Travel Grants FAQ
The APS Committee on Minorities in Physics (COM) is pleased to sponsor the Travel Grants for Minority Speakers Program. This program is intended to increase the recognition of underrepresented minority physicists by expanding the opportunity for physics departments to invite minority colloquium speakers. These presentations raise awareness of the accomplishments of minority physicists, and the minority speakers can serve as role models for minority students and faculty.
- What is the Travel Grants for Minority Speakers Program?
The Travel Grants for Minority Speakers Program provides a reimbursement of up to $500 to colleges and universities for the travel expenses of one minority colloquium speaker these institutions host during a single academic year.
- Who is eligible to apply for Travel Grants?
Eligibility extends to physics departments of American colleges and universities. Canadian and Mexican colleges & universities are also eligible to apply, provided that the speakers they invite are currently employed by U.S. institutions. Application should be made by host institutions, not by the speakers themselves.
- What are the guidelines?
The host institution must obtain pre-approval from APS for the minority speaker and must schedule the speaker's presentation before the end of the academic year in order to qualify for a Travel Grant.
- What minority physicists qualify as speakers under the Travel Grants for Minority Speakers Program?
Any physicist who is African-American, Native American or Hispanic is eligible. The COM maintains a Minority Speakers List, but please note that eligible speakers are not limited to this list. Speakers may not be faculty members of the host institution, and must currently be in the U.S.
- What if the speaker we choose is already speaking this year in the program?
One of the main goals of this program is to encourage a large number of different minority speakers. Therefore, institutions may be asked to select an alternate speaker if their first choice speaker is already giving several talks that year within the program.
- What factors are considered in Travel Grant approval?
In case of oversubscription to the program, preference will be given to institutions with greater need, or to speakers who may reap greater benefits from the particular engagements. Please note that funding for the Travel Grants for Minority Speakers Program is limited, and institutions are encouraged to apply early in the academic year, even if the speaker is not scheduled until the spring semester.
- How does an institution apply for a Travel Grant?
The application must be submitted with the following information: name and contact information for the invited minority speaker, actual or projected date of his/her talk, and tentative talk title. If institution does not receive a response from APS within two weeks, institution should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to check status of application.
- What expenses qualify for reimbursement?
Reimbursement is for travel expenses only. Honoraria, unreasonable meal expenses or other extraneous expenses will not be reimbursed.
- What documentation is required?
Institutions should not submit receipts until their Travel Grants for Minority Speakers Application Form has been approved and the colloquium has been completed. Original receipts should accompany the APS Travel and Expense Report Form, which will be sent to all approved applicants. If original receipts are not available, copies of the original with any corresponding paperwork should be submitted along with a short memo explaining that the university has already reimbursed the speaker and must retain the receipts. A mileage allowance applies to travel by car. A completed APS Travel and Expense Report Form is required for payment.
- To whom is payment made?
Payment will be made to the host institution in reimbursement for payment to the speaker or to the speaker directly. Please note that it takes approximately three weeks to process reimbursement requests.
- When is payment made?
Payment will be made after the speaker's presentation has taken place, and documentation as listed above has been submitted.
- What if we are approved for a grant and the speaker cancels?
If a speaker should cancel, please notify the APS immediately. We can provide assistance in finding a replacement speaker. If no replacement can be found, we can reassign your grant to an institution on our waiting list.