What is CUWiP?
The APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) are three-day regional conferences for undergraduate physics majors. The 2020 conferences will be held January 17-19.
The primary goal of the CUWiP conference is to help undergraduate women continue in physics by providing them with the opportunity to experience a professional conference, information about graduate school and professions in physics, and access to other women in physics of all ages with whom they can share experiences, advice, and ideas.
The 2020 program at Washington State University will include research talks, panel discussions about graduate school and careers in physics, workshops and discussions about women in physics, student research talks and poster session, and laboratory tours.
Who is invited to attend CUWiP?
Any undergraduate student with an interest in physics may apply to attend a CUWiP. For the last decade, Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) has helped undergraduate women thrive in physics by providing them a with a unique opportunity to engage with and learn from other women in physics at all stages of their physics careers. At CUWiP, budding physicists will experience a professional conference, learn about graduate school and professions in physics, and share invaluable experiences, advice, and ideas with other women. Undergraduate students are eligible to apply and register for the conference, and we encourage non-undergraduate students or interested faculty/mentors to email email@example.com for details about attendance and participation.
How do you pronounce CUWiP?
Most people say “Cue-Wip”.
APPLICATION AND REGISTRATION
Who can attend? Do I need to be a physics major to apply?
Any undergraduate student attending a US college/university may apply.
It is very important to complete all parts of the application and to write a thoughtful Applicant Statement. If conferences are oversubscribed, priority will be given to applicants who:
- Are undergraduate physics or engineering physics majors
- Are from a community college and plan/intend to transfer to a Physics program
- Have never attended an APS CUWiP
There is no formal application or registration process for non-undergraduate students and interested faculty/mentors. We encourage you to contact us for details about attendance and participation.
Are “application” and “registration” the same thing?
No. You apply to attend a CUWiP conference, and you are accepted, wait-listed or declined according to the priorities listed above. Application is free, and the deadline is Thursday, October 4, 2019 at midnight ET. After you have been accepted, you then you register to attend the conference to which you have been accepted (you may be assigned to a different conference depending on the number of applications) to confirm that you will actually be attending. There is a one-time registration fee of $45, which helps offset some of the cost of the conference, including all lodging and meals.
Do I need to book my travel before registering?
No, but you should have an estimate of the cost. If you are traveling by air, or long distance train or bus, and your travel cost is not covered by your department, your travel agenda and cost must be approved by the conference site organizers before you book your travel. Email us at for approval. Due to the limited nature of our travel funds, we ask that you find the most economical means of transportation to and from the conference. For example, reach out to others in your department and see if carpooling is an option.
What will increase my chances of being accepted to the conference?
First, make sure you submit your application by the deadline. Second, make sure you put some thought into why you want to attend and what you want to get out of the conference. Please answer all questions on the application fully and honestly. Offering to present a talk or a poster will not affect your chances of being selected to attend.
COST AND FUNDING
How much does the conference cost?
Students who are accepted to attend the conference must pay a one-time registration fee of $45, which helps offset some of the cost of the conference, including all lodging and meals. If you cannot afford the registration fee and your department/college is unable to help, you may request a fee waiver by submitting a statement attesting to your financial need and verifying that department or university funds are not available. Further details will be provided when you are invited to register for the conference. You must request a fee waiver at least two days in advance of registering.
Lodging (for non-local students) and food will be covered by the conference; you do not need to pay for your hotel room or food at the conference. We expect that your travel expenses will be covered by your home department or college. However, if they are not able to cover these expenses, travel funding is available, see the Travel section of this website for more information on how to apply.
How do I know the amount my department will contribute to my travel funding?
Please talk to your department chair, manager, or director of undergraduate studies before registering for CUWiP. You might ask an academic advisor, faculty member you know, or other mentor for guidance about who to ask if you are unsure. You can also contact us if you would like guidance in asking your department for travel funds.
Do I need to have research to present in order to attend the conference?
No. While we encourage you to present a talk or a poster if you have been involved in research, you are welcome just to attend the conference and participate in the activities.
I attended last year; can I come to this year’s conference, too?
The content of this year’s conference will not be exactly the same as last year’s, and you are welcome to apply to attend again. However, if more students apply than we can accommodate, preference will be given to students who have never attended a CUWiP.
I am a local student. Do I need to register?
Yes, all attendees must register by the deadline.
Can I attend the Washington State University CUWiP even though it is not my assigned location? For example, I am considering Washington State University for grad school and would like to visit the school?
Because of the high demand of students and travel costs of those who are not in our region, we will only be able to accept students who will be in the region at the time of the conference. This conference is not intended to be a graduate school visit.
I’m a student from Canada. Can I apply to a U.S. site?
Students from Canada are encouraged to apply to the Canadian site at the University of Toronto. Students from Canada may apply to closer U.S. sites if desired. However, Canadian students accepted to U.S. sites are not eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses from the conference or for waiver of the registration fee.
I’m a student in a country other than the United States or Canada. Can I apply for CUWiP?
