About CUWiP

What is CUWiP

The APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) are three-day regional conferences for undergraduate students with a strong interest in physics. The 2018 conferences will be held January 12th to 14th. The primary goal of CUWiP 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 the George Washington University (GW) 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 CUWiP?

For the last decade, Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) has worked to help undergraduate women thrive in physics by providing them 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.

Application and Registration

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

Any undergraduate student may apply. It is very important to complete all parts of the application and to write a thoughtful Applicant Statement. In case conferences are oversubscribed, 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.

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 October 13, 2017, midnight ET. After you have been 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 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 if you are accepted to attend (but before you register) 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. Lodging (for non-local students) and food will be covered by 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 Support for CUWiP Attendance page.

How do I know the amount my department will contribute?

You need to talk to your department chair, manager, or director of undergraduate studies before registering. 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.

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.

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 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.

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

Yes, all attendees must register by the deadline.

Can I attend the George Washington University CUWiP even though it is not my closest location?

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.

Can I attend the George Washington University CUWiP if I am considering GW 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 CUWiP at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. 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 community college student. Am I eligible to apply to CUWiP?

Yes, undergraduate students at any U.S. college or university may apply.  See question above for Canadian students.

I'm a high school student/grad student/postdoc/faculty member. Am I eligible to apply to CUWiP?

Only undergrads may apply to APS CUWiP.  However, we very much welcome faculty and graduate students / postdocs travelling with their students. In order to enable us to plan appropriately and ensure sufficient accommodation and food, please contact [email protected] as soon as possible. 

I am transgender/gender-fluid/genderqueer/non-binary etc, can I attend this conference?

Yes, all people, regardless of gender, are welcome to attend this conference. If you have questions or concerns about the housing for this conference, please contact us at [email protected].

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 should communicate with [email protected] 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 Hyatt Centric Arlington Hotel. Please visit our Accommodation and Meals page for more information. If you are driving to the conference, you may park at the Hyatt Centric in Arlington. Do not make your own reservations. We will have two students per room in separate beds. We will allocate your room mate and notify you before the start of the conference with whom you will be sharing. If you have any special needs or requests, please fill them in in the local registration questionnaire. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

How can I get to and from the airport?

There are several airports from which you can reach GW. Directions can be found on the Travel to CUWiP page, as each airport has a different transportation method. 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 email [email protected].


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 remember that the conference will take place in January, so winter weather may be an issue. Pack shoes you will be comfortable in while travelling on the metro between the conference venue and the hotel, and within the conference venue.

Will there be resources available for attendees with disabilities?

All of the buildings in which conference events will be located are fully accessible, with elevators to different floors, and accessible bathroom facilities. 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?

If you would like to present a poster, please mention it at registration. If you realize after registration that you would like to present a poster, please send an email with the poster presenter name and the poster title to [email protected]. Please see our Presentation Instructions page for more information. 

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

Yes!  We have set up a Facebook page here:


You should request to join and your request will be approved by one of the admins.

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 by e-mailing [email protected]. 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 preferred pronouns?

A "preferred pronoun" is 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 GW CUWiP ask for my preferred pronouns? Why should I consider putting them on my name badge?

GW 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.