Student conference support

Grants and fee waivers

The Society offers a limited number of supplemental travel grants (airfare/lodging) and conference registration fee waivers to SPIE Student Members — including Student Authors, Student Chapter Members, and Student Attendees — who are planning to present or attend an SPIE meeting.

View conferences currently offering support

Student Members enjoying a photo moment at an SPIE conference

Thanks to our sponsor

Travel support to attend SPIE Photonics West and SPIE Optics + Photonics is sponsored by MKS Instruments, Inc. SPIE thanks MKS for their generous support of the program.

Upcoming SPIE conferences offering student support

Conferences will be added on an ongoing basis as their application deadline approaches and removed once it has passed. 

Conference Application Dates
Sensors + Imaging 2024

Deadline 12 July 2024


SPIE Photomask Technology + EUVL

Due 15 July 2024


Optics + Photonics 2024


Photonics West 2025

Opens October 2024

AR | VR | MR 2025

Opens October 2024


For more information on conferences offering support, contact SPIE Member Support.

Frequently asked questions

  • Up to $700 for domestic airfare/lodging; up to $1,000 for international airfare/lodging*
  • One non-transferable conference registration fee waiver

* It is strongly recommended that you carefully review the airline's cancellation policy when purchasing your airfare. SPIE will only reimburse for airfare/lodging if students are able to attend.

All applicants

  • Must be a current Student Member of SPIE with an active membership through the dates of the conference you are presenting at or attending.
  • Must be a full-time student in a high school, undergraduate, or graduate program.

Student authors

  • Must have an accepted paper.
  • Must submit your original, previously unpublished manuscript for publish in the Proceedings of SPIE.
  • Must be available to present at an SPIE meeting.

Important notes

  • This is a competitive process, and priority will be given to student authors.
  • Student Members are eligible to receive one conference support award every two years; multiple support per year will not be considered.
  • Grant recipients must secure a visa to travel. Follow these instructions if an invitation letter is required to secure a visa.
  • Students are not eligible if they have completed their PhD, ScD, or MD program

  • All applicants will be notified within one to two weeks after the application deadline.
  • If awarded, travel funding will be reimbursed after the conference via bank transfer. Receipts for airfare and/or lodging will be required.
  • Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

  • Not all SPIE meetings offer student conference support. See the list above to see which meetings have open applications.
  • If you are eligible to apply, locate the corresponding meeting above, click on the application link, and complete your application before the deadline.

Further questions? Contact SPIE Member Support.


SPIE is incorporated in the state of California, USA, and abides by US laws that may restrict cash awards to residents of some countries. To qualify for an award, students and institutions must be eligible to receive funds under US federal guidelines.