Investigates the use of embedded optical fiber Bragg gratings to measure strain near a stress concentration within a solid structure. Due to the nature of a stress concentration (i.e., the strong nonuniformity of the strain field), the assumption that the grating spectrum in reflection remains a single peak with a constant bandwidth is not valid. Compact tension specimens including a controlled notch shape are fabricated, and optical fiber Bragg gratings with different gage lengths are embedded near the notch tip. The form of the spectra in transmission varies between gages that are at different distances from the notch tip under given loading conditions. This variation is shown to be due to the difference in the distribution of strain along the gage length. By using the strain field measured using electronic speckle pattern interferometry on the specimen surface and a discretized model of the grating, the spectra in transmission are then calculated analytically. For a known strain distribution, it is then shown that one can determine the magnitude of the applied force on the specimen. Thus, by considering the nonuniformity of the strain field, the optical fiber Bragg gage functions well as an embedded strain gage near the stress concentration.