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SPIE, ICFO Unveil $1M Endowed Diversity-Focused Chair at ICFO

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SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and ICFO, the Barcelona-based Institute of Photonic Sciences, a center devoted to the development of research, post-graduate training, and knowledge and technology transfer in fields where optics and photonics play a decisive role, have established the [email protected] Chair for Diversity in Photonic Sciences.

A sum of $500,000 from SPIE is being matched by €500,000 from the existing ICFO endowment. The combined fund will support the appointment of a chair at ICFO whose task will be to leverage the center's activities to further enhance its promotion of diversity, starting with its multiple programs supporting the education and careers of young women from diverse backgrounds who have an interest in photonics.
Researchers, staff, and students celebrate their logo. The “R” stands for 'recerca,' the Catalan word for “research.' This was part of the original branding of the research institutes established by the government of Catalonia a little over 20 years ago, and ICFO retains it in their logo. Courtesy of SPIE.
Researchers, staff, and students celebrate their logo. The “R” stands for recerca, the Catalan word for “research. This was part of the original branding of the research institutes established by the government of Catalonia a little over 20 years ago, and ICFO retains it in its logo. Courtesy of SPIE.

The ambition for the [email protected] chair program goes beyond gender diversity and aims to support a diverse range of ambitious students and researchers in photonic sciences who would otherwise not have such opportunities. Newly supported opportunities will include the [email protected] Chair María Yzuel Fellowship Award Internships; the [email protected] Chair Travel Fellowship; and the [email protected] Chair Research Fellowship.

The SPIE Endowment Matching Program, established in 2019, is a $2.5 million, five-year, educational-funding initiative designed to increase international capacity in the teaching and research of optics and photonics. SPIE supports optics and photonics education and the future of the industry by contributing 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. The initial SPIE contribution to the University of Arizona named a new endowed faculty chair, the SPIE Chair in Optical Sciences. Three more agreements announced earlier this year established the SPIE-Glebov Family Optics and Photonics Graduate Scholarship Fund and the Soileau Family-SPIE Optics and Photonics Undergraduate Scholarship Fund, both at the University of Central Florida’s College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL), and the Baur-SPIE Endowed Chair in Optics and Photonics at JILA.

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