Special Project and Philanthropy Awards


On recommendation from the Task Force on AAPT Philanthropy, in 2009 the Executive Board directed that the Executive Officer add a line item to the AAPT annual budget to support the requests for workshops/conferences and travel to international meetings. The Board adopted the Task Force's recommended criteria and application forms for the fund and established a Philanthropy Committee to oversee the use of this fund.  In October 2012, the Philanthropy Committee was dismissed until 2015 at which time AAPT had sufficient finances to reestablish the fund.

Membership of the Committee

Membership includes one member from each from the following Area Committees:

Committee on Physics in High Schools  

Committee on Physics in Two-Year Colleges

Committee on Physics in Undergraduate Education

Committee on Graduate Education in Physics 

Committee on International Physics Education 

Committee on Diversity in Physics

Committee members serve two-year terms. Appointed by the AAPT President, the Chair will serve a one-year term and will be rotated among the representative Area Committees.

Description of Awards

″Grant awards are for one year only, although new requests for additional funds in future years may be submitted. The Philanthropy Grants cannot be used for salaries but are to be used for conference fees, travel (including room and board), and registration.″   Where practical, the Special Projects monies should be divided evenly among groups (high school, two year college, four year college/university, and research institutions) applying for funds in both planning and attendance.″   A maximum in each year for awards should be based on the budget for that year. That is, in any one year at least two awards should be able to be made in each category (conferences and travel).″   International travel should include international members (members outside North America) wishing to attend the AAPT Summer or Winter Meetings. This might need to be limited to ensure travel by members to other areas can also be funded.″   All awardees are expected to make presentations at national/section meetings of AAPT on outcomes of their award and make a final report to the AAPT grant committee within one year from the funded event.

The criteria for funding

Please note that applicants are eligible to apply for this grant even if they have previously received one of the grants. The grant application forms contain additional criteria for these awards.


The Special Projects and Philanthropy Committee has limited funds  to help AAPT members attend AAPT Meetings to make a presentation. The AAPT Board of Directors approved additional funding for grants to support travel for high school and two year college faculty who are from underrepresented groups and/or from institutions whose students are predominantly underrepresented. Individuals who qualify should note this on the application form. NSBP and NSHP members are eligible for SP&P diversity travel grants with consideration given to AAPT members.  The application and deadline for the upcoming national meeting are available on the meeting webpage.

AAPT thinks broadly about underrepresented communities in Physics and considers the following racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in our discipline. The list is non exhaustive and AAPT will consider any populations underrepresented in our discipline. If you have questions please email eo@aapt.org.

  • African American / Black
  • Asian (Southeast Asian) Descent (Filipinx, Hmong, Vietnamese, Cambodian)
  • Hispanic / Latinx
  • Native American / Alaskan Native
  • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander
  • Two or more races, when one or more are from the preceding racial and ethnic categories in this list

AAPT values differences in the diversity of experiences and perspectives which arise from differences in race, culture, religion, mental or physical attributes, heritage, age, gender, sexual orientation, and other characteristics.