OSA Awards

The deadline for receipt of most award nominations is 1 October (for awards to be presented the following year). Nominations received after the deadline or those that are incomplete will be held for consideration the following year. The next two consecutive committees automatically consider any nominee not selected for the award. Award recipients are announced in March of the year following the nomination deadline. For nomination forms, please visit the OSA Awards Nomination page or email

Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize

- the highest award of the Society, the Ives Medal recognizes overall distinction in optics

Esther Hoffman Beller Medal

- recognizes outstanding contributions to optical science and engineering education

Max Born Award

- recognizes contributions to physical optics

Stephen D. Fantone Distinguished Service Award

- recognizes service to the optical community (usually presented in even-numbered years only)

Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award

- recognizes individuals for their innovative and influential contributions to the field of biophotonics, regardless of their career stage.

Paul F. Forman Engineering Excellence Award

- recognizes team technical achievements in optical engineering. Deadline is July 2

Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize

- recognizes research accomplishments in the field of optical engineering

The Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award

- recognizes authorship of an outstanding book in the field of optics and photonics, published in the last six years, that has contributed significantly to research, teaching, or the optics and photonics industry (co-sponsored with SPIE). (presented in even-numbered years only)

Nick Holonyak Jr. Award

- recognizes contributions to optics based on semiconductor-based devices and optical materials, including basic science and technological applications

Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award

- recognizes an individual or group who has had a significant impact on the global optics and photonics community or has had a significant impact on society as a whole stemming from non-research oriented activities

Edwin H. Land Medal

- recognizes pioneering work empowered by scientific research to create inventions, technologies, and products (co-sponsored with the Society for Imaging Science and Technology)

Sang Soo Lee Award

- recognizes outstanding leadership in founding or growing the optics and photonics community locally.

Emmett N. Leith Medal

- recognizes seminal contributions to the field of optical information processing

Ellis R. Lippincott Award

- recognizes contributions to vibrational spectroscopy (co-sponsored with the Coblentz Society and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy)

Adolph Lomb Medal

- recognizes noteworthy contributions made to optics before reaching the age of 35

C.E.K. Mees Medal

- recognizes interdisciplinary and international contributions (presented in odd-numbered years only)

William F. Meggers Award

- recognizes outstanding work in spectroscopy

David Richardson Medal

- recognizes contributions to optical engineering, primarily in the commercial and industrial sector

Edgar D. Tillyer Award

- recognizes distinguished work in the field of vision (awarded in even-numbered years only)

Charles Hard Townes Award

- recognizes contributions to quantum electronics

John Tyndall Award

- recognizes contributions to fiber optic technology (co-sponsored with the IEEE/Photonics Society). Deadline is August 10

Herbert Walther Award

- recognizes distinguished contributions in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as leadership in the international scientific community (co-sponsored with Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG)).

The deadline for the 2016 award is 1 September 2015 and nominations should be submitted to DPG.

R. W. Wood Prize

- recognizes an outstanding discovery, scientific or technological achievement or invention


Past OSA Awards

New Focus/Bookham Student Award

- from 1997 to 2008, the award program served to encourage research excellence, presentation prowess and leadership in the optics community among OSA student members

Allen Prize

- recognized outstanding contributions to atmospheric remote sensing while a graduate student

Dekker Foundation Student Scholarship Award

- recognized an outstanding graduate student in photonics and optical engineering

Archie Mahan Prize

- recognized the best feature article in Optics & Photonics News.

OSA and OSA Foundation sponsor a variety of student awards and grants. More information about these programs is available under Student Services.