External Scholarships

These postings are all appropriate for students of optical sciences, even if the criteria do not specify "optical sciences." Scholarships for physics, engineering, materials science and astronomy are all open to OSC students.

Scholarships and fellowships are listed below in alphabetical order. The application deadlines are provided in bold.

Many applications are quite lengthy and require letters of recommendation; please begin the application process as early as possible.

American Association for the Advancement of Science Science and Technology Policy Fellowships

  • AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships help to establish and nurture critical links between federal decision-makers and scientific professionals to support public policy that benefits the wellbeing of the nation and the planet. 
  • Eligibility: U.S. citizens with doctoral degrees, solid scientific and technical credentials, a commitment to serving society and good communications skills
  • Deadline: November 1st

American Association of University Women Fellowships and Grants

  • The AAUW has a long and distinguished history of advancing educational and professional opportunities for women in the United States and around the globe.
  • Eligibility: Women seeking postbaccalaureate opportunities, including graduate degrees, postdoctoral research and career development
  • Deadline: November 1st

Boris P. Stoicheff Memorial Scholarship

  • This scholarship pays tribut to Boris P. Stoicheff, an internationally renowned laser spectroscopist and former president of The Optical Society (OSA) and CAP.  The scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student who has demonstrated both research excellence and significant service to the (OSAF) or the physics community (CAPF).   
  • Eligibility: Enrolled full-time graduate student studying astronomy, chemistry, electrical engineering, medical physics, or an optics, photonics, or physics related subject, have at least one publication in peer-reviewed journal, have made at least one conference presentation at a scientific meeting organized by the OSA, have an accepted submission at the FiO or CAP confrerence, demonstrate community service
  • Deadline: July 30th

Corning Women in Optical Communications Scholarship

  • This scholarship is a merit-based prize recongnizing outstanding women studying optical communications and networking.  Cash awards issued to supplement tuition, mandatory fees, and other expenses.  Travel funds also available attend the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC).  Recipients recognized at OFC.
  • Eligibility: Be a member of The Optical Society (OSA), be a woman currently enrolled as a graduate student, have a field of study/research focused on one of the following areas: Optical Components, Devices and Fibers, Networks, Applications and Access or Photonic Systems and Subsystems
  • Deadline: December

DEPS Scholarships

  • The Directed Energy Professional Society is the premier organization for the Development of DE technology for national defense and civil applications through professional communicatin and education.
  • Eligibility: Graduate student pursuing studies in HEL and HPM
  • Deadline: April

Department of Defense (DoD) SMART Scholarship Program

  • The DoD SMART Scholarship Program is an opportunity for students pursuing and undergraduate or graduate degree in STEM disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed by the Department of Defense upon degree completion.
  • Eligibility: U.S. citizenship, at least 18 years of age, minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, be pursuing a technical undergraduate or graduate degree in on of the 21 specified STEM disciplines
  • Deadline: December 1st

Evette Harless Scholarship

  • The National Go Solar Foundation awards up to 10 scholarships annually to graduate students who are interested in research related to solar energy and who aim for a career in academia. This award is dedicated in honor and memory of Evette Harless, an educator who embodied the NGSF mission.
  • Eligibility: Graduate students with a minimum of 3.5 GPA who are U.S. citizens working with a faculty member on research projects related to solar energy
  • Deadline: September

Flinn Foundation Scholarship Program

  • The Flinn Foundation, in partnership with the state's three public universities, provides four years of study, academic-focused travel and personal mentorship from faculty members to high-achieving Arizona students with 20 generous scholarships each year. 
  • Eligibility: High-school seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.5 and a minimum ACT score of 29 who are U.S. citizens and have been residents of Arizona for at least two years
  • Deadline: October

Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowship Program

  • The Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties to maximize the educational benefits of diversity and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. They offer fellowships at the predoctoral, dissertation and postdoctoral levels.
  • Eligibility: US citizen, US National, US permanent resident, and DACA individuals
  • Deadlines: December

