CUWiP
APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP)

CUWiP FAQs

About

What is CUWiP?

The APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) are three-day regional conferences for undergraduate physics majors. This year however, due to the ongoing pandemic, CUWiP will be hosted by APS as a centralized virtual conference.

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 typical CUWiP program includes 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. View programming for past CUWiP events.

How do you pronounce CUWiP?

Most people say "Cue-Wip."

Application & Registration

Who can attend? Do I need to be a physics major to apply?

Any undergraduate student attending a US college/university may apply. High school students are not permitted to apply. For more information, see our application page.

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:

  1. Are undergraduate physics or engineering physics majors.
  2. Have never attended an APS CUWiP.

Can I attend if my undergraduate studies were interrupted due to COVID-19?

If you were enrolled at a US institution in 2019-2020 and your studies were interrupted due to COVID, you are eligible to apply. Please use your institution from last year as your current affiliation.

What’s the difference between "application" and "registration"?

You apply to attend a CUWiP conference, the CUWiP leadership reviews your application and you are accepted, wait-listed, or declined according to the priorities listed above. The application is free! View deadline details on the CUWiP homepage.

After you have been accepted, you will need to register to confirm that you will actually be attending and provide specifics. There is a one-time reduced registration fee of $20, which helps offset some of the cost of the conference. If necessary, the registration fee can be waived. To request a fee waiver, please contact women@aps.org.

What will increase my chances of being accepted to the conference?

First, make sure you submit your application by the deadline, Monday, November 2, 2020.

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 poster or volunteering to assist in planning CUWiP will not improve your chances of being selected to attend.

Cost & Funding

How much does the conference cost?

Students who are accepted to attend the conference must pay a one-time reduced registration fee of $20, which helps offset some of the cost of the conference.

If you cannot afford the registration fee and your department/college is unable to help, you may request a fee waiver by emailing women@aps.org for the appropriate form. The request takes approximately 48 hours to review. You must request a fee waiver before registering. The deadline to request a fee waiver is on Monday, November 30, 2020 at 5:00 PM ET. Please do not wait until the last minute to request the waiver and/or to register. For more information on fee waivers, contact women@aps.org.

Please note that the deadline for students to cancel registration and receive a refund is on December 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Any cancellations beyond that date are non-refundable.


Eligibility

Do I need to have research to present in order to attend the conference?

No. While we encourage you to present a poster if you have been involved in research, you are welcome 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 each year’s conference will not be exactly the same as the previous 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'm a student from Canada. Can I apply to a US site?

Students from Canada should contact ccuwip2021@gmail.com for more information on how to apply for CUWiP in the Canadian region.

I am a student in a country other than the United States or Canada. Can I apply for CUWiP?

Thanks to generous support from the Heising Simons Foundation, we will be able to support the participation of some students from non-US universities in 2021. As we have a cap on participant numbers due to the costs of technical support and the availability of volunteer facilitators, the number of students from non-US universities we can support will be limited. We hope to broaden the international impact of CUWiP over the longer term and so will prioritize participation from regions where there is interest to set up a local CUWiP. To that end, we would encourage professors from non-US universities to reach out to us via this form to share their interest in helping initiate a CUWiP in their country. Before applying to participate in CUWiP internationally, please consider that the conference will take place from roughly 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. or 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. US Eastern Standard Time, and make sure that the local time would allow you to participate fully during one of those time windows.

I'm a community college student. Am I eligible to apply to CUWiP?

Yes, undergraduate students at any US 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.

I am transgender/gender-fluid/genderqueer/non-binary etc. Can I attend this conference?

Yes, students of all genders and gender identities are welcome to attend this conference. If you have questions or concerns about the housing for this conference, please contact us at women@aps.org.

 

Miscellaneous

Can we arrange CUWiP Watch Parties?

During plenary sessions and larger parallel presentations, as long as it is safe and allowed by federal, state, local, and university guidelines, we have no objection to CUWiP attendees gathering in one place to watch together. However, during the small-group workshops, we advise that every participant should have access to an individual device to connect, in order that they can participate fully. Before arranging a CUWiP watch party, we ask that you consult with a faculty advisor to ensure that you are in compliance with university rules and regulations.

Why cap the number of attendees for an online conference?

In order to maintain the quality of the CUWiP participant experience, we are working hard to support the networking and mentoring aspects of the program. Thus, in addition to large-scale plenary talks, we will be organizing networking software and parallel session workshops with small groups of approximately ten students. This will require a large volume of additional technical support leading to additional costs, and over one hundred volunteer facilitators to achieve even the capacity of a regular CUWiP year. Given these constraints, it would not be possible to maintain the core aspects of the CUWiP experience were we to substantially increase the number of participants.

Will there be resources available for attendees with disabilities?

We request information on disability status/accommodations on the registration form. Please contact women@aps.org if you have any concerns.

What are the guidelines for posters?

Please check back with APS's CUWiP schedule for further details.

What are gender pronouns?

A gender pronoun is the pronoun that a person chooses to use for themselves. For example, if Xena's 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 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.

Why should I consider using my pronouns?

CUWiP seeks to be a safe space for all participants. By asking for gender 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, we encourage you to include your pronouns. At the same time, we understand that not everyone is comfortable stating their pronouns; not stating your pronouns is completely acceptable.

Applications are now being accepted!

The 2021 conferences will be held virtually from Friday, January 22 through Sunday afternoon, January 24, 2021. Apply by November 2, 2020!

Apply now

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NSF logoUS Department of Education logo These conferences are supported in part by the National Science Foundation (PHY-1346627, PHY-1622510, and PHY-2012033) and by the Department of Energy (DE-SC0011076). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the Department of Energy.