Bringing Emergency Aid to Mentees (BEAM) Fund

There can be times in a student's experience when an unforeseen financial emergency threatens their ability to continue their studies. The NMC Bringing Emergency Aid to Mentees (BEAM) fund provides small grants to NMC mentees who are facing sudden financial emergencies so that they can continue their physics studies and earn their degrees.


Students can apply on a rolling basis and if approved, receive funds within two weeks. You must be actively participating in the NMC mentorship program during the time you apply for the BEAM Fund.


This fund is only for NMC mentees. Additional eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Students must identify as Black/African American, Latinx, or Indigenous
  • Students must be pursuing, and on track to attain a physics degree or a degree in a closely related field, such as engineering physics, applied physics, astrophysics, or biophysics
  • Students may receive funds only once per semester (fall, spring, summer)
  • Students must complete the application
  • Students must not have exceeded the $5,000 maximum lifetime limit

To apply, the financial emergency must meet the following criteria:

  • The emergency is unforeseen and/or sudden
  • The emergency will impede the student’s ability to attend school or stay in school
  • The emergency aid will allow the student to continue studies once the acute situation is stable
  • The emergency is an unanticipated allowable expense

Allowable expenses

BEAM funds can be used toward the following allowable expenses:

  • Medical expenses (including dental care and eyeglasses)
  • Sudden moving expenses or change in living expenses (including housing/rent, utilities)
  • Transportation
  • Childcare
  • Schooling costs
  • Food
  • Travel home for family emergency
  • Tuition (if the fee impedes graduation or matriculation)
  • Past due student account balance (if balance prevents enrollment or graduation)
  • Financial loss associated with an emergency like fire, accident, theft, eviction, etc.
  • Legal expenses
  • Other expenses not listed here that are deemed emergency expenses

Requesting funding

NMC mentees requesting funding should review the amount limits, contact their mentor, complete and submit the application, along with any applicable supporting documents.

Funding amount limits

Most NMC mentees will request between $1,000 and $2,500 at a time. Once you reach the lifetime limit of $5,000, you may lose eligibility to request further BEAM funds.

BEAM funds are considered taxable income and may affect your financial aid package. We advise each student to check the impact of their request with their financial aid office.

The BEAM Fund application process

Once you complete and submit the application, you will be notified of the committee's decision within 7 to 10 business days. If approved for funding, you should submit payment forms, relevant receipts and

Speak with your NMC mentor

Speak with your NMC mentor about your financial emergency. They may have access to resources that can help alleviate your emergency financial need more quickly. Your NMC mentor will be asked to provide additional information to the BEAM fund review committee on your behalf, so this is an opportunity to share details with them.

The BEAM fund review committee is composed of members from the APS Committee on Minorities in Physics and APS staff.

Complete the application

To access the application, please follow these instructions:

  • Select your mentor from the home login screen
  • Select “milestones”
  • At the end of the milestones list, you will see the BEAM Fund application, which you can then complete

If you have more than one mentor, do not submit the same application multiple times to each mentor.

If you would like to provide any supporting documents, such as bills or emails to be shared with the review committee, please email them as one PDF document to the APS National Mentoring Community team.

Application review & notification

The BEAM Fund review committee will review your completed application as soon as possible and you will be notified within 7-10 business days of their decision.

Submit payment forms

If your application is approved, you will need to complete and submit payment forms, provided to you by the National Mentoring Community team at APS.

Submit relevant receipts & a brief statement

Thirty days after receiving funds, you will need to provide relevant receipts and submit a brief statement describing how the BEAM Fund helped you in your situation.

Thank you to our supporters

The BEAM Fund is made possible, in part, through generous support from the Kenton and Amy Brown Fund.