Professional Development

Resources and Information

DPS Dependent Care Grants

In 2011, the DPS began a pilot program to help parents of small children attend the DPS meeting. After surveying the DPS membership (see 2011 Childcare Survey spreadsheet), it was clear that the economic burden of child, elder, and disabled dependent care affects a small fraction of our membership, but the impact is so great that it can often prevent attendance at meetings, especially for early career scientists or those with limited funding. Therefore, members may apply to subsidize dependent care services during the DPS conference week, for use either at the DPS meeting location or at home.

These grants are intended to reimburse the following categories of expenses:

  • Airfare for a caregiver (e.g. a family member, au pair, nanny, sitter) to fly to the meeting location to assist with dependent care for child(ren) under age 18, elderly, ill, or disabled family members able to travel.
  • Airfare for child(ren) under age 18, elderly, ill, or disabled family members, or a family member caregiver traveling to the meeting.
  • Costs for dependent care at the meeting (e.g., onsite babysitting, daycare or elder care service local to the meeting venue; local custodial child care, elder care, and/or expenses for care for elderly or other family members that the applicant usually provides; or paying for a nanny or other caregiver’s labor).
  • Costs for additional dependent care at home incurred due to member’s absence during the DPS meeting (e.g., caregiver’s labor, before and after school or extended day programs, late pick-up fees, day camps that are custodial in nature and not educational, daycare centers, sick-child care center not for medical services, custodial childcare / elder care, or expenses for care for elderly or other family members that the applicant usually provides).
  • Other justifiable expenses related to the intent of the grant, as approved by DPS governance and AAS accounting.
  • Dependent care expenses needed to allow participation in DPS Annual Meetings in any format (virtual or in-person) are allowed.

All expenses should be justified with a receipt to claim the award. Full, associate, or junior DPS or AAS membership at the time of award selection is required.

The DPS Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund provides financial assistance to qualifying members in order to facilitate their meeting attendance by offsetting dependent care costs at the meeting location or at home during the DPS conference week. Online applications are solicited no later than 1 month prior to the DPS meeting:

***The DPS Dependent Care Grant Application form for the 2024 Annual Meeting will open later this year!***

For questions, please contact the DPS Professional Development subcommittee.

DPS 2024: Professional Development Events

Information on 2024 events will be available at a later date.

Professional Development Social Networks, Forum, and Wiki

You can hear more DPS Professional Development Subcommittee News and discuss planetary science careers on Twitter, Facebook, and our AAS forum. Follow the Twitter feed for information about fellowships, jobs, and career advice, or join the Facebook group to be part of the active discussion.


If you would like to donate to support the DPS Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund, please go here.  You will be redirected to the AAS member website.