APS Innovation Fund

The APS Innovation Fund encourages collaborative partnerships among APS members, APS Units and Committees, and APS staff to develop new approaches to advancing the interests of the physics community.

APS will award grants ranging from $25,000-$100,000/year for up to two years (dependent on satisfactory progress) to each of 3-5 projects. After two years, funded projects will either end, obtain outside funding, or be deemed important enough to be integrated into APS’s operating budget.

The deadline to apply has passed.

Innovation Fund Logo


Innovation Fund proposals could include, but are not limited to:

  • A task force, workshop, or study to explore a critical issue facing the physics community
  • An innovative public engagement experiment
  • A new approach to science advocacy
  • A means to advance key APS member interests including diversity, careers, education, or member services
  • A path to enable APS to have greater industry engagement or global impact

Proposals should not support:

  • Existing activities
  • Physics research
  • Salaries of graduate students or staff running existing efforts

Selection Criteria

Selection will occur in two phases:

  • Phase 1: Any current APS member or staff can submit a preliminary proposal. All proposals must identify at least one partnering Unit or Committee
  • Phase 2: Up to 10 pre-proposals will be selected to proceed to submission of a full proposal

Preliminary proposals will be evaluated by the Innovation Fund Committee (David Gross (co-chair), Ted Hodapp (co-chair), Andrea Liu, John Rumble, Francis Slakey). Proposals must be:

  • Relevant: Aligns with the APS Strategic Plan
  • Beneficial: Advances the interests of the physics community
  • Innovative: Enables creative ideas that are not a continuation of current activities
  • Measurable: Provides clear metrics for assessing the expected results

2019 Innovation Fund Recipients

More Humane APS Meetings through Machine Learning
Project Lead: Tim Atherton (Tufts University)

APS Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance (APS-IDEA)
Project Leads: Edmund Bertschinger (MIT), Geoff Potvin (Florida International University), and Monica Plisch (APS Programs Director)

Informing and Activating the U.S. Physics Community in Nuclear Threat Reduction
Project Leads: Stewart Prager, Alex Glaser, Zia Mian, Frank von Hippel (Princeton University), and Steven Fetter (University of Maryland)

U.S. – Africa Initiative in Electronic Structure
Project Leads: Omololu Akin-Ojo (East African Institute for Fundamental Research, Rwanda), Richard Martin (University of Illinois), and Renata Wentzcovitch (Columbia University)

Read more about the projects