2022 Innovation Fund Recipients

The APS Innovation Fund provides grants to advance collaborative projects that support the APS mission "to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics for the benefit of humanity, promote physics, and service the broader physics community."

The APS Board of Directors has awarded funds to two projects in 2022. APS congratulates these projects for their innovation and dedication to inclusion.

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Journey to a PhD through the Lens of Black Women in Physics

Project Leads 

Jacquelyn J. Chini Camille A. Coffie L. Trenton S. Marsh
Jacquelyn J. Chini, PI,
University of Central Florida

Camille A. Coffie,
University of Central Florida

L. Trenton S. Marsh,
University of Central Florida

About This Project

Many physics departments have set goals for inclusion, but due to social barriers and the low number of Black women graduate students, their perspectives are not well represented in inclusion plans. We will collect and elevate the experiences of Black women in physics graduate programs to identify priorities for departmental change initiatives to remove structures that keep out and/or push out Black women and build structures to support them in achieving success and well-being. Our goal is to allow Black women physicists the opportunity to provide the strategies and recommendations they deem most effective from their own experiences and voices with a focus beyond currently popular frameworks, such as grit and resilience, which can hide the trauma Black women experience even when they achieve success within a harmful system. The identified effective practices will be shared with physics departments to promote conversation and change.

Partnering with AIP Statistical Research Center to Empirically Document Evidence of Departmental Cultural Change within APS Initiatives

Project Leads

Diana Sachmpazidi Chandra Turpen

Diana Sachmpazidi, PI,
University of Maryland

Chandra Turpen,
University of Maryland

About This Project

As major national change initiatives focus on inclusiveness and effective enactment of systemic change, our study will develop a tool to assess the progress made by APS national initiatives towards such goals. We will design a survey instrument to measure physics departments’ culture around inclusiveness and effective enactment of systemic change. This work sets the foundation for conducting population studies that measure the state of progress of the physics community along these cultural dimensions. We will use novel strategies of engaging in human-centered design and empirically monitoring progress toward cultural change on a national scale. These co-design sessions will result in a survey that builds organizational capacity toward: (a) assessing where departments are starting from and (b) enabling APS change initiative leaders to tailor their efforts to existing departmental cultures. The evidence gathered in this project will feed back to APS change initiatives and committees to inform programmatic changes.

APS Innovation Fund

The APS Innovation Fund provides funding to advance collaborative projects that support the APS mission "to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics for the benefit of humanity, promote physics, and serve the broader physics community."

Learn more about APS Innovation Fund

APS Recognition & Funding

APS offers additional opportunities for individual physicists and collaborations, including students and early career physicists, to be honored for their efforts on behalf of the field of physics. APS recognizes outstanding achievements in research, education and public service.

Learn more about recognition and funding