EOS Early Career Women in Photonics Award

The EOS Early Career Women in Photonics award is presented to honor a young female scientist who has made outstanding contributions to photonics.

The award consists of a diploma and an honorarium of (€2500). The Award will be presented at an award ceremony at the CLEO/Europe-EQEC taking place on Tuesday 27 June 2023, 10:30 – 12:30 CET,
held within the World of Photonics Congress during 25- 30 June 2023.
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Any woman, EOS member, active in the field of photonics, with not more than 10 years after obtaining her PhD, may apply for the award. One additional year on top of the 10 years, is allowed per child.

How to apply:

Candidates should fill in the application form and send a list of supporting documents.
Send the supporting documents combined into ONE file (pdf preferred), by the end of submission deadline.
Send the supporting documents to this folder.

The list of required supporting documents:

1. One letter of support,

2. A biography/CV (max 2 pages),

3. A list of publications,

4. A description of the contribution (max 1 page of A4, 12-point text), making clear the contribution to photonics.


Award Committee Chair: Roelene Botha


For more information, please contact Elina Koistinen, EOS Executive Director, elina@europeanoptics.org.


Deadline for Applications: 24 May 2023 by 23:59:59 CEST



Submission is open!

Background to Award

EOS Early Career Women/Entrepreneur in Photonics awards were launched in 2015 to honor the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL2015), which was a global initiative adopted by the United Nations to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health. The awards were part of the activity of the LIGHT2015 project. In its launching year, the awards were known as LIGHT2015 Young Women in Photonics/Young Photonics Entrepreneur Awards.

The Early Career Women in Photonics Award is presented to honour a young female scientist who has made outstanding contributions to photonics. 


Award Winners from previous years

Rocio web 1







Rocío Borrego Varillas


The Early Career Women in Photonics Award was awarded to Rocío Borrego Varillas, from the Institute of Photonics an Nanotechnoligies, Italian Reseach Council for her contributions to the development of novel techniques for ultrashort pulse generation in the ultraviolet range and their applications to ultrafast spectroscopy. The beamlines she has developed have record temporal resolution and have allowed her to access the dynamics in a number of relevant bio-molecules and advanced photonics materials in the sub-100 fs time scale, pushing ultrafast spectroscopy significantly beyond the state of the art.

The award consisted of a diploma and an honorarium of €2500.The award was presented at the award ceremony of the online CLEO/Europe-EQEC 2021, held within the World of Photonics Congress during 20 - 24 June 2021.

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Camille bres

Camille-Sophie Bres



The Early Career Women in Photonics Award went to Camille-Sophie Brès, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) for her outstanding research and work on Fiber and Waveguide Optics.

The award consisted of a diploma and an honorarium of €2500.The award was presented at the European Optical Society Biennial Meeting (EOSAM) in Berlin, Germany, 27 September, 2016.


Laura Na Liu

Laura Na Liu

Nathalie Vermeulen
Nathalie Vermeulen



The Young Women in Photonics award was divided into two categories due to the high level of applicants. The Young Women in Photonics Awards went to Laura Na Liu (Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems) in the Fundamental category and Nathalie Vermeulen (Photonics Team (B-PHOT), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)) in the Applied/Engineering category. The awards consisted of a diploma and an honorarium of €2500.The awards were presented at the World of Photonics Congress in Munich, Germany, June 2015.

Special recognition was given to two other outstanding applications: Francesca Calegari (National Research Council of Italy – Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies (CNR – IFN) and Camille-Sophie Bres (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)).

EOS interviewed Nathalie Vermeulen, one of the winners back in 2015, to see where she is now and how her career has progressed. Read the article here: Women in photonics nathalieWomen in photonics nathalie

  • Inequality for Women in Research

    • On Wednesday, 21 april 2021

    Mousumi chakraborty

    by Mousumi Chakraborty, PhD in Photonics


    In the present, women in photonics is one of the most talked-about topics in the virtual and real world. According to the studies, a large number of women are enrolling in a university in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects and doing good in their field. Sometimes they are doing better than male colleague/students. Nevertheless, unfortunately, the same number of women are not participating in the field of STEM occupations. Still, STEM is considered a male-dominated field, though many women have already proven their excellence and competence in these fields.

    Globally, women are underrepresented in many fields, especially in the research, photonics, and optics field; the number is still below standard. According to a recent UNESCO report, only 30% of the world’s researchers are women, though this percentage varies from region to region.

    Continue reading

  • Lessons learned by renowned Women in Photonics 

    • On Wednesday, 21 april 2021


    In 2015, the European Optical Society (EOS) launched the EOS Early Career Women in Photonics Award to honor a young female scientist who has made outstanding contributions to photonics. Since launching the awards, EOS has closely followed the career paths of the winners.

    We will now share with you the backgrounds, motivations and individual career paths of the winners along the years, with priceless advice and guidance for those who follow in their footsteps. A clear consensus derived from the individual discussions with the women and the advice to others persuing a career in photonics is clear: "Work hard and focused, be brave and network every chance you get." 

    We hope the paths of these successful women will inspire you to find and follow your passion.

    Continue reading