FAQ

What is CCUWiP?

The annual Canadian Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CCUWiP) is a national conference that gathers physics students and professionals from across the country. Delegates will be participating in plenary lectures, workshops, panels, networking activities, student talks, student poster sessions, and lab tours. This professional conference aims to create an environment where delegates can build networks, present research, and explore career paths, while also promoting diversity and discussing women in physics, mental health, and LGBTQ+ issues. CCUWiP is part of a three-day conference series held in conjunction with other regionally-run CUWiPs across the United States which are coordinated by the American Physical Society (APS).
In 2021, the conference will be held as a virtual event from January 22-24.

Application/Registration

Is there an age restriction for the conference?

Yes! You must be over 18 years old at the time of the conference to apply to CCUWiP.

I don’t identify as a woman. Can I still attend this conference?

Yes! Applications are in no way affected by your gender or sexual identity. All are welcome.

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

Any undergraduate student attending a Canadian university, college, or CEGEP 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
  • Have never attended a CCUWiP or APS CUWiP

There is no formal application or registration process for non-undergraduate students and interested faculty/mentors. We encourage you to email ccuwip2020@physics.utoronto.ca for details about attendance and participation.

Are “application” and “registration” the same thing?

No. You apply to attend a CCUWiP conference (the one closest to you), and you are accepted, wait-listed or declined according to the criteria listed above. Application is free, and the deadline is to be determined. After you have been accepted, you can 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?

Since we are the only site in Canada hosting the conference, we may accept applications from any university in Canada. For American conference locations, please see the APS CUWiP map

Do I need to book my travel before registering?  (not applicable for 2021)

No, but you should have an estimate of the cost, particularly if you think you may be applying for travel support because your travel costs are not being fully covered by your department or other funding source(s).In such a case, 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. Please see our travel and accomodations page for information on how to acquire funding.

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 honestly and fully. 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 $15 CAD, which helps offset some of the cost of the conference and will help to build a fund to be used to support future in-person conferences. 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.

Who should I ask for travel funds?  (not applicable for 2021)

Please see our Travel and Accomodations page for suggestions on who to contact for funding.

How do I know the amount my department will contribute to my travel funding?  (applies only to registration fees for 2021)

Please talk to your department chair, manager, or director of undergraduate studies before registering for CCUWiP. 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.

Eligibility

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. Offering to present a poster will not affect your chances of being selected to attend.

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 CCUWiP.

I am a local student. Do I need to apply or register?   (not applicable for 2021)

Yes, all attendees must apply, be accepted, and then register by the deadline.

Can I attend the CCUWiP if I’m from the US? For example, if I am considering a Canadian university for grad school and would like to speak to reps at this event.

Students from the U.S. are encouraged to apply for one of the APS CUWiP sites because priority will be given to Canadian students; this conference is not intended to be a graduate school event.  Please note that, for in-person conferences, if a U.S. student applies to CCUWiP and is accepted, because of the high demand of students and travel costs of those who are not in our region, we will only be able to reimburse travel expenses for Canadian students.

I’m a student from Canada. Can I apply to a U.S. site?

Students from Canada are encouraged to apply to the Canadian conference.   For in-person conferences, 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 either the U.S. CUWiP or the CCUWiP.

I’m a student in a country other than the United States or Canada. Can I apply to attend CCUWiP?

We welcome students who are attending institutions that are not in Canada or the U.S. to email our site at ccuwip2021@gmail.com or another CUWiP site to ask if you can apply to attend.

For in-person conferences, the CCUWiP is only able to fund students from Canadian institutions, and APS is only able to fund students attending universities in the U.S.  No financial support for travel or accommodation is available from CCUWiP or CUWiP for students accepted to attend from institutions outside of Canada or the US.

I’m a college/CEGEP student. Am I eligible to apply to CCUWiP?

Yes, undergraduate students at any U.S. or Canadian college, university, or CEGEP may apply.

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

Unfortunately, this conference is specifically for undergraduate students. If you are interested in attending similar conferences, there are the Women in Physics (WIPC), and a Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Conferences happening annually as well.

Only undergraduate students who will be over 18 at the time of the conference may apply to CCUWiP.

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

Yes! Everyone is welcome. Students of all genders are welcome and encouraged to attend this conference. If you have questions or concerns about the housing for this conference, please contact us at ccuwip2021@gmail.com.

Travel and Hotel   (not applicable for 2021)

How do I arrange travel?  (not applicable for 2021