From the GPER Chair

By: Mila Kryjevskaia (GPER Chair)

From_the_GPER_Chair.jpegDear GPER members,

This year, GPER has focused on a few initiatives aimed at further integration of PER into the APS community, supporting our current members, and encouraging others from the broader physics and PER communities to join our topical group.

GPER has been working on increasing PER presence at the APS April meeting. In 2023, the APS April meeting will take place in Minneapolis, MN, April 15-18. In addition to the regular scientific program, we plan to organize focused discussion sessions, social and networking events, and workshops. You are also invited to attend the GPER business meeting and provide feedback on the GPER-led initiatives and priorities. Everyone is welcome! We are particularly enthusiastic about meeting new GPER members and early career folks.

Our membership is strong, with a robust representation of students and early career researchers. To support our members and further grow our community, we have undertaken several endeavors to promote careers in PER. For instance, a newly created page on the GPER website contains numerous resources on pursuing pathways in PER. We also participated in the virtual APS career fair to promote PER as a pathway into graduate school. In collaboration with APS, we integrated PER into APS career resources. In addition, three PER members will be highlighted on the APS career profiles page. Stay tuned!

This year, we made some changes to the Mini-Grants program to better serve our community. We clarified the grant application information and revised the review process to make it more transparent, equitable, and accountable.

The GPER has also been engaged with the community to explore several other initiatives. For example, we are considering establishing a PER Early Career Award. In addition, we are collaborating with the Phys Rev PER journal on creating a venue for targeted discussions on PER-related topics (e.g., the Online PER Journal club).

To boost PER presence at the APS further, GPER has run a membership campaign. The support of GPER members like you is critical for our success. We thank you all for renewing your memberships and for encouraging your students and mentees to do the same.

Last but not least, I want to recognize and acknowledge the contributions of the GPER Executive committee members. The vitality of our community hinges on the dedication of those willing to serve it. Special thanks to the outgoing GPER Executive committee members: Leslie Atkins served a 4-year term in the chair line; Stephanie Chasteen served a 3-year term as secretary/treasurer; Alexis Knaub served a 2-year term as a member-at-large; and Phoebe Sharp served a 3-year term as a PERCoGS representative. As an outgoing GPER committee chair, I can only say that serving our community has been a humbling, rewarding, and transformative experience. I hope that many of you will also consider serving when the opportunity arises.

I am proud of what we have collectively accomplished this year. I look forward to seeing our ongoing initiatives come to life and better serve our community.

I wish you all a productive end of the semester and a restful winter break.

See you next year in Minneapolis, April 15-18.

Mila Kryjevskaia
GPER Executive committee chair.

Welcome to new officers Holmes, Zwickl, Kuo, Gutmann, and El-Adawy!

By: Leslie Atkins (GPER Past Chair)

Due to the cyclical nature of GPER positions and changes in our by-laws, GPER is welcoming a record five new members to the executive committee in 2023. Dr. Natasha Holmes from Cornell University will be serving as Vice Chair; Dr. Benjamin Zwickl from Rochester Institute of Technology is our incoming Secretary/Treasurer; Dr. Eric Kuo from the University of Illinois will be the Member-at-Large; Dr. Brianne Gutmann from
San José State University will be the Early Career Member-at-Large; and Shams El-Adawy from Kansas State University will serve as the Graduate Student Member-at-Large.

From left to right: Dr. Holmes, Dr. Zwickl, Dr. Kuo, Dr. Gutmann, & Ms. El-Adawy.

From left to right: Dr. Holmes, Dr. Zwickl, Dr. Kuo, Dr. Gutmann, & Ms. El-Adawy.


Our election, which is open to all 686 GPER members, saw 146 voting members participate (21.28%).

