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Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship: Selection Criteria & Requirements

The selection criteria for the scholarship are:

  • The Scholarship is to be awarded to a student of optical design, where the term 'optical design' is meant to include both lens design and illumination design.
  • The candidate must meet the entry criteria for the chosen course of study or research.
  • The candidate must have at least one year after the award to completion of their chosen course of study.
The Scholarship Committee reserves the right to withhold award of the scholarship in any year where an insufficient number of applications are received by the cutoff date to form a reasonable competition or when none of the applications received meet the committee's requirements for quality, either in academic achievement or in presentation.

Requirements for the scholarship are:

  • The candidate must submit a summary (five pages maximum) of his or her academic background and interest in pursuing training or research in optical design. Limited supporting material may be attached.
  • The candidate must submit an Application Form.
  • The candidate must submit two letters of recommendation.

Guidelines for the letters of recommendation are:

The two letters of recommendation that a candidate submits to the committee will play an important role in the selection of the winning candidate. It is therefore in each candidate’s best interests to obtain letters that most adequately describe their abilities and potential contributions to the field of optical design.

Writers of the letters should:

  1. Be recognized and knowledgeable in the field of optical design.
  2. Be familiar with the candidate’s educational background, personality and current technical abilities, as well as their potential for professional development.
  3. Clearly state how the candidate meets the selection criteria for the scholarship (first three bullets of the ‘selection criteria,’ above) and, in some detail, why the candidate deserves award of the scholarship.
A member of the scholarship committee who provides a letter of recommendation for an applicant will have a nuetral vote in the evaluation process for that applicant.

Submission of Application, Summary and Letters of Recommendation:

  1. The Application and Summary (including any supporting material) should be submitted by e-mail (preferred method) or by mail.
  2. Two letters of recommendation must be sent by recommender by e-mail (preferred method)or by mail.

The candidate’s application along with the summary and two letters of recommendation, must be sent by 28 February to:

via e-mail:

via mail:

The Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship
c/o SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
P.O. Box 10
Bellingham, WA 98227-0010 U.S.A.

For further information please contact: or

Application Ranking

Key Criterion:

The key criterion in evaluation and ranking applications is: "the prospect for long-term contribution that the granting of an award will make to the field of optical design." Need, in and by itself, shall not be considered as a criterion.

Other Criteria:

(i) Gender, nationality, national origin, or ethnicity shall not be used by any committee member to influence the ranking of applicants.

(ii) Applicants are eligible to apply and win in multiple years. In such cases their applications should show additional potential contribution to optical design beyond that for which their first application was awarded.

(iii) Ranking preference is given to applicants who provide a well-written, succinct and convincing statement as to their work's potential long-range impact on the field, and whose applications are accompanied by strong recommendation letters from faculty or other credible sources.

Kidger Scholars:

Successful recipients of the award will be expected to complete their chosen course of study and research. Awardees are encouraged to make the results of their research available to the international optical design community in the form of a Web site linked to:

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