APS GPER Request for Proposals

The American Physical Society Physics Education Research Topical Group Executive Committee (GPER EC) invites applications for GPER grants that support the GPER goal of advancing and diffusing knowledge concerning the learning and teaching of physics; increase the profile of PER in APS; and increase membership in GPER. Support is available for travel and infrastructure/growth.

Proposal Strands
Note: How funds are distributed across strands is at the discretion of the GPER Executive Committee; there is no guarantee of a certain amount of funding to each strand. If all grants in one strand are found to be stronger than those in another, one strand may be funded ahead of another.

Travel grants (proposer)
This strand is intended to support the proposer’s travel to an APS conference to present PER work. Partial support is more likely than full support; grants are capped at $500 in this strand. Preference is given to junior or isolated members of the community including postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates, and to APS members presenting a PER talk who have not previously presented in a PER session at an APS meeting. If you submit to this strand, you must be the traveler; you may not submit to this strand on behalf of someone else. Proposals must state whether the talk/poster/etc. is invited or contributed. Note: Proposals in this strand are limited to one page.

Travel grants (APS conference participants and session organizing)
This strand supports those who wish to use GPER funds to defray the costs for other people to attend APS conferences; grants are capped at $1000 in this strand. Funds may be used to provide discount registration to graduate students or registrants of limited means, bring in invited speakers, fund conference activities, or similar; the proposer should not personally financially benefit from these grants. Emphasis is placed on supporting travel that benefits GPER/APS in ways such as those listed below.

Travel grants (conference organizer)
This strand supports those who wish to use GPER funds to defray the costs for non-APS conferences; grants are capped at $2000 in this strand with lower requests more likely to be funded. The proposal must result in APS GPER membership growth. Funds may be used to provide discount registration to graduate students or registrants of limited means, bring in invited speakers, fund conference activities, or similar; the proposer should not personally financially benefit from these grants. Emphasis is placed on conferences that benefit GPER/APS in ways such as those listed below.

Infrastructure and growth grants
This strand supports other activities that will raise the profile of GPER, or PER in APS, or are broadly useful or interesting to the PER community; grants are capped at $1000 in this strand. For example, projects might conduct a market study of current members and prospects to develop an outreach campaign, or provide a site visit and consulting to a department considering a first PER hire. Proposers are invited to be creative in this strand and should discuss their ideas with a GPER Executive Committee member before submitting a proposal as described above. Making the case for how the proposed activity will benefit GPER/APS is particularly important for this strand. Note: For this strand, a timeline or set of milestones is requested.

Reporting requirements for all strands
Awardees are required to submit a one-page activities report on the completion of the funded activities. Spending of all funds should normally be completed within one year of 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.

Instructions for proposals

  • Proposals are due by 5 PM Eastern on October 6, 2017. Funding decisions will be shared in early December.
  • Proposals must be in PDF format, one PDF per proposal, with the last name of the proposer in the title of the file.
  • Proposals should be submitted using this form with the subject line "GPER grant proposal".
  • Proposals should be not more than two pages long. Brevity and clarity are deeply appreciated.
  • Only APS GPER members in good standing are eligible to apply for grants.
  • Before submitting a proposal to the infrastructure/growth strand, proposers should discuss their idea with a member of the GPER Executive Committee, including sending a 1-2 paragraph summary of the idea, and receive approval to move forward with an application.
  • Proposals must include:
    • The name(s), institutional affiliation(s), current position(s), and email address(es) for all project PIs. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-docs must include their advisor's name.
    • A title for the project.
    • The name of the strand (see below) to which you are submitting.
    • A 150-word abstract that will be posted on the GPER website if your project is funded.
    • Motivation: Why is this project/travel important to you and to the community? Include a specific discussion of why this is relevant and beneficial to the GPER/APS community. Examples of types of benefits are listed below.
    • Plan: What do you want to do? With whom? When? For how long?
    • Budget: How much money are you requesting? What will you spend it on?
    • Need: What other sources of funding are available to this project/travel?
    • Some strands may require additional parts; see above.

Review process

The Grants Chair receives all grants, checks them for compliance with the RFP, and sorts into bins by strand. The Solicitations 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.

Review criteria:

  • Clear alignment of the travel/project with the mission of GPER and/or APS
  • Benefit to GPER and/or APS (important in all, particularly critical in the infrastructure/growth strand)
  • Supporting early-career members of the community (graduate students, postdocs, new faculty)

Examples of types of benefits to GPER/APS

  • Expanding APS and GPER membership
  • 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)
  • Increasing GPER presence at relevant multidisciplinary conferences

Accounting and Tax Information
Awarded grants will be approved by the Secretary/Treasurer of GPER before proceeding with the payments. Either a completed W-9 or W-8BEN from each of the recipients must be submitted to the Secretary/Treasurer to forward to APS before any payment can be made. The W-9 provides the social security number and address where the IRS can find the individual.

Travel and other grants are taxable to the recipient and they will receive a 1099 if the total receipts within a calendar year are greater than $600. The W-8BEN is a certification to APS that a foreign person is not subject to U.S. taxation. This form has the address where the IRS can find the individual. Both forms can be found online.