Student Leadership Conference

The OSA Student Leadership Conference

The OSA Student Leadership Conference is an immersive experience which hosts 200 student chapter members from around the world. The conference occurs the first few days before OSA's Annual Conference, Frontiers in Optics (FiO), and serves as a fantastic way for students to immerse themselves in an environment full of professional development content, networking, and fun.

About the 2020 SLC Conference

We have decided to make this year's conference fully virtual! The conference will occur from Friday, 11 September to Sunday, 13 September. The conference will include 2-3 hour blocks of content that occur in the morning and evening to ensure students around the globe can access to live content in some way. At other times there will also be specialized content available should you want to take part.

Types of content

Plenary speakers - 30 minute sessions with 15 additional minutes of Q&A.

Workshops - 2 hour sessions that will cover a variety of topics (Professional development, Advocacy, Diversity/Inclusion, Publishing, etc.) and will only be open to 25 students max. Students will be able to select the workshop they feel is most relevant to their careers. 

Special programming - 2 hour sessions that focus on mentorship and career skils (resume/cv review, networking, salary negotiation, etc.). 

Plenary sessions will be open to ALL OSA student members and will not require pre-registration. Workshops and special programming, however, will only be open to one student per chapter and will require registration. 

A final version of the program with speakers and topics will be available in June.


Will there be an FiO regsitration fee this year?
No. For the last two years we have requested a $100 fee for students to participate in FiO which covered their lodging and registration for the FiO conference. We will not be requesting the fee this year. 

I am attending FiO and want to present a paper. How do I do that?
Unlike FiO registration, submitting a paper should be done through the FiO website. The paper submission process is completely separate from Student Leadership so you should forward any questions regarding this process to

NOTE: If you are attending FiO please register through the Student Leadership Registration Process. Do NOT register through the FiO website or you will be charged the for a full student technical registration. 

Do I need to present at paper at FiO to qualify for Student Leadership?
If you want to only attend Student Leadership and FiO without submitting a paper that is completely fine. However, we do encourage students to apply for paper submission through FiO to make the most of your experience.
I can no longer attend. Can someone else from my chapter go in my stead?
Yes. Since there we be no travelling to SLC this year you may change your attendee if needed. Please send these changes to 

Can multiple members from my chapter attend Student Leadership?
No. Only one member per chapter is eligible to attend. This is a techincal restriction to ensure quality dialogue in the workshops and special programming.