APS GPER Call for Mini-Grant Proposals 2018

The American Physical Society Physics Education Research Topical Group Executive Committee (GPER EC) invites applications for GPER mini-grants to support travel or infrastructure.

Successful proposals will further the GPER goals of:

  • advancing and diffusing knowledge concerning the learning and teaching of physics;
  • increasing the profile of PER in APS; and
  • increasing membership in GPER.

Proposal Strands

Note: Distributing funds across strands is at the discretion of the GPER Executive Committee based on the merits of the proposals. 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 supports 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. The traveler must write and submit the proposal. Proposals in this strand must state whether the presentation is invited or contributed and are limited to one page.

Travel grants (APS conference/session organizer)
This strand supports organizers of APS conference sessions to defray the costs for others to attend; 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 be directly supported by these grants. Emphasis is placed on supporting travel that benefits GPER/APS; see “Review Process” below.

Travel grants (non-APS conference organizer)
This strand supports organizers of 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 be directly supported by these grants. Emphasis is placed on conferences that benefit GPER/APS; see “Review Process” 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. Making the case for how the proposed activity will benefit GPER/APS is particularly important for this strand. The proposal should include a timeline or set of milestones.

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

  • Only current APS GPER members in good standing may submit proposals.
  • Proposals are due by 11:59 PM Pacific time on Thursday, November 1, 2018. Funding decisions will be shared in early December.
  • Proposals must be submitted in PDF format, one PDF per proposal, with the last name of the proposer in the name of the file as well as in the text of the document.
  • Proposals should be submitted using this form with the subject line "GPER grant proposal"
  • Proposals must not exceed two pages. In the individual travel strand, the proposal narrative must not exceed one page, with the budget allowed to go onto the second page. Brevity and clarity are deeply appreciated.
  • Before submitting a proposal to the infrastructure/growth strand, proposers should discuss their idea with a member of the GPER Executive Committee, by sending a 1-2 paragraph summary of your idea, and receive approval to move forward with an application.
  • To be eligible for consideration, 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 also include their advisor's name.
    • A title for the project.
    • The name of the strand (proposer travel, APS session organizer, non-APS conference organizer, infrastructure/growth) 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. State as specifically as possible who will directly benefit (i.e. for a conference organizer grant, what categories of individuals will be funded) and how. Examples of types of benefits are listed under “Review Process.” If your proposed project is expected to expand GPER membership, briefly describe how you expect that will happen.
    • 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 as described 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, such as through connecting APS/GPER members with non-members
  • 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.