What is CUWiP?

The APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) are three-day regional conferences for undergraduate physics and related majors. The 2018 conferences will be held January 12-14.

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 2018 program at Columbia University/Barnard College/City College of New York 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?

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. Only undergraduate students who will be over 18 at the time of the conference may apply to CUWiP. Faculty/mentors who are interested in attending the conference should contact cuwipnyc@gmail.com to discuss possible participation.

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 “application” and “registration” the same thing?

No. You apply to attend a CUWiP conference (the one closest to you), and you are accepted, wait-listed or declined according to the priorities listed above. Application is free, and the deadline is Friday, October 13, 2017 at 11:59 PM EDT. If you are accepted, you then register with 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.

How do I know which site to apply to?

Please see the APS CUWiP map. If you do not apply to the site that you will be geographically closest to at the time of the conference, your application may be denied.

Do I need to book my travel before registering?

No, but you should have an estimate of the cost. We expect that most attendees will travel by train, bus, or car. 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. 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 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 by emailing cuwipnyc@gmail.com with your full name, department, and a brief email detailing your situation.

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 at cuwipnyc@gmail.com 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 Columbia/Barnard/CCNY CUWiP even though it is not my closest location? For example, I am considering one of these institutions 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 Queens University. 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 cuwipnyc@gmail.com 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.

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 cuwipnyc@gmail.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 send an email to cuwipnyc@gmail.com 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 at cuwipnyc@gmail.com to discuss them.

Where do I stay during the conference?

Students will be accommodated in hotels near the conference venues. Please visit our Travel & Accommodation page for more information. If you are driving to the conference, you can find parking information on our Travel & Accommodation page. Do not make your own hotel reservations.

How can I get to and from the airport?

We expect that most attendees will travel by train, bus, or car. Please see our travel page for more information on travel. If you plan to fly, please contact us at cuwipnyc@gmail.com before making your reservation. We will help you with travel between airports and Columbia University/Barnard College/City College of New York, by organizing shuttles, or pointing you to commercial services.

When will I get reimbursed for travel?

If you are being reimbursed by the conference (rather than by your department): after the conference, you must submit the reimbursement form that will be provided to you. For more details please contact us at cuwipnyc@gmail.com with your full name and department.


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 at cuwipnyc@gmail.com 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 conference dinner on Saturday evening as seen on our Schedule page 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. Comfortable walking shoes and winter attire are most appropriate for this event as there will be travel between sites in January.

Will there be resources available for attendees with disabilities?

We will provide more information regarding resources available for attendees soon. Please check back. We will request information on disability status on the registration form. Please contact us in advance at cuwipnyc@gmail.com if you have unusual requirements, and we will work to accommodate you.

What are the guidelines for posters and talks?

Please check back periodically. We will update this soon.

Can I connect with those going to the conference before arriving ?

Yes! We have set up a Facebook page. Also find us on Twitter and Instagram as well!

I have anxiety, depression, etc, and I am worried about attending this conference. What should I do?

Please contact us at cuwipnyc@gmail.com if you are comfortable doing so. 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 at cuwipnyc@gmail.com to discuss your needs.