The International OSA Network of Students (IONS) is a program that encourages student chapter members to organize and manage regional meetings focused on technical and professional development content as well as networking with peers and luminaries.

Host an IONS Conference in 2017: The IONS Grant Application - 2017 is now available in the OSA Grants Database.

Early Bird Application Deadline: Extended to 15 September
Deadline: 15 November
A limited number of IONS conferences can be supported each year, and they are required to be geographically distributed. To make sure that your conference is approved for your region, we encourage you to apply by the early bird deadline.

Below are the answers to the following frequently asked questions:

What can I expect at an IONS conference?

An IONS conference is usually three to four days of technical presentations from students and esteemed professors, student chapter related activities and social/cultural events.

If you are interested in attending an IONS event, the 2016 conference series is as follows:

Registration is closed for:

Registration is open/soon to open for:
  • IONS Tucson 2016 (30 September – 3 October) College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona, USA.
  • IONS KOALA 2016; (27 November - 2 December) at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia
Completed conferences:

What does OSA support if my chapter hosts an IONS conference?

OSA support of a IONS Conference includes two guaranteed OSA Traveling Lecturers and a grant of up to $7,000 USD in support of:

  • Student Travel Grant Funding
  • Conference Promotion
  • Professional Development Programming
  • Youth Education Outreach Programming
OSA also provides the conference website and staff support for marketing.

How can my chapter host an IONS conference?

Step 1: Attend an IONS conference.

  • At least one conference organizer must have already attended an IONS conference
  • Chapters may co-host a conference with no more than one other OSA Student Chapter.

Step 2: Make sure your chapter is in good standing.

  • The applying chapter(s)must have a strong record of consistently maintaining at least 5 OSA Student Members and submitting Annual Reports.

Step 3: Submit the IONS Conference Grant - 2017 application form through the OSA Grants Database.

  • The application form is available on the OSA Grants Database. If your chapter needs the login information, please contact
  • The deadline to submit an application for a conference between 1 January and 31 May 2017 is 15 August. FOr conferences between 1 June and 31 December, the deadline is 15 November. Even if the conference will be held in the second half of 2017, we recommend submitting your application as soon as possible. Before starting the application, we recommend contacting

Step 4: Answer any follow-up questions.

  • This your chance to give more details about your proposed conference. After OSA receives your application, you will receive a draft proposal and several suggestions/questions.
  • Your chapter should update the proposal with any requested details so that it can be forwarded to the IONS Planning Committee for review.
  • There may be several rounds of questions while the committee deliberates. Applications are typically reviewed over one month's time.

How do I get more information about IONS conferences?

Sign-up to receive IONS news and upcoming conference information.

For questions about IONS, contact

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