Announcing GPER’s 2022 Fellow: Dr. Danny Caballero

By: Jackie Chini and Mila Kryjevskaia (GPER Vice Chair and Chair)

Each year, the American Physical Society awards Fellowship to no more than 0.5% of non-student members. The Topical Group on Physics Education Research (GPER) is proud to announce our 2022 APS Fellow, Marcos “Danny” Caballero of Michigan State University, “for foundational research and development on the roles of computation in physics education and contributions to research on undergraduate and graduate education in physics“. Browse all APS Fellows and their full citations here (filter by the nominating unit of GPER to see only GPER Fellows).

GPER at the 2023 APS April Meeting

By: Mila Kryjevskia (GPER Chair) and Jennifer Blue (GPER Chair-Elect)


This year, the APS April meeting will be held in Minneapolis, MN, April 15-18, 2023. The virtual component of the meeting will take place the following week, April 24-26.  We encourage you to submit an abstract for a contributed presentation. Abstract submissions open on November 16, and the deadline to submit abstracts for contributed sessions will be January 9, 2023.

We are excited to announce that GPER is organizing an invited session on research about physics laboratories. Our wonderful speakers will be Rachel Henderson, from Michigan State University; Antti Lehtinen, from the University of Jyvälskylä; and Heather Lewandowski, from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

In addition to the scientific program, APS members are invited to attend many social and networking events.  For example, at a reception organized by the APS Program in Education, we will celebrate new APS Fellow, Dr. Marcos “Danny” Caballero from Michigan State University, who was honored with this recognition through GPER.  

We also invite all members to attend the GPER business meeting.  Everyone is welcome! We are looking forward to discussions about how GPER can support its members better. Specific dates and times for these events will be announced at a later date.

We look forward to seeing many of you in Minneapolis!

PER Career Options: GPER Collaborates with APS Careers

By: Stephanie Chasteen (GPER Secretary/Treasurer)

GPER has an incredibly strong student membership so we wanted to make sure we were giving them information that they need, and embarked on a series of initiatives to promote PER careers.

Below are the resources that have been created or are forthcoming:

  • GPER page on PER Careers. This new page has a wealth of information on pursuing career pathways in PER, including lists of physics programs, links to articles about PER careers, and links to profiles of those in PER. We also fixed an error in the APS job board listings on this page so that (mostly) education related jobs are listed.
  • GPER at virtual grad school fair. GPER participated in the APS virtual career fair to highlight PER as a graduate pathway to undergraduate majors. 
  • PER within APS Careers pages. GPER has recommended modifications to the APS Job Prospects pages to better integrate PER into that career information. We particularly thank GPER members Eric Kuo, Mark Eichenlaub, Ramon Bathelemy, Tor Ole Bigton Odden, Alice Olmstead, Alexis Knaub, Natasha Holmes, and Drew Isola for their feedback and work on these pages.
  • PER profiles. GPER has written profiles of three physicists with backgrounds in PER -- Cody Gette, Erin Scanlon, and Gina Passante -- to be added to the APS Careers Physicists Profiles page.

GPER appreciates APS Careers’ partnership with us; keep your eye out for these PER-related updates on their pages!

Welcome to New GPER Members! Please Help Us Continue to Grow.

By: Stephanie Chasteen (GPER Secretary/Treasurer)

Having a strong GPER community helps to ensure the strength of PER as a discipline. We can help advance PER as a sub-discipline of physics within APS and give a voice and visibility for PER within physics. GPER also supports the PER community.  To further bolster our numbers, GPER experimented with a membership campaign, encouraging lapsed members to join and offering free membership to students and lapsed students, AAPT-PERTG members, and accepted PRPER authors, and encouraging lapsed regular members, and members of FEd to join. We also encouraged members of the PER Consortium of Graduate Students (PERCoGS) to join GPER, as we found only 9 PERCoGS members were members of GPER. The campaign resulted in 147 new members (including 89 students) for a historic record of 716 GPER members. Wow!

 Here is what you can do:

  • Encourage your students to join GPER and PERCoGS.
  • Continue to renew your GPER membership.