APS is only able to fund students attending universities in the U.S. We welcome students attending non-U.S. institutions to email our site at firstname.lastname@example.org or another CUWiP site to ask if you can apply to attend. CUWiP sites will not be able to reimburse students attending non-U.S. institutions for accomodations or travel.
I’m a community college student. Am I eligible to apply to CUWiP?
Yes, undergraduate students at any U.S. college or university may apply.
I’m a high school student/grad student/postdoc/faculty member. Am I eligible to apply to CUWiP?
Only undergraduate students who will be over 18 at the time of the conference may apply to CUWiP. We encourage graduate students, postdocs or interested faculty to register via our internal application <add link> or contact us.
I am transgender/gender-fluid/genderqueer/non-binary etc, can I attend this conference?
Yes, students of all genders are welcome to attend this conference. If you have questions or concerns about the housing for this conference, please contact us at email@example.com.
TRAVEL AND HOTEL
How do I arrange travel?
Students are responsible for arranging their own travel to the conference. We encourage students to coordinate with other attendees from their institution. Please be in communication with your local chair or faculty member if your department is reimbursing you for travel costs. If your department cannot fund your travel, please communicate with Washington State University for plane and train ticket approval before purchase.
Can I come late? Can I leave early? Can I skip things that I’m not interested in?
Because your travel costs are reimbursable, it is expected that you will attend all of the conference events as scheduled. If you have special circumstances, please contact us to discuss them.
Where do I stay during the conference?
Students will be accommodated at the Residence Inn or Courtyard. Please visit our Travel & Accommodation page for more information. If you are driving to the conference, you may park at the hotel. Shuttles will be provided to and from the conference venue and on-campus parking is available Saturday and Sunday. Do not make your own hotel reservations. <Describe details of rooming and roommate policy>
How can I get to and from the airport?
We will help you with travel between airports and Washington State University, by organizing shuttles, or pointing you to commercial services. If you plan to fly, please contact us before making your reservation.
When will I get reimbursed for travel?
If you are being reimbursed by the conference (rather than by your department): after the conference, you can submit the reimbursement form that will be provided to you. Reimbursement will be mailed to you within the month. For more details please contact us.
What if I have dietary restrictions?
We will request dietary restriction information on the registration form. If you believe your dietary needs are unusual, please contact us and we will work to accommodate you.
What should I wear to the conference?
The conference has no dress code, and we encourage students to be comfortable. There will be a plated banquet on Saturday evening, and many students enjoy dressing up for this event. You may wish to look at photos of previous conferences to see what students typically wear. Please note that we typically have snow or chilly weather in January, be sure to dress warm!
Will there be resources available for attendees with disabilities?
We will request information on disability status on the registration form. Please contact us in advance if you have unusual requirements, and we will work to accommodate you.
What are the guidelines for posters and talks?
<Details for site> Please see our Presentation Guidelines for more information.
Can I connect with those going to the conference before arriving ?
I have anxiety, depression, etc, and I am worried about attending this conference. What should I do?
Please contact us if you are comfortable so we are aware. We will encourage you to try your best during the networking opportunities, but if you need to be paired up with someone you know (either in rooming or meals), please let us know so we can try to accommodate you. We hope that you will be able to comfortably attend the conference and get something from it, but we understand that everyone needs to go at their own pace.
What if I need child care?
Please contact us to discuss your needs.
What are pronouns?
The pronoun that a person chooses to use for themself. For example: If Xena’s preferred pronouns are she, her, and hers, you could say “Xena ate her food because she was hungry.” She, her, hers and he, him, his are common examples of pronouns. Some people call these “female/feminine” and “male/masculine” pronouns, but many avoid these labels because, for example, not everyone who uses he feels like a “male” or “masculine.”
There are also lots of gender-neutral pronouns in use. Here are a few you might hear:
- They, them, theirs (Xena ate their food because they were hungry.) This is is a pretty common gender-neutral pronoun…. And yes, it can in fact be used in the singular.
- Ze, hir (Xena ate hir food because ze was hungry.)
Ze is pronounced like “zee” can also be spelled zie or xe, and replaces she/he/they. Hir is pronounced like “here” and replaces her/hers/him/his/they/theirs.
- Just my name please! (Xena ate Xena’s food because Xena was hungry) Some people prefer not to use pronouns at all, using their name as a pronoun instead.
- Never, ever refer to a person as “it” or “he-she” (unless they specifically ask you to.) These are often used as offensive slurs.
Based on the information here and resources linked therein.
Why does Washington State University CUWiP ask for my preferred pronouns? Why should I consider putting them on my name badge?
CUWiP seeks to be a safe space for all participants. By asking for preferred pronouns, we are ensuring that we don’t accidentally misgender any of our participants or make harmful assumptions based off of appearance. Even if you have never considered this in relation to yourself, by including your preferred pronouns on your name badge you can help to make other CUWiP participants comfortable. We hope you will consider this.