FRL Research-ILCS Liquid Crystal Research Excellence Award 2023

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Program Overview

Facebook Reality Labs Research brings together a world-class team of researchers, developers, and engineers to build the future of connection within virtual and augmented reality. Our work is rooted in research, building and testing technologies that will expand the scope, depth, dimensions and possibilities of human connection and collaboration. From AR glasses and VR headsets to brain computer interface and haptic interaction, we’re creating the next wave of technology just as previous generations have done for us with the potential of changing the world. All working toward one common goal: inventing technologies that will make AR and VR more accessible for everyone. (Link:

Liquid Crystal (LC) Research is one of the research areas in the Optics and Display group in FRL Research. The goal of this research is to develop advanced planar LC optics technologies; to integrate them with existing and emerging AR/VR optics and display solutions; to provide better user experience; to enable breakthroughs in eye-tracking, accommodation, occlusion, AR/VR displays and the AR/VR Optical design space; and, ultimately, to help pave the way to AR glasses and next-generation VR headsets.

The aim of the FRL Research-ILCS Liquid Crystal Research Excellence Award is to encourage young generations in the LC field and in other cross-disciplinary fields to help unlock the possibilities of LC technology in the AR/VR field. FRL Research is pleased to invite graduate students and postdocs who have graduated within the last three years, to apply for this award. In order to support academic work that addresses our challenges and opportunities while producing generalizable knowledge, FRL Research is pleased to offer three research awards.

The awards include:
  • one (1) Diamond Award of $5,000
  • one (1) Platinum Award of $3,500
  • one (1) Gold Award of $2,500

How to Apply

Applications should be send via email to the Chair of the Awards Committee of the ILCS, Nick Abbott (nla34(at) Please submit the following documents to ILCS:
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV; required): A CV which lists your research projects and publications to help us understand the significance of your research for AR/VR application and the quality of your results.
  • Cover letter (required): A cover letter to share with us who you are, your research experience and passion, the connection between your research in liquid crystal and AR/VR field, and how this award will help you pursue your research goal.
  • Prior Publications in the AR/VR field (required): along your application, please submit at least one full paper of your prior first-authored publications which can demonstrate the quality of your work in the intersection area between liquid crystal technology and the AR/VR field.
  • Recommendation letter (optional): at least one recommendation letter is preferred but not required along with your application. The recommendation letter could come from your professor and your collaborators.

Important Dates & Application Deadlines

  • Application Deadline: Wednesday, November 1, 2023


  • An applicant must be a graduate student currently enrolled in a Master or Ph.D. program, or a postdoc in an academic research group who graduated within three (3) years from the application date.
  • An applicant must have a proven track record of achieving significant results demonstrated by first-authored publications in leading research journals, or relevant conference presentations organized by ILCS, SID, OSA, SPIE, IEEE or similar. The research area of the applicants must be in the AR/VR field, including, but not limited to, Optics, Displays, Sensing, Haptics for AR/VR purposes.
  • This award is not open to any current Facebook employees, including STE, FTEs, interns, or contingent workers.
  • The individual must be at least eighteen (18) or the age of majority in his or her country/jurisdiction of residence; provided, such individual is not a “Prohibited Person” from doing business with U.S., which means they reside in country that is subject to U.S. trade or economic sanctions administered by Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), including, without limitation, individuals/entities on the U.S. Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Nationals (“SDN”) list or a foreign national of a country subject to U.S. trade or economic sanctions, as may be updated from time to time designated by the United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (see for additional information) (currently including, without limited to, Afghanistan, Belarus, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [North Korea], Eritrea, Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Myanmar [Burma], Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, and Zimbabwe).
Award committee: consists of 5 full time ILCS members including three from FRL Research as members of the ILCS, the ILCS Chair of the Awards Committee and the ILCS Vice-President. Members of the committee may change on an annual basis.
Administrative information: If you are selected, no personal information will be asked/collected. The payment will be made to the awardees directly.