$800,000 optics and photonics education fund is established

Oct. 1, 2021
The optics and photonics education program will focus particularly on students in underrepresented groups, early-career researchers, and PhD students.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics (Bellingham, WA), and the University of Birmingham (UK) have established the SPIE Optics and Photonics Champion Academy fund.

The $400,000 gift from the SPIE Endowment Matching Program will be matched 100% by the University of Birmingham, and the $800,000 fund will create and support the SPIE Optics and Photonics Champion Academy. The cohort-focused program will engage in areas of public interest in the fields of quantum technology and biomedical imaging and data sciencesone of the first projects will address pandemics. The program will be led by Professor and Principal Investigator of the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing Kai Bongs, and Professor of Computational Life Sciences Iain Styles.

The SPIE Optics and Photonics Champion Academy will support University of Birmingham students in a variety of ways, including expansion of cross-disciplinary educational opportunities in optics and photonics; offering students hands-on support and training to become influential science communicators and advocates of optics and photonics; and by utilizing a range of stipends, awards, and activity grants, which will be supplemented with professional development and mentoring opportunities from the universitys academic leaders as well as from external experts.

The program will focus particularly on students in underrepresented groups, early-career researchers, and PhD students in order to establish and build a broad, diverse, and inclusive network of science advocates, especially in the area of optics and photonics.

Established in 2019, the SPIE Endowment Matching Program supports optics and photonics education and the future of the industry by contributing a match of up to $500,000 per award to college and university programs with optics and photonics degrees, or with other disciplines allied to the SPIE mission.

Source: SPIE press release

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