• Technical Conference:  04 – 09 May 2025
  • The CLEO Hub: 06 – 08 May 2025

Grants, Awards and Prizes

Awards and Prizes   l   Grants   l   Other Co-Sponsor Awards

Recognition and Assistance:
In Support of the CLEO Community

The CLEO Conference supports a community of scientists working on the latest advances in the science and applications of lasers and opto-electronics. The goal of co-sponsors and committee members is to create a meeting experience that truly represents the global community. A variety of awards, prizes and grants are offered to recognize exceptional members of our community and ensure an experience that is inclusive and geographically diverse.

Specific information on eligibility, the application process and deadlines can be found in Submit Papers.


Family Care Grants

The co-sponsors and committee believe that all individuals with accepted papers should have the ability to present at CLEO, regardless of financial concerns or family obligations. Speakers can consider the following support options.

American Physical Society - Division of Laser Science (APS/DLS)

Child Care Grant Program

Grants of up to USD 1,000 are available to assist DLS members who are bringing children to CLEO or who incur extra expenses in leaving them at home (e.g., extra daycare or babysitting services). Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Optica Family Care Grants

Grants of up to US $500 per family, per calendar year are available to assist Optica members who need to bring family members or who incur extra expenses if leaving them at home (e.g., extra day care or babysitting services, dependent care, etc), or need assistance at a meeting due to a disability.


Student Travel Grants


Incubic/Milton Chang Travel Grant
Travel grants of USD 500 each are provided to 10 students presenting papers at CLEO. Travel grants are awarded to the presenter, usually the first author of the paper, from an emerging economy country. The program is funded by an endowment from Milton and Rosalind Chang and managed by the Optica Foundation.


Student Travel Grant Program 

American Physical Society - Division of Laser Science provides partial funding up to USD 1,000/grant for a limited number of undergraduate or graduate students to attend and participate in CLEO.



Students, recent graduates and early-career professionals are encouraged to present their research. The experience offers invaluable opportunities to get your name and research in front of an esteemed, international audience – at a career stage when building professional relationships is most essential for future success. CLEO supports your professional goals with several recognition opportunities.


Poster Presentation and Award
Undergraduate and graduate students who present at CLEO are invited to participate in a poster competition hosted by the Division of Laser Science of the American Physical Society. Three best-poster awards are given. Recipients receive a certificate and USD 100. Membership in APS and DLS is required to participate.


Tingye Li Innovation Prize
The Tingye Li Innovation Prize is presented to an early-career professional who has demonstrated innovative research via a paper and reference documents submitted for consideration during the CLEO Conference. The prize, established in 2013, is endowed by Alliance Fiber Optic Products, Inc., AT&T, Optica, IEEE Photonics Society, IEEE Communications Society, Thorlabs, Inc, The Li Family and supporters of the Tingye Li Memorial Fund, and is administered by the Optica Foundation. 

The grand prize recipient receives USD 3,000, a special invitation to the Chairs' Reception and recognition during the conference.


James P. Gordon Memorial Speakership Program
The James P. Gordon Memorial Endowment funds a speakership on quantum information and quantum optics to a CLEO invited speaker. This speakership, established in 2014, is endowed by the Gordon family, and supporters of the James P. Gordon Memorial Fund, and is administered by The Optica Foundation. One recipient will receive an honorarium of USD 1,500. His/her presentation will be recorded and archived in the Optica Media Library.


Other Co-Sponsor Awards

Each of the three CLEO co-sponsors manages awards programs that seek to recognize the considerable professional achievements of their members. While the awards and medals are not contingent upon a CLEO presentation, recipients are a vital part of our community. They make extraordinary contributions to research, engineering, education and industry.


American Physical Society - Division of Laser Science Awards

Division of Laser Science was established in 1985. DLS promotes laser science interests within the APS and represents such interests with other societies. Sponsors awards and educational programs, including APS Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science, APS Fellowship, Distinguished Traveling Lecturer Program and New Laser Scientists Conference.


IEEE Photonics Society Awards 

The IEEE Photonics Society Awards Program was established to honor the outstanding achievements of its members by recognizing their contributions in advancing the fields of interest to the benefit of society, and enhancing the quality of life for all people throughout the world.  For eligibility/submission requirements, please visit photonicssociety.org/awards.

Optica Awards and Medals

Optica recognizes and celebrates the field's technical, research, engineering, education, business, leadership and service accomplishments. The awards program spans all areas of optics and photonics, as well as contributions made to the community. Several awards, including the Charles Hard Townes Medal, are of interest and relevance to the CLEO community. Use the award category guide to find appropriate options.