SPS Reporter Awards

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Sign up to be a Reporter — $300 Awards Available!

SPS National is now also offering Reporter Awards of $75 to cover registration for virtual meetings!


The SPS national office offers partial support, up to $300 for an individual reporter and $250 per person for chapter reporters, for SPS chapters or individual members to travel and report on national physics meetings for SPS publications.

The resulting articles are 2-3 page reflections about the meeting from a student perspective, often used as feature articles on the SPS website and included in SPS publications such as The SPS Observer or Radiations, the magazine of Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society. The articles may also be used in publications of the organization hosting the meeting.

Examples of qualifying meetings include, but are not limited to, national meetings of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), the American Physical Society (APS), and the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

Program Flyer

Student Reporter Writing Guide

Logistics of the Award

SPS Reporter Awards are given at a level of up to $250-$300 to be used for travel reimbursement.

If more than one student elects to be an SPS Reporter, then the funding is awarded to the chapter at up to $250 per person, with the mandate that funds go toward travel expenses. If an individual student is the SPS Reporter, then the funding is awarded to the individual for up to $300.

Funds are distributed in the form of a check upon receipt of the article. The article must follow the award guidelines and must be submitted no later than 30 days after the meeting ends.

In some cases, SPS Reporters may receive a reduced registration fee and access to the press room. This depends on the organization hosting the meeting.

The SPS Reporter Award is available to any undergraduate student that is a member of the SPS national organization.

Application Procedure

Complete the online application form at least 10 days prior to the meeting for which you would like the award. To complete the application, you will need the name, dates, and URL of the meeting for which you would like the reporter award, in addition to your SPS membership number.

Award Details

  • After submitting an application, applicants should hear back from the SPS National Office within 10 days.
  • SPS Reporter Awards are offered to eligible students on a first come, first served basis.
  • The check will be awarded on receipt and approval of the article.
  • A student may not receive an SPS Travel Award and an SPS Reporter Award for the same meeting.
  • A student can only receive one SPS Reporter Award per academic year

Article Guidelines

There is no set format for the article, but it should include the following elements:

  • At least 500 words per person reporting
  • Interesting title
  • A little about yourself, your SPS chapter, and why you were interested in attending this particular meeting
  • A discussion of the student presence at the meeting and, if applicable, several paragraphs about the SPS research sessions
  • The highlights of the meeting in your opinion (keynote speakers, demonstrations, cutting-edge research, etc.)
  • You are encouraged to interview at least one leading physicist at the meeting, and include quotes if they enhance your article—person-on-the-street interviews can be compelling also, so consider that as well.
  • Several photos from the meeting with captions and photo credits. Please include at least one photo that includes the reporter(s)

Articles should be submitted electronically as Microsoft Word™ documents. (PDF files are acceptable, but they must be accompanied by the original text file for editing purposes).

In addition, you MUST submit the following along with your article:

Program Support

The SPS Reporter Awards are funded, in part, by the generosity of Sigma Pi Sigma members.