Honors

Prizes and Awards

GPER Mini-Grants: Early Career and Personal Support

The American Physical Society Physics Education Research Topical Group (GPER) is committed to supporting APS members who advance and enrich research in physics education. Historically, the GPER Mini Grants have provided travel support for early career researchers. In 2020 we’ve created a special second strand for personal support regardless of career stage, in response to the multiple crises that present numerous personal, professional, and educational challenges.

Apply Here

If you have any questions regarding the travel mini-grants, please contact Rachel Henderson. If you have any questions regarding the personal mini-grants, please contact Leslie Atkins Elliott.

Strand 1 - Conference Support for Early Career Researchers

Application Deadline: January 4, 2021

This strand supports the proposer’s conference costs for the 2021 APS April Meeting to present PER work. Partial support is more likely than full support. Although the APS April Meeting will be held virtually, the funding from this strand could be used toward other conference costs such as registration, childcare, etc. Grants are capped at $700 in this strand. Preference is given to early-career members of the AAPT and APS community including senior and recent graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and other early-career members such as pre-tenure track faculty, instructors, lecturers, as well as visiting and adjunct teaching faculty. Researchers presenting a PER talk who have not previously presented in a PER session at an APS meeting will be given priority. Proposals are limited to one page and must state whether the presentation is invited or contributed.

Total funding available: $1,400. Average award: $700.

Strand 2 - Personal Mini-Grants

Application Deadline: January 4, 2021

This strand is designed to support individual members who are facing unanticipated financial challenges (e.g., loss of graduate student support due to budget reductions; lack of affordable childcare due to school closures; bereavement travel expenses). Personal mini-grants have a maximum of $1,000 per award.

Total funding available: $5,000. Average award: $750 - $1,000.

Instructions for Proposals

  • Proposals are due by 11:59 PM Pacific time on Monday, January 4th. Funding decisions will be shared shortly thereafter and prior to the APS April meeting abstract deadline.
  • Proposals must be submitted in PDF format, one PDF per proposal, with the last name of the proposer in the name of the file as well as in the text of the document.
  • Proposals should be submitted using this form with the subject line of either “GPER Travel Mini-grant proposal” or "GPER Personal Mini-grant proposal."
  • Proposals must not exceed one page. Brevity and clarity are appreciated.

Strand 1 Proposals:

Only current APS GPER members in good standing at the time of the April meeting 2021 may submit proposals. To facilitate making award decisions, we ask that Strand 1 proposals include the following:

  • Applicant information: The name(s), institutional affiliation(s), current position(s), and email address(es) for all project PIs. When applicable, please provide an advisor’s name and affiliation.
  • A title for the presentation.
  • A 150-word abstract that will be posted on the GPER website if your project is funded.
  • Motivation: Why is this travel important?
    • State as specifically as possible how this funding will directly benefit you.
    • Include a specific discussion of why this is relevant and beneficial to the GPER/APS community. Examples of types of benefits are listed under “Review Process.
    • Budget: How much money are you requesting? What will you spend it on? (Budget examples).

Strand 2 Proposals

Membership in GPER is not required, but active participation in physics education research is an expectation. To facilitate making award decisions, we ask that Strand 2 proposals include the following:

  • Applicant information: The name, institutional affiliation, current position, and email address of the applicant.
  • Relationship to physics education research: If you are not an active member of GPER, describe your relationship to research in physics education.
  • Discussion of financial need: All applications should describe the need for requested funds and how this support will impact personal circumstances and/or professional goals. 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 (e.g., mitigate the requester’s rescinded TA support, or to fund childcare during school closures).

Review Process

The Mini-grant Chair receives all grants, checks them for compliance with the RFP, and sorts into bins by strand. The Mini-grant Sub-Committee members read all grants and rank them in a shared spreadsheet, then meets as a committee to come to consensus on a recommendation for how to apportion funds. The recommendation is presented to the Executive Committee as a whole for their approval. The Grants Chair notifies all applicants of the outcomes.

Review Criteria

Strand 1: Travel Support for Early Career Researchers

  • Supporting members of the physics education research community
  • Supporting researchers from minority-serving institutions
  • Clear alignment of the travel with the mission of GPER and/or APS
  • Benefit to GPER and/or APS. For example,
    • Expanding APS and GPER membership, such as through connecting APS/GPER members with non-members
    • Raising the public profile of APS and/or GPER within physics departments, universities/colleges, or other professional societies
    • Connecting GPER members to experts in nearby disciplines (other branches of DBER, educational psychology, cognitive science, organizational behavior)

Strand 2: Personal Mini-Grants

  • Supporting members of the physics education research community
  • Financial need related to current crises (including, but not limited to, COVID-19 as well as racially biased violence and threats of violence against people of color)
  • Extra consideration will be given to applicants who may not have access to other types of institutional 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.

Reporting Requirements

For travel awards (Strand 1), awardees are required to submit a one-page activities report on the completion of the funded activities. For personal awards (Strand 2), there are no reporting requirements for this grant program. Spending of all funds should normally be completed within one year after the approval of the proposal; extensions should be requested in writing to gper-proposals@aps.org no less than three months before the normal deadline.

Accounting and Tax Information

Awarded grants will be approved by the Secretary/Treasurer of GPER before proceeding with the payments. Either a completed W-9 or W-8BEN from each of the recipients must be submitted to the Secretary/Treasurer to forward to APS before any payment can be made. The W-9 provides the social security number and address where the IRS can find the individual.

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 W-8BEN is a certification to APS that a foreign person is not subject to U.S. taxation. This form has the address where the IRS can find the individual. Both forms can be found online.


Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.