Please see more information about benefits of GPER membership here.

GPER Mini-Grants Program: Changes afoot

By: Alexis Knaub and Alice Olmstead (GPER Members-at-Large)

GPER members have the opportunity to apply for mini-grants, which provide modest financial support. There are three strands:

  • Strand 1: Conference Support strand  ($2000 budget, average award $1000). This strand “supports the proposer’s commitments to a conference to share physics education research findings with the physics community (e.g., travel, registration costs, workshop costs, poster printing, etc.).” Individual researchers apply so that they can attend conferences to share their PER work.
  • Strand 2: Emergency Support strand ($2000 budget, max award $1000). This strand is to “support individual members who are facing unanticipated financial challenges.” Our guidelines for what qualifies as an emergency are based on the APS National Mentoring Community (NMC) Bringing Emergency Aid to Mentees (BEAM) Fund guidelines.
  • Strand 3: Conference Organizer strand ($700 budget). This strand’s purpose is “to support successful organization of PER-focused conferences, and the development of early-career PER researchers at such conferences.” The intent is to help conference and session organizers defray the costs with these endeavors.

This year we made some changes to the Mini-Grants program to better serve the GPER membership. The descriptions above are somewhat different from the past, as we edited the text for each strand to provide clarity and streamline the information. Requests through the Emergency Support grants strand will be reviewed on the 15th of each month so that members with emergencies may receive assistance in a timely manner. We also revised the review process for emergency requests to be more transparent and objective, modeling it after procedures from the Access Network. Lastly, we are revising the review process of the Conference Support and Conference Organizer strands to be more equitable and accountable to the membership. 

The Mini-Grants Committee is chaired by Alexis V. Knaub (AAPT, senior GPER Member-at-Large). Alice Olmstead (Texas State, junior GPER Member-at-Large), Emily Alicea-Muñoz (Georgia Tech), Vini Desal (Tufts), and Jon Gaffney (Utica) are generously serving on this committee. They are working on the review process and will be reviewing applications. Aexis and Alice thank them profusely for working on this effort.

Applications for the Conference Support and Conference Organizer strands are due November 15, 2022 at 11:59 PM PT. Applications for the Emergency Support strand are due the 15th of each month at 11:59 PM PT. We look forward to reviewing the applications. More information on the mini-grants is available here.

GPER Budget

By: Stephanie Chasteen (GPER Secretary/Treasurer)

GPER income is typically about $3500, primarily from membership dues and some revenue from the APS April meeting and investment income. 

  • Income YTD: $3670
  • Expenses YTD: $700 
  • Current assets: $15,524

We have more assets than expected due to the 2022 travel awardees not using the awarded funds, and a lack of applications to GPER mini grants. The only expense this year is $700 to Physical Review Physics Education Research (typically helping to defray page charges for those in need). We have funds reserved for 2023 for travel grants, conference organizer grants, and personal grants. 

Coming in 2023– Physics Education Research Online Journal Club!

By Jackie Chini (GPER Vice Chair)

GPER and PRPER are partnering to launch the Physics Education Research Online Journal Club in 2023. We envision selecting a diverse range of articles to highlight for community discussion. Jackie Chini is representing GPER for this initiative. Charles Henderson, Paula Heron, Debbie Brodbar are representing PRPER. This team selected past PRPER Editorial Board Members to fill out the inaugural Planning Committee. We thank them for their service!

Stay tuned to your GPER Engage Announcements for details by the end of the year!

