APS News

For some APS Prizes and Awards, Competition Cuts Across Fields'

Many APS prizes and awards are given for contributions to specific areas of physics research, but a few are open to all fields of physics across the board. "While these include some of the most prestigious prizes that the APS awards, they are usually not publicized by individual units and so it's probably a good idea to remind our members about them in case they know of someone who deserves to be nominated" said Alan Chodos, APS Associate Executive Officer.

Leading this list is the George E. Valley Prize, which, with a stipend of $20,000, carries the largest monetary award of any APS prize. Founded with a bequest from the estate of George E. Valley, Jr., it is given every other year, and will be awarded for the second time in 2003. Its purpose is "to recognize one individual, under age 30, for his or her outstanding scientific contribution to the knowledge of physics." To be eligible, a candidate must turn 30 no earlier than April 1, 2003.

Another prize open to all fields is the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize, which carries a stipend of $10,000 and which "shall be awarded for outstanding contributions to physics by a single individual who also has exceptional skills in lecturing to diverse audiences." Last year a special canvassing committee solicited nominations for the Lilienfeld Prize with considerable success, but additional nominations are being sought this year as well to keep the pool strong and up-to-date.

The descriptively named Prize to a Faculty Member for Research in an Undergraduate Institution needs little further explanation. It is given for research in any field of physics performed at a non-PhD granting institution, and typically rewards a program of research that involves not only the faculty member but undergraduates as well. Both the faculty member and his or her institution receive stipends of $5000.

The LeRoy Apker Award was established in 1978 and is given for outstanding research by an undergraduate. Typically two awards are given each year in parallel competitions, one for research done at a PhD-granting institution, and one for research at a college or university that does not grant the PhD degree in physics. From the pool of nominees, six finalists are chosen, three in each category. The finalists each receive $2000 and their institutions $1000. The two recipients each receive $5000, and their respective institutions also are awarded $5000 to be used to support undergraduate research.

Other APS awards open to research in any field of physics include the Edward A. Bouchet Award which is given to recognize "a distinguished minority physicist who has made significant contributions to physics research" and is sponsored by a grant from the Research Corporation; and the Maria Goeppert- Mayer Award, which is given "to recognize and enhance outstanding achievement by a woman physicist in the early years of her career" and is supported by the GE Fund. Both these awards include a program in which the recipient travels to a number of institutions to present lectures on research and also to serve as a role model for the students who may be considering physics as a career


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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette