Prizes and Awards

GPER Mini-Grants: Conference Support 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. The Mini-Grants are divided into two strands – Conference Support for the Physics Education Community (Strand 1) and Personal Support (Strand 2). Historically, the GPER Mini-Grants have provided travel support for physics education researchers. Additionally, we’re continuing a special second strand for personal support, in response to the multiple crises that present numerous personal, professional, and educational challenges. The details of each of these strands can be found below.

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Application Deadline: Friday, October 22, 2021

Please contact Rachel Henderson if you have any questions regarding the GPER Mini-Grants process and/or application. 

Strand 1 - Conference Support for the Physics Education Community

This strand supports the proposer’s commitments to a conference to present on physics education research to the physics community (i.e. travel, registration costs, workshop costs, poster printing, etc.). All conferences will be considered; however, the 2022 APS April conference will be prioritized. Partial support is more likely than full support. Conference support grants are capped at $1000 in this strand. Preference is given to members of the APS community who have limited conference resources. 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 two pages and must state whether the presentation is invited or contributed.

Total funding available: $2,000
Average award: $1000

To facilitate making award decisions, we ask that Strand 1 proposals include the following:

  • A maximum 4-page CV. Please include 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 as well as if you’ve received prior support from GPER.
  • A maximum 2-page statement of purpose. This includes:
    • The title and authors for the presentation.
    • A 150-word abstract that will be posted on the GPER website if your project is funded.
    • Motivation: Why is this funding 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 Criteria.”
    • Budget: How much money are you requesting? What will you spend it on? (Budget Examples)

Strand 2 - Personal Mini-Grants

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: $4,000
Average award: $750 - $1,000

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. When applicable, please provide if you’ve received prior support from GPER.
  • 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).
  • Budget: How much money are you requesting? (Budget examples).

Instructions for Proposals

  • Strand 1: Only current APS GPER members in good standing at the time of submission may submit proposals. Strand 2: Membership in GPER is not required, but active participation in physics education research is an expectation.
  • Proposals are due by 11:59 PM Pacific time on Friday, October 22, 2021. Funding decisions will be shared by mid-November.
  • 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 Conference Mini-grant proposal” or "GPER Personal Mini-grant proposal."
  • Proposals must not exceed two pages. Brevity and clarity are appreciated.

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 meet 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. Please note that all current and future GPER Executive Committee members will have access to applications.

Review Criteria

Strand 1: Conference Support for the Physics Education Community

  • 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. For travel grants, submission of receipts will be required prior to reimbursement of funds. Each recipient will be required to submit either a completed W-9 or W-8BEN. The W-8BEN is a certification to APS that a foreign person is not subject to U.S. taxation.

Direct grants are taxable to the recipient and they will receive a 1099 if the total receipts within a calendar year are greater than $600. Travel reimbursements are not subject to taxation.

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.