Chapter benefits

Participating in an Optica student chapter helps you develop technical knowledge, leadership experience and lasting relationships with peers and mentors. Chapters have access to unique benefits that aren't always available to non-chapter members. 

Grants 

Managment grant ($200-$700)
These grants are designed to support routine maintenance of your chapter (keeping members engaged, soliciting new members, etc.). Funds can be used as chapters see fit, but generally go toward:

  • Food/beverage for chapter meetings
  • Collateral to use as giveaways (pens, stickers, etc.)
  • Optica student membership fee support

Special Program grant ($750-$1,500)
These grants are designed to support larger-scale events like:

  • Hosting a multi-day workshop, seminar, or similar on optics/photonics
  • Building outreach tools/programs to share the principles of science with the community 
  • Creating recurring content for students, focused on diversity and inclusion or career development

IONS grant ($3,000-$5,000)
These grants are to be leveraged by chapters hosting conferences that attract at least 75 student attendees. These conferences are more than just your run-of-the-mill meeting. They should have programming focused on professional development, techincal research discussion, diversity and inclusion, and industry relations.

Knowledge sharing and networking

Traveling Lecturers
Did you know that Optica has a list of nearly 1,000 professionals who are open to traveling to your univeristy to share their expertise with you? Chapters can tap into this list and invite one (or sometimes two) lecturers each year at no cost to the the chapter. That's right, Optica covers loding and transportation for the lectures (up to $1,500) - what a benefit! Lecturers can also attend conferences virtually and will instead receive an honorarium of $400. 

Student Leadership Experience
Each year, students are invited to attend our annual meeting, Frontiers in Optics (FiO). As part of the technical conference, students are supported with special sessions focused on professional development for career advancement. Students complete an application process, but those selected have their transportation, lodging, and conference fee covered by Optica. While this benefit is open to all student members, those affiliated with student chapters receive additional weight during the application process. 

Mentor Match
Let us pair you with an early-career professional who can serve as a dedicated mentor for a period of six months. During that time, you and your mentor will build a battleplan for addressing some of your most important concerns. You can provide feedback in real-time so if your mentor pairing isn't working we'll try to rectify it if possible.