Physical Review Physics Education Research (PRPER) Journal Update

By: Charles Henderson, Editor, Physical Review Physics Education Research 

Journal Staff and Editorial Board


  • Charles Henderson, Editor
  • Saalih Allie, Associate Editor
  • Paula Heron, Associate Editor
  • Debbie Brodbar, Journal Manager
  • Maria Poko, Senior Editorial Assistant

Editorial board

  • Term ending 31 Dec 2022
    • Andy Elby, University of Maryland, USA
    • Danielle Harlow, University of California Santa Barbara, USA
    • Maja Planinic, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • Term ending 31 May 2024
    • Zahra Hazari, STEM Transformation Institute, USA
    • Ana Susac, University of Zagreb, Croatia
    • Guangtian Zhu, East China Normal University, China

Introducing the PRPER Statistical Modeling Review Committee (SMRC)

Many papers published in Physical Review Physics Education Research (PRPER) use statistical modeling techniques, such as Structural Equation Modeling and Network Analysis. These techniques are constantly evolving and becoming familiar with the appropriate use of these techniques is a significant burden on reviewers. 

PRPER has developed the Statistical Modeling Review Committee (SMRC) to help support high quality statistical modeling techniques. This group is made up of PER researchers who have expertise in advanced statistical methods. The group will also reach out to other experts outside of PER as needed.

Tim Stelzer, University of Illinois, has agreed to be the inaugural chair of this committee. Additional details about SMRC are still being finalized and will be announced in the coming months.

Submissions and Acceptance rate 

202 articles were submitted to the journal in 2021, and the acceptance rate was 39% (3-year average). The mean time from submission to acceptance for manuscripts submitted in 2021 was 142 days, which tied 2020 for the shortest times in journal history.

Impact Factor

The average impact factor for the last three years is 2.137. The 2021 impact factor was 2.412 (2nd highest ever for the journal). This is relatively strong for an education research journal. 

PRPER Coverage in Physics

Four PRPER articles were covered in Physics, a free, online magazine from the American Physical Society. Physics reports on papers from the Physical Review journals, focusing on results that will change the course of research, inspire a new way of thinking, or spark curiosity.

  1. March 28, 2022, Physics 15, 44. Coverage of “LGBT+ physicists: Harassment, persistence, and uneven support,” by Ramón S. Barthelemy, Madison Swirtz, Savannah Garmon, Elizabeth H. Simmons, Kyle Reeves, Michael L. Falk, Wouter Deconinck, Elena A. Long, and Timothy J. Atherton, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18, 010124 (2022).
  2. May 31, 2022, Physics 15, 78. Coverage of “Not feeling recognized as a physics person by instructors and teaching assistants is correlated with female students’ lower grades,” by Sonja Cwik and Chandralekha Singh, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18, 010138 (2022), and “Students’ sense of belonging in introductory physics course for bioscience majors predicts their grade,” by Sonja Cwik and Chandralekha Singh, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18, 010139 (2022).
  3. July 21, 2022, Physics 15, s94. Coverage of “How mixed reality shifts visual attention and success in experimental problem solving,” by Dörte Sonntag and Oliver Bodensiek, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18, 023101 (2022).

Focused Collections

Focused collections are a PRPER initiative announced late in 2012. A focused collection is a set of articles on a particular topic of interest to the PER community. All articles are peer reviewed through the normal refereeing procedure. Focused collections serve to consolidate the PER knowledge about a particular topic in a single place, thus making these collections a useful resource for researchers both within PER and outside of PER.Two new collections were announced in 2021 and are actively soliciting papers in 2022.


In August 2021, PRPER announced a call for paper proposals for Focused Collection 7: Qualitative Methods in Physics Education Research (PER), A Critical Examination. 500-word proposals for full papers were due by November 15, 2021 to the guest editors, Alexis Knaub, Katemari Rosa, and Rámon Barthelemy. Completed draft manuscripts are due January 31, 2023.


In November 2021, PRPER announced a call for paper proposals for Focused Collection 8: Instructional Labs: Improving Traditions and New Directions. 500-word proposals for full papers were due by February 1, 2022 to the guest editors, Eugenia Etkina, Gorazd Planinsic, and Benjamin Zwickl. Completed draft manuscripts are due May 1, 2023.