Hertz Foundation Fellowship Program

  • The Hertz Foundation conducts an annual competition to award exceptionally talented students of applied sciences and engineering, with a policy to structure their fellowships to be the most attractive in their class in both material terms and duration of tenure.
  • Eligibility: U.S. citizens and permanent residents seeking doctoral degrees in applied physical, biological and engineering sciences
  • Deadline: October

L’Oréal USA for Women in Science

  • The L'Oréal USA for Women in Science Fellowship program has awarded 70 postdoctoral women scientists more than $3.5 million in grants since 2003.
  • Eligibility: female U.S. citizens and citizens of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico seeking postdoctoral degrees. Candidates must hold a Ph.D., D.P.H., or Sc.D. Find a full list of eligibility requirements here.
  • Deadline:  February 1st

Dr. Maria Teresa Velez Diversity Leadership Scholarship

  • In honor of the late Dr. Maria Teresa Velez, Associate Dean, University of Arizona Graduate College, and her lifelong commitment to promoting graduate student diversity and inclusion and pushing for the highest of excellence, the Graduate College established the Dr. Maria Teresa Velez Diversity Leadership Scholarship.
  • Eligibility: 1) A domestic graduate student, 2) admitted to a doctoral program at the University of Arizona, and 3) in good academic standing.
  • Deadline: November

Marshall Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

  • This award is offered by the Marshall Foundation to doctoral candidates with their dissertation proposals approved.
  • Eligibility: Doctoral candidates with approved dissertation proposals, GPAs over 3.5, demonstrated financial need and both U.S. citizenship and Arizona residency
  • Deadline: November

Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship in Optical Design

  • The Scholarship is to be awarded to a student of optical design, where the term 'optical design' is meant to include lens design, illumination design and computational optical design.
  • Eligibility: candidate must meet the etnry criteria for the chosen course of study or research, must have at least one year after the award to complete chosen course of study.
  • Deadline: March 31st

Michael Pate Optical Sciences Memorial Scholarship

  • This scholarship was set up in memory of Michael Pate, an optical engineer passionate about teaching and learning throughout his career.
  • Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate students with a minimum 3.5 GPA
  • Deadline: March 

Milton and Rosalind Chang Pivoting Fellowship

  • The Milton and Rosalind Chang Pivoting Fellowship provides unrestricted fellowships to talented, young optical scientists and engineers who believe their expertise can be utilized to improve society beyond the bench. The program is intended to encourage people of exceptional talent to pursue their newfound passion.
  • Eligibility: 1) OSA member who has received their terminal degree within the last five years. 2) OSA student members who will receive their terminal degree by the application deadline.
  • Deadline: December

NASA Fellowship and Scholarship Program

  • Competative awards to support independently conceived or designed research, or senior design projects by highly qualified facutly, undergraduate, and graduate students, in disciplines needed to help advance NASA's mission, thus affording them the opportunity to directly contribute to advancements in STEM-related areas of study.  Fellowship opportunities are focused on innovation, and generate measurable research results that contribute to NASA's current and future science and technology goals.
  • Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate students
  • Deadline: May

NASA Space Technology Research Grants

  • This program accelerates the development of low TRL space technologies to support future space science and exploration needs of NASA, other government agencies, and the commercial space sector.
  • Eligibility: Graduate students
  • Deadline: July 1st

National GEM Consortium Fellowship

  • The National GEM Consortium enables qualified students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate education in applied science and engineering.
  • Eligibility: U.S. citizens or permanent residents with African-American, Hispanic American or Native American heritage
  • Deadline: November

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

  • Part of the National Institutes of Health, the NIBIB provides funding for basic research and research training through investigator-initiated grants, contracts, program project and center grants, and career development and training awards.
  • Eligibility: Various opportunities available for undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and career- level researchers in biomedical technologies
  • Deadline: Varies

