APS Innovation Fund

The APS Innovation Fund provides grants to 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”.

APS will award grants led by current APS members ranging from $25,000-$100,000/year to fund 3-5 projects for up to two years that advance an interest of the physics community and align with the APS Strategic Plan.

The deadline has passed for Innovation Fund applications.

Questions? Email if@aps.org

Innovation Fund Logo

Funding Details

Amount: $25,000-$100,000/year

Duration: Up to 2 years, with second-year funding dependent on satisfactory progress. After two years, funded projects should do one of the following:

  • End (for one-time efforts)
  • Obtain outside funding
  • Be deemed important enough to be integrated into APS’s operating budget


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

Application & Selection Process

March 9, 2020: Deadline for initial 1-page preliminary proposals

March 13-27, 2020: Unit/Committee representatives provide feedback on pre-proposals

March 31-April 13, 2020: Proposals reviewed by the Innovation Fund Steering Committee

April 27, 2020: Finalists are notified and asked to submit a full proposal

June 15, 2020: Deadline for finalists to submit full proposals

August 2020: Grant recipients are notified

Review Process

Phase I:

  1. Representatives from relevant APS Committees and Units will provide feedback on preliminary proposals based upon the Selection Criteria.
  2. The APS-appointed, independent Innovation Fund Steering Committee will make recommendations to the Board as to which pre-proposals to advance to the full proposal stage.

Phase II:

  1. APS staff will provide feedback as to the feasibility of implementation of full proposals.
  2. The APS Board will make funding decisions based upon Innovation Fund Steering Committee and APS staff recommendations.

Selection Criteria

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

Details about the evaluation criteria and review process can be found here.

Innovation Fund Steering Committee Members

  • David Gross, 2019 APS President, co-chair IF
  • Theodore Hodapp, APS Director of Project Development, co-chair IF
  • Frances Hellman, 2022 APS President, IF Steering Committee
  • Andrea Liu, Speaker of the APS Council, IF Steering Committee
  • David Schultz, APS DAMOP Councilor, IF Steering Committee
  • Francis (Slake) Slakey, APS Chief Government Affairs Officer, IF Steering Committee
  • Howard Stone, APS DFD Councilor, IF Steering Committee

Innovation Fund Recipients

2019 Recipients