Corning Women in Optical Communications Scholarship

Celebrate excellence in women and their contributions to telecom and data center optics at OFC.

Application Dates
01 Nov 2021 - 01 Dec 2021
Program Prize

USD 3,000 scholarship, and up to USD 2,000 toward travel expenses

Driving innovation in the global communication network requires bringing a diverse group of people together to tackle challenges, such as enabling 5G and the Internet-of-Things.

To support gender diversity in the optical communications industry, this scholarship is a merit-based prize recognizing outstanding women studying optical communications and networking. Three scholarships of USD 3,000 each will be distributed annually to supplement tuition, mandatory fees and other expenses. Additionally, winners will receive up to USD 2,000 in travel expenses, housing and registration fees to attend the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC). Recipients will be recognized at the OFC.

Application Information

How to Apply

Apply when open at

Important Dates

Opens: 01 November 2021
Closes 01 December 2021

Applicant Requirements
  • Be a current member 
  • Be a woman currently enrolled as a graduate student at a university
  • Have a field of study/research focused on one of the following areas: optical components, devices and fiber, networks, applications and access or photonic systems and subsystems
  • Demonstrate academic excellence (GPA, publications, references, other awards/merits)
  • Program requirements recognize and exclude career breaks from career timelines (eg, eldercare; maternity or paternity leave) 
Application Requirements
  • Essay response: How would attending OFC support your career advancement and goals?
  • CV/resume
  • Personal statement
  • GPA certification (unofficial transcript)

2021 Selection Committee

  • Elaine Wong, University of Melbourne
  • Frank Effenberger, Futurewei
  • Lidia Galdino, University College London
  • David Plant, McGill University
  • Nan Chi, School of Information Science & Technology, Fudan

2021 Recipients

Deesha Shah
Deesha Shah
Purdue University

“This scholarship will support my research and goal of becoming a prominent scientist in the field of optics.”

2021 Corning Women in Optical Communications Scholar Jingyi Yang
Jingyi Yang
University of California, Irvine

“To be recognized is an encouragement to pursue my research and expand my knowledge of the field."

2021 Women in Optical Communications Scholar Elisaveta Yelistratova
Elisaveta Yelistratov
Bauman Moscow State Technical University

“This support undoubtedly helps me in my pursuit of learning and encourages me to be more engaged in the international research community that is OFC."

Past Recipients

  • Shaimaa Azzam, Purdue University, USA (2020)
  • Ann Margareth Rosa Brusin, Politecnico di Torino, Italy (2020)
  • Fatemeh Ghaedi Vanani, CREOL, USA (2020)
  • Tali Septon, Technion, Israel (2019)
  • Fatemeh Alishahi, University of Southern California, USA (2019)
  • Yun Gao, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (2019)

About the Endowment