FAQ

Who can attend?

Any undergraduate may apply to attend the conference.  The conference is intended primarily for undergraduate physics majors.  You do not have to be a physics major, but if you aren’t interested in physics the conference may not be very interesting to you!   We expect that several of the conferences will be oversubscribed. Therefore, it is very important to complete all parts of the application and to write a thoughtful Applicant Statement. Priority will be given to applicants who

  1. are undergraduate physics majors
  2. have never attended an APS CUWiP
  3. are applying to attend the conference that is geographically closest to their expected location January 15-17, 2016.

I  attended last year; can I come to this year’s conference, too?

The content of this year’s conference won’t be exactly the same as last year’s, so you can attend again. However, if we receive more applications than we can accommodate, preference will be given to students who haven’t attended before.

Will I have the opportunity to present my research?

Yes, there will be an undergraduate research poster session. Details will be available through the application and registration process.

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 without presenting research.

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. Make sure you 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.

How is this funded? What does it cost to attend?

The conference is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the American Physical Society. Individual departments and organizations at the universities, as well as local corporate and individual contributors, also provide funding to support the conference.  See our Sponsors page to learn more.

Students who are accepted to attend the conference pay only $25 to attend. Students who have financial difficulty covering the fee can apply for reimbursement. Food and lodging (for non-local students) will be covered by the conference.  We expect that the students’ home departments will cover the costs of travel, but some travel funds are available if needed.

Can I come late? Can I leave early? Can I skip things that I’m not interested in?

Because your travel costs are not reimbursable, it is expected that you will attend all of the official events as scheduled. If you have special circumstances or constraints, please contact the Local Organizing Committee to discuss them.

What do I need to do before registering?

You should talk to your department chair or director of undergraduate studies before registering to request funds for travel. If more than one student attends from the same institution, we expect you to coordinate your travel and carpool if at all possible to reduce the travel costs.

How do I ask my Department Chair for funding?

Here’s a template that has worked for our members in the past:

Dear Professor XXX,

The Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP), organized by the American Physical Society, is a coordinated series of regional conferences that take place in January, with the goal of helping undergraduate women continue in physics. CUWiP provides attendees with the chance to interact with successful professional female physicists, exposes them to new research, and gives them a perspective on what it would be like to pursue an advanced degree or career in physics. It also allows female physics students to interact with each other, providing a new perspective on physics as an inclusive culture. The CUWiP conference is of particular interest to our club because it aligns with many of our goals.

Many of the students who attend this conference report greater satisfaction and persistence in the physics major.  Indeed, those of our members who have previously attended this conference were inspired to complete their undergraduate degrees in physics, pursue physics research, and translate their experiences to other members of the physics community.

The CUWIP meetings cover food and housing costs, but have limited funds for travel.  We would therefore like to request travel support from the Department to attend the January 2016 CUWiP regional meeting at [XXXX].

We believe that the topics covered in this year’s conference will have a greater positive impact on the undergraduate physics community at our institution, and we intend to schedule a joint meeting with the Society of Physics Students so that attendees can discuss the conference and bring its benefits to those who did not attend. We will also write up an article on attendees’ experiences for the Department newsletter and the UWIP website.

The requested funds are contingent on the number of students accepted to the conference, which we estimate to be between 5-10.  Assuming travel costs of $350 per student for airfare and ground transportation, we ask the Department to consider a grant of $2500, although the final cost will be determined when the number of accepted students is known.  Each attendee will pay the $25 registration fee themselves.

We very much appreciate any form of support from the Physics Department. Thank you for your consideration.

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 and your travel cost is not covered by your department, your airfare must be approved by the conference organizers before you book your travel.  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.

I am a local student. Do I need to register?

Yes, all attendees must register by the deadline.

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.

How can I get to and from the airport?

The conference organizers will coordinate transport to and from the airport who are traveling by air. If you are not request travel support from the conference, please be sure to let the Local Organizing Committee know of your travel plans so we may schedule your transportation.

Will I be able to choose the roommates for the hotel?

Yes! On the application, if you have a roommate preference, you can enter the names and institutions of the people with whom you would like to room. It must be noted that  you will only be roomed with that person if BOTH parties enter the others’ information.

What should I wear to the conference?

The conference has no dress code, and we certainly want everyone to be comfortable.  You can get an idea of what students have worn to past conferences by looking at the pictures on this site.   There will be a banquet on Saturday evening, and some students enjoy dressing up for that.

Which CUWIP conference should I register for?

You should register for the CUWIP conference closest to your geographic location during the month of January. If you are uncertain which location this, please look at the list and map below.

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