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Corning Women in Optical Communications Scholarship

Corning Women in Optical Communications Scholarship header image
  • Application Dates:
    01 Oct 2021 - 01 Dec 2021
  • Program Prize:

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

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    Help support the future of optics

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


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 $3,000 USD scholarships will be distributed annually to supplement tuition, mandatory fees, and other expenses. Additionally, winners will receive up to $2,000 USD in travel expenses, housing and registration fees to attend the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC). Recipients will be recognized at OFC.

How to Apply:

Applications for the 2021 scholarships will open in late 2021.

Application Dates:

Application Opens: 01 October 2021
Application Closes: 01 December 2021

Applicants Must:

  • 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 recognizes and excludes career breaks from career timelines (e.g., elder care, maternity or paternity leave). 

The Application will Include:

  • 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:

2021 Corning Women in Optical Communications Scholar 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 Yelistratova, 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)


View Past Winners