Honors

Forum on Education Mini-Grants

The Forum on Education of the American Physical Society (APS) is committed to supporting APS members who continue to advance and enrich physics education. We are striving to continue this support within the context of a global pandemic that presents numerous personal, professional, and educational challenges. To this end, we invite applications for 2021 APS Forum on Education Minigrants.

There are two strands – personal and project – which are outlined below. Each applicant is allowed 1 proposal per strand.

Personal Mini-Grants

Personal mini-grants are designed to support individual members who are facing unanticipated financial/professional challenges due to the COVID pandemic. Personal mini-grants have a maximum of $2,000 per award. Partial funding may be more likely than full. Total funding available: ~$12,000.

Selection criteria for the personal mini-grants include the following:

  • Membership in APS Forum on Education (FEd). Applicants should be members of the FEd by the application deadline. APS members can join the Forum at no additional cost. For students (undergraduate and graduate), the first year of APS membership is free. For more information on how to become an APS member, please see APS Membership FAQs. To join (online or by mail), see APS Membership. If you are already an APS member, you can join the Forum on Education for free here.
  • Financial need. Applicants should briefly describe how this support will impact personal circumstances and/or professional goals. Preference will be given to applications that describe professional goals that align with education efforts, and whose efforts have been directly derailed by the global pandemic. While we leave disclosures of a personal nature up to the discretion of the applicant, we encourage the applicant to describe how the funds may be used immediately to pursue their goals or to help mitigate lost support or opportunities. 
  • Additional considerations.  Extra consideration will be given to applicants who may not have access to other types of grant or research support. These include, but are not limited to: undergraduate students, graduate students, adjunct faculty, and instructors at community colleges. In addition, we strongly encourage those with marginalized identities to apply.

To apply for a personal FEd mini-grant, please submit a description for each of the following items:

1)    What will this mini-grant enable you to do or accomplish? (Financial need criterion)

2)    What else would you like the selection committee to know about your circumstances? (Additional considerations criterion)

The entire description should not exceed 1,000 words. These descriptions must be uploaded in PDF format. Please submit one file per applicant. 

There are no reporting requirements for this strand of mini-grants. 

Applications currently closed 

Project Mini-Grants

Project mini-grants are designed for individuals or groups who are working on projects and/or developing resources that may be deployed to support physics education more broadly in these challenging times. Applications that support students and materials directly associated with their work will be prioritized. Project mini-grants have a maximum of $3,500 per award. Partial funding may be more likely than full. Total funding available: ~$18,000.

Selection criteria for the project mini-grants include the following: 

  • Membership in APS Forum on Education (FEd). Applicants should be members of the FEd by the application deadline. APS members can join the Forum at no additional cost. For students (undergraduate and graduate), the first year of APS membership is free. For more information on how to become an APS member, please see APS Membership FAQs. To join (online or by mail), see APS Membership. If you are already an APS member, you can join the Forum on Education for free here.
  • Timeliness. All projects should be ready to execute in a reasonable timeframe if funded. Specifically, projects with an end goal or deliverable within the next six to nine months will be prioritized. The extent to which funds could immediately be used will be a consideration. These are emergency funds and are not meant to seed research projects; we will deprioritize those applications where the project has yet to materialize. 
  • Broader impact. For projects, applicants should demonstrate how this support will impact the broader physics education community. Preference will be given to projects directly related to the improvement of physics education, and those which seek to improve education impacted by COVID. Extra consideration will be given to those projects which seek to support students/groups that are traditionally marginalized in physics. Applicants should describe the immediate effects these funds could provide.
  • Additional considerations.  Extra consideration will be given to applicants who may not have access to other types of grant or research support. These include, but are not limited to: undergraduate students, graduate students, adjunct faculty, and instructors at community colleges. In addition, we strongly encourage those with marginalized identities to apply.

Project mini-grants will be funded by disbursing funds to the individual creating the application, not to institutions. Please make sure you consider this in your budgetary decisions.

To apply for a FEd project mini-grant, you will be required to submit a description for each of the following items:

1)    Budget and corresponding justification of the budget. (Budget examples). 

2)    What will this mini-grant enable you to do, and on what timescale? (Timeliness criterion).

3)    What is the larger impact of your work or project? (Broader impact criterion).

4)    What else would you like the selection committee to know about your project? (Additional consideration criterion)

The entire description, including the budget, should not exceed 2 word-processed pages.  These descriptions must be uploaded in PDF format. Please submit only one file per proposal.  

The name, title, and affiliation of project awardees will be published on the FEd website. There are no other reporting requirements. However, we will appreciate updates about the broader impacts of your work. 

Applications currently closed

Deadlines

The first due date for all applications is Feb. 28, 2021, at 11:59 PM PST. The second due date for all applications is May 2, 2021, at 11:59 PM PDT. We will continue to disburse mini-grants until the allocated funding runs out.

We are committed to supporting as many of our FEd members as possible. Due to the anticipated response, it is likely that many applications will be partially funded.

We will update applicants as events warrant.

More Award Information

If your application is awarded, you will receive an email from the Secretary-Treasurer of your award with instructions on how to fill out a payment request form and a citizenship-appropriate tax form. 

Awarded grants will be approved by the Secretary/Treasurer of FEd before proceeding with the payments. The Secretary-Treasurer will send awardees a W-9 or W-8BEN to submit to APS Accounts Payable. The W-9 is for U.S. citizens and provides information to the IRS about this award. The W-8BEN is for non-U.S. citizens and is a certification to APS that a foreign person is not subject to U.S. taxation.

Travel and other grants are taxable to the recipient and they will receive a 1099 if the total receipts within a calendar year are greater than $600. 

The awardee submits these forms to APS Accounts Payable and they receive a check or direct deposit, according to their preference. 

Please contact Laura Ríos if you have any questions (include in the subject line: FEd mini-grant).