individual
  • speaker honoraria
  • teacher stipends or salaries
  • student stipends or salaries
  • overhead and administrative costs of the organization
  • sponsorship of technical conferences or workshops that are not limited to students or educators
  • applicants solely requesting funds for the purchase of classroom equipment to support teaching

SPIE Account Required
You must have an SPIE Account to apply. If you do not have one, please create an account. If you have forgotten your information, visit Account Sign In and click "Forgot Username" and/or "Forgot Password." If you have any trouble please contact Customer Service.