SPS Research Reporter Award

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Through the donations of Sigma Pi Sigma members and friends of SPS, SPS is able to offer Research Reporter Awards, up to $300 each, to help fund SPS members to conduct their research at a national laboratory, international laboratory, or observatory. These awards are to help further the Sigma Pi Sigma goal of excellence within the fields of physics and astronomy. A limited number are available each year.


  • Applicants must be members of the SPS national organization
  • Applicant membership must not expire within 30 days following the event at the National Lab
  • Applicants must be undergraduate students at the time of the meeting for which they are applying
  • Applicants must be accepted to visit a national laboratory or observatory

Applications Procedure

To apply for an SPS Research Reporter Award, there are two basic steps:

  1. Apply to a professional development event or to research at a National Lab.
  2. Upon acceptance, complete the online application form at least 10 days prior to the meeting for which you would like the award. Include:
  • The name, dates, and URL of the event/lab you are attending for which you would like the travel award, your SPS membership number, and
  • A copy of your acceptance email (or equivalent) 

If more than one student elects to be an SPS Research 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.

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 event
  • A discussion of the student presence, if any, at the national lab
  • The highlights of your research experience
  • You are encouraged to interview at least one leading physicist, 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:

  • Only one Research Reporter award application per student will be accepted
  • After submitting an application, applicants should hear back from the SPS National Office within 10 days.
  • SPS Research Reporter Awards are offered to eligible students on a first come, first served basis.
  • If you receive an SPS Research Reporter Award, you will also be required to submit a W9 form (or equivalent).
  • The award check will be processed on verification of your attendance.
  • A student may not receive an SPS Travel Award, SPS Research Reporter Award, and/or an SPS Reporter Award for the same meeting.
  • A student may only receive one SPS Research Reporter Award per academic year

The SPS Research Reporter Award is funded, in part, by the generosity of Sigma Pi Sigma members through donations.