Activity & Education Grants

Students in Ghana Volunteers

OSA provides grant funding for OSA Student Chapters and Local Sections in two categories: 1) Youth Education and 2) Activity/Professional Development & Special Events. All OSA Chapters and Sections are encouraged to apply annually. Youth Education Grants fund programs that enable Chapters and Sections to promote science learning by working directly with grade school students. Activity Grants support professional development efforts that help students build technical skills and their network of colleagues around the world.

Grant Categories

The following describes the grant categories along with examples of the programs they support. Maximum funding amounts are noted.


Descriptions and/or Examples of Activities

Professional Development and Activity Grants (maximum of $1500 in funding per year)

Chapter/Section Promotion or Recruitment Event (up to $300)

Events held to promote your chapter/section and recruit new members.
Eligibility: one per year per chapter/section.

Joint Activity ( up to $250)

Events held in cooperation with other chapters, sections, societies, etc.
Eligibility: one per year per chapter/section

Professional Development (up to $750)

Technical sessions, lectures, networking and other events to further your careers and/or scientific knowledge.
Eligibility: two per year per chapter/section.

Competition/Award (up to $500)

Technical paper or poster contests, award submissions, etc.
Eligibility: one per year per chapter/section

Social Function ( $100 for <15 and $200 for 15+ members)

Networking receptions, pizza parties, happy hours.
Eligibility: one per year per chapter/section.

Youth Education Grants (maximum of $1500 in funding per year)

Optics Suitcase

Receive the Optics Suitcase for demonstrations at local schools.
Eligibility: one per year per chapter/section.

Youth Education (up to $500)

Youth education events including classroom demonstrations, science fairs, etc.
Eligibility: two per year per chapter/section

International Year of Light Youth Education Outreach Grant (up to $500)

International Year of Light activities including Day of Optics, classroom demonstrations, etc.
Eligibility: one per year per chapter/section

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Application Deadlines


Applications Open


Program Terms


Fall Review

1 August

30 October

January – June of the following year

30 December

Spring Review 1 February 30 April July – December of the following year 30 June

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Reporting Requirements

  • A program report is due 30 days after the funded activity/program takes place.
  • All of the reports must be completed by logging into the OSA Grants Database.
  • Social Function Grants do not require program reports.

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Application Process

The OSA grant submission system allows you save your applications, check your application status, and submit activity reports, all in one place! To begin the Core Grant Application Process, please click here: OSA Grants Database.

Your login credentials were emailed to you. If you have not received log-in information please contact us at PLEASE do not create a new organizational profile.

Registration Page:

  • Enter your USER ID, as indicated in this email, in the login field
  • Enter your PASSWORD, as indicated in this email, in the password field
  • Press the “Log On” button to enter the Grant Management Database.

To check the status of your applications:

  • Click on the "Status" button on the left
  • Select the application you wish to view the status for
  • Fill out any necessary follow up forms as needed

To apply for additional grants during this Grant cycle:

  • Click on the "Apply" button on the left
  • Select the grant you would like to apply for
  • Click on the Grant Title
  • Fill out all of the questions
  • Click Submit
  • You may submit as many applications as you like.

The Application Status Page allows you to view or print submitted applications only. If you saved the form, then you can EDIT the saved form from the Application Status Page.

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Grant Application Tips

Please note - Grants are in high demand and not all requests can be accepted. To increase your chances of acceptance, it is important to provide a clear and detailed application that emphasizes the goals and objectives of your program and distinguishes it from other applications.
  • Start preparing your application early. Allow plenty of time to gather required information and submit well before the deadline. Power failures happen and are not an excuse for late submission.
  • Consult with your chapter advisor. Their experience will help you. Ask them to review your grants applications.
  • Follow the instructions in the OSA Grants Database carefully. Don't force reviewers to hunt through your application for information. Answer all questions completely.
  • Keep your audience in mind. Reviewers will use only the information contained in the application to assess the application. Be sure the application and responses to the program requirements and expectations are complete and clearly written. Do not assume that reviewers are familiar with your chapter/section, and your chapter/section activities. Keep that in mind when writing the application.
  • Be brief, concise, and clear. Make your points understandable. Provide accurate and honest information. If any required information or data is omitted, explain why.
  • Be organized and logical. Many applications fail to receive a high score because the reviewers cannot follow the thought process of the applicant or because parts of the application do not fit together.
  • Submit all information at the same time. We will not consider additional information and/or materials submitted after your initial submission, nor will we accept e-mailed applications or supplemental materials once your application has been received.

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30 April 2014

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