National Physical Science Consortium

  • The National Physical Science Consortium, a partnership between government agencies and laboratories, industry and higher education, offers a unique graduate fellowship in the physical sciences and related engineering fields. 
  • Eligibility: Graduate students who are U.S. citizens, with an emphasis on applicants who are female or members of a historically underrepresented minority
  • Application Available:  August 25th

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

  • The National Science Foundation aims to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the United States and to reinforce its diversity by offering Graduate Research Fellowships, which provide three years of support for graduate study.
  • Eligibility: U.S. citizens seeking research-based master's or doctoral degrees
  • Deadline: November

OSA Foundation Harvey M. Pollicove Memorial Scholarship

  • The OSA Foundation offers the Harvey M. Pollicove Memorial Scholarship each year to a student pursuing a degree in the field of precision optics manufacturing. The award rotates among four universities: the University of Arizona, the University of Central Florida, the University of Rochester and Monroe Community College. The 2013 scholarship will be presented to a UA student.
  • Eligibility: Students must be enrolled at least part-time in an optical manufacturing program, intend to work in the U.S. optics manufacturing industry upon graduation and agree to complete and submit a scholarship report if they are awarded.
  • Deadline: July

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

  • The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, which supports graduate study for immigrants or children of immigrants who possess at least a green card, was established in recognition of the contributions that new Americans have made and in gratitude for the opportunities the United States has afforded the donors and their family
  • Eligibility: Senior undergraduates or first- or second-year graduate students under the age of 31 who are naturalized citizens, hold green cards, or have parents who were born outside the U.S. but became naturalized citizens
  • Deadline: November 1st

RunRepeat Athletic Leadership Scholarship

  • The RunRepeat Athletic Scholarship is awarded once a year to the college or university student who best demonstrates how sport and leadership are connected and lead to living a healthier, more balanced life.
  • Eligibility: Must be an enrolled student, or a high school senior with a valid acceptance letter, at an accredited college or university, or valid proof of college or university enrollment will be required for all winning submissions, does not need to be a collegiate athlete to apply. 
  • Deadline: November 30th

Paul Anthony Bonenfant Memorial Scholarship

  • Established in 2011 in memory of Paul Anthony Bonefant, this $8,000 scholarship enables students enrolled in engineering and/or physical science programs to attend semester-abroad programs.  The goal of the scholarship is to provide international experience to students as they prepare for professional lives that promote global engagment and collaboration
  • Eligibility: undergraduate and graduate students in the U.S., demonstrated interest in optics related research and applicaitons, plan to participate in a study-abroad program of at least 6 week's duration.
  • Deadline: April 30th

Semiconductor Research Corporation Graduate Fellowship Program and Master's Scholarship Program

  • The GRC Graduate Fellowship Program addresses the issues of improving educational opportunities at the doctoral level and supplying a relevantly educated workforce for the semiconductor industry.
  • Eligibility: U.S. citizens or permanent residents who will be performing research under an approved research program
  • Deadline: varies

Society of Women Engieers (SWE) Scholarships

  • The SWE Scholarships support women pursuing bachelor or graduate student programs in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology and computer science in the United States.  Applicants complete one application and are sonsidered for all scholarships for which they are eligible.
  • Eligibility: cadidates who identify as female, undergraduate applicants must be studying at and ABET-accredited engineering program, MS and PhD student must be accepted at a school with ABET-accredited programs, attending full time
  • Deadline: February 15th

SPIE Scholarships

  • As a student, you represent the future of optics, photonics and imaging, as well as the future of SPIE. The Society has distributed more than $3 million through its scholarship program.
  • Eligibility: High-school, undergraduate and graduate students
  • Deadline: February 15th

Thomas F. Deutsch Fellowship

  • The Thomas F. Deutsch Fellowship honors the extraordinary contributions Dr. Deutsch made to the field of Biomedical Optics. This one-year multidisciplinary Fellowship fosters interactions between researchers from diverse fields of science and medicine and will support post-doctoral investigators pursuing traning in either basic or clinical research.
  • Eligibility: Have a PhD, MD, and MD/PhD, be at post-doctoral trainng at the time of the award
  • Deadline: June