APS News

New Policy Makes APS Membership Easier in Developing Countries

By Calla Cofield

Physicists in developing or hard-currency-poor countries who cannot afford regular APS membership fees can now qualify for four years of dues-free membership through the APS Matching Membership Program.

To ensure that this opportunity is utilized by those who need it, APS is encouraging its current members to spread the word about the program to their colleagues in qualifying nations.

The Matching Membership Program previously offered two categories of reduced-cost membership.  However, surveys found that many participating physicists still struggled to pay this amount.  Now, the “fund” category will offer four years of free membership, and the “sponsor” category will continue to offer half-price membership for six years to those physicists who have an individual or institution who will sponsor them and provide payment.  

As of 2008, there are only 25 physicists taking advantage of the Matching Membership Program, which has not been actively promoted for many years. The Matching Membership Program began in 1983 as a way to make membership accessible to physicists in developing countries. By 1995, the program had 450 participants, many of whom were living in the former Soviet Union.  

APS Director of International Affairs Amy Flatten hopes that participation numbers will rise with the installment of the new program, but she emphasizes that physicists need to be made aware of the opportunity.  Read more about the Matching Members Program.

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