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."

APS typically awards several grants each year with a maximum award of up to $200,000 over two years (dependent on satisfactory progress) for projects that advance an interest of the physics community and align with the APS Strategic Plan.

The pre-proposal application is currently closed.

You can view the Innovation Fund FAQ sheet online.

Questions? Email Tremaine or Tessa at if@aps.org

Innovation Fund Logo

Funding Details

Amount: Up to $200,000

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

Duration: Up to 2 years, with second-year funding dependent on satisfactory progress. After 2 years, funded projects:

  • End (for one-time efforts)
  • Obtain outside funding OR
  • Are deemed appropriate to be integrated into APS’s operating budget

Indirect Costs: Overhead is allowed but limited to 5% of APS Innovation Fund grant expenses. The requested budget, including overhead, cannot exceed $200,000.


Proposals submitted to the APS Innovation Fund should advance interests important to the physics community that align with the APS Strategic Plan. Notwithstanding, proposals should not address traditional physics research problems, or represent continuations of existing efforts. 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


February 7, 2022: The Innovation Fund Request for Proposals opens to all APS members

March 21, 2022: Deadline for initial 2-page pre-proposals: 11:59 pm ET

May 2022: Finalists are invited to submit a full proposal

June 2022: Deadline for finalists to submit full proposals

Fall 2022: Grant recipients are notified

January 1, 2023: Award start date

Review Process

  1. The APS-appointed Innovation Fund Committee will review pre-proposals based upon Selection Criteria and make decisions on which ones to invite to submit full proposals.
  2. Unit/Committee representatives and APS staff will have the opportunity to collaborate with those selected to submit a full proposal and/or provide feedback to help prospective Principal Investigator(s) consider how best to structure activities for maximum impact and alignment with the APS Strategic Plan.
  3. The Innovation Fund Committee will review full proposals and may request that Principal Investigator(s) provide written responses to a short list of any remaining questions to help guide final decision making.
  4. The IF Program Officer will work with the Principal Investigator(s) to resolve any scope or budgetary concerns on proposals forwarded to the APS Board.
  5. If a proposal is selected to be presented to the APS Board, the APS Board will make funding decisions based upon recommendations made by the Innovation Fund Committee.

Selection Criteria

Proposals must be:

  • Relevant: Aligns with the APS Strategic Plan
  • Innovative: Proposes novel strategies or uses existing methods in novel ways to achieve innovative ends that are not a continuation of current activities or a component of a larger project
  • Feasible: Describes how the project can be realistically accomplished leveraging available resources and expertise including any APS resources and expertise needed for project success
  • Impactful: Articulates clearly defined objectives that broadly impact the physics community
  • Measurable: Provides clear metrics for assessing expected outcomes within the timeline of the project
  • Sustainable: Outlines a plan for advancing or propagating the work beyond the end of funding when appropriate

What makes a strong proposal? format_pdf


  • Must be an APS member to apply.
  • US-based and international applicants from any career stage are welcome to be a Principal Investigator (PI), with a maximum of four (optional) Co-PIs.

Monica Plisch

Monica Plisch
Director of APS Programs

Kathryn Walters-Conte

Kathryn Walters-Conte
Head of Innovation and Co-chair and Director of the Innovation Fund

Tremaine Brittian

Tremaine Brittian
Innovation Fund Program Officer

Tessa Lewis

Tessa Lewis
Innovation Fund Program Specialist

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.