APS Innovation Fund

The APS Innovation Fund advances collaborative projects in physics. Reimagined in 2024, the fund lifts up topics and themes of specific pertinence, providing pilot or supplemental funding for innovative projects that can be scaled across to the scientific community. The funding activity also includes innovation best practices support and an impact evaluation period.

The 2024 application cycle is dedicated to the 2025 International Year of Quantum Science and Technology (IYQ). The fund will provide up to five grants with a maximum of $50,000 per award to scale up and disseminate public engagement, broadening participation and educational activities. The award period extends from January 2025 to June 2026.

APS Innovation and IYQ

In recognizing the imperative to cultivate, enrich, and disseminate activities that foster a deeper understanding of quantum concepts and offer opportunities to the public, we are calling upon APS members to take a leading role.

This cycle of the Innovation Fund is specifically dedicated to addressing the critical gap in activities that promote quantum understanding on a global scale. We invite members to develop high-quality initiatives structured for widespread adoption or adaptation, aiming to engage diverse audiences worldwide. We strongly encourage applicants to acquaint themselves with the ongoing activities of relevant units (forums, divisions, or sections) before formulating and submitting proposals.

The specific goals of the APS IYQ initiative are to:

  • Share knowledge and education about quantum science and technology, its benefits for society and the planet, its connections to history and culture, its importance for the future, and career opportunities in this area.
  • Raise awareness about the importance of quantum science and technology and the need to invest in education, research, and development infrastructure.
  • Build public trust in science by developing an understanding of the nature of science and fostering connections with physicists.

Rules and eligibility

The call for proposals opened in February 2024, with pre-proposals due in May and full-proposals due in August.

To submit a proposal, you:

  • Must be an APS member
  • May be US-based or an international applicant at any career stage to apply as a principal investigator (PI) with a maximum of two, optional co-PIs
  • Must provide a letter of support from an advisor or department, if you are applying as a graduate student, postdoc, or are in another training position


Projects may include scaling up existing activities, broadening the dissemination of existing activities, or developing new activities that can engage a large audience.

Proposals will be prioritized based on:

  • Potential to advance public understanding of quantum concepts and opportunities
  • Potential to build capacity for effective public outreach and engagement
  • Utilization of best practices to engage global and STEM marginalized audiences in quantum science
  • Alignment with existing or desired unit activities
  • Ease of dissemination and adaptation


The duration of funding is one and a half years. Projects will begin at the start of 2025 and be assessed in early 2026.

Funding details

The APS Innovation fund will award up to five grants, each valued at a maximum of $50,000, to support community engagement, education, and diversity, equity, inclusivity, belonging, and accessibility activities.

Expenses may include, for example, travel for project personnel, materials to develop educational kits, distribution expenses, or costs to hold forums that engage stakeholders. Regarding indirect costs, Overhead is allowed but limited to 5% of APS Innovation Fund grant expenses. The requested budget, including overhead, cannot exceed $50,000.

Award funds will be issued to the PI’s institution on a reimbursement basis.

Process and selection

The application is now closed. Applicants will be informed if they are invited to submit a full proposal in early July.

The APS Innovation Fund is offering personalized, one-on-one consultations to assist you with your pre-proposal. Contact us via email, or sign up for a personalized consultation.

Please be aware of this application timeline, including upcoming dates and deadlines, as you go through the application process:

  • May 6, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET: Deadline for pre-proposals
  • June: Relevant units provide feedback on the top pre-proposals identified by the Review Panel
  • July: Finalists are invited to submit a full proposal
  • August: Deadline for finalists to submit full proposals
  • November: Grant recipients notified
  • January 2025: Award start date

The pre-proposal application

In the pre-proposal application, you will be asked to address the following:

  • Describe the innovative approach you will use, the factors that lead you to this concept, and how it contributes to advancing the comprehension of quantum concepts and associated opportunities
  • Describe how the project aligns with the APS IYQ initiative to create, enhance, and disseminate activities promoting the public's understanding of quantum concepts and opportunities
  • What activities will be undertaken to execute the project goals effectively? What resources are required for executing your idea? Describe the qualifications of the project team, elucidating why their expertise positions them as the optimal choice for executing the proposed idea.
  • Identify your concept's target audience or beneficiaries and explain the positive impacts or advantages they will gain from its implementation. Identify the primary partners or collaborators crucial to your project and explain their significance.
  • Specify pertinent metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) intended for monitoring the progress of your project. Is your target audience accessible?
  • How could your idea expand its scale or scope over the long term?

Selection criteria

A review panel selected by the APS Board will evaluate proposals based on the following criteria:

  • Innovative: Proposes novel strategies or reimagines existing methods to advance the understanding of quantum concepts and opportunities
  • Relevant: Aligns with the APS IYQ initiative to create, enhance, and disseminate activities promoting the public's understanding of quantum concepts and opportunities
  • Feasible: The project scope is achievable with the available resources and expertise
  • Desirable: Utilizes optimal strategies and methodologies to define and engage the project’s intended audience(s)
  • Impact: Defines precise objectives to quantify the project’s potential impact on the broader physics community
  • Viable: A strategy, if applicable, for disseminating, extending, or adapting the project after the conclusion of funding

Establishment and support

The APS Innovation Fund was established to encourage collaborative partnerships among APS members, APS units and committees, and APS staff to develop new approaches to advancing the interests of the physics community.

Discover more Innovation Fund collaborations

Recent recipients

Camille Coffie

2022 recipient

Chandra Turpen

2022 recipient

Diana Sachmpazidi

2022 recipient

Jacquelyn Chini

2022 recipient

Alexis Knaub

2021 recipient

See all recipients

The membership of APS is diverse and global, and the nominees and recipients of APS Honors should reflect that diversity so that all are recognized for their impact on our community. Nominations of members belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in physics, such as women, LGBT+ scientists, scientists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), disabled scientists, scientists from institutions with limited resources, and scientists from outside the United States, are especially encouraged.

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.

APS Innovation Fund

Public engagement and education

Join your Society

If you embrace scientific discovery, truth and integrity, partnership, inclusion, and lifelong curiosity, this is your professional home.