Annual Fund Grants

2020 Annual Fund

OSA Ambassadors

As emerging leaders in the optics and photonics community, OSA Ambassadors share their experiences and perspectives with students and early career professionals. They provide career advice, technical knowledge and mentorship by serving as a traveling lecturer, supporting professional development events at local OSA meetings and engaging with their communities. 


Launched in 2016 as part of OSA’s Centennial, this program was continued at the request of the Centennial Advisory Panel in 2017. In 2018, the OSAF absorbed this program as a high-profile professional development activity given its direct impact on both students and early-career professionals. 


The Innovation School

The Innovation School inspires the next generation of entrepreneurs and business professionals by providing attendees the opportunity to assess their interest in entrepreneurial ventures. The School is guided by Eric Koester, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Georgetown University.  Attendees participate in a fast-paced, immersive experience focused on product ideation, market research and problem-solution customer fit.  Content is supplemented by guest lectures from optics and photonics corporate leaders. 


Attendees leave with a high-level understanding of the entrepreneurial world and mind-set, inspired to continue their learning at their home institutions or other providers. A strong network of colleagues is formed, allowing for continued discussions, support and potential partnerships.


Training Science-Informed Public Policy Advocates

The OSA Foundation (OSAF) will offer 20+ early-career members a unique public policy learning experience focused on demonstrating the value of science-government interaction. These members will receive expert training on communicating with legislators and the general public about science in policy and society. They will then join other OSA members to meet with U.S. senators and representatives as part of Congressional Visits Day in 2020.


OSA Student Chapter Grants

OSA Student Chapters will receive grants from the OSAF in support of professional development as well as youth/community outreach programs. 


WISTEE Symposium

The OSAF has partnered with Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship (WISTEE) in 2015 -2019 providing financial support for their annual meeting focused on advancing the careers of women in optics and photonics. In 2016-2019, WiSTEE co-located their symposium with Frontiers in Optics (FiO), OSA’s Annual Meeting attracting between 80-110 professionals interested in promoting gender equity in our field. The program features speakers and attendees from academia, industry and the public sector.


In 2020, the OSAF will continue the partnership with WiSTEE and the co-location of the symposium with FiO. 


Optics Suitcases

The Optics Suitcase is an innovative, interactive presentation package designed to introduce middle school students to the dynamic and exciting range of concepts within the study of light.  OSA student and early-career professional members use the kit as part of their community outreach efforts.


Diversity and Inclusion Recognition

The OSA Diversity & Inclusion Advocacy Recognition serves to acknowledge the outstanding dedication and accomplishments of OSA members, companies or organizations that demonstrate efforts to foster greater appreciation, advancement and celebration of diversity and inclusivity.


International OSA Network of Students (IONS)

Launched in 2007, IONS encourages student chapters to organize and manage regional meetings featuring technical and professional development content as well as networking with peers and luminaries. The experience and skills gained from the program include program development, speaker recruitment, attendee marketing, developing and managing an events budget, overall logistics planning as well as sponsor engagement and fundraising.


Additional Opportunities

Additional funding to be allocated throughout the year for unplanned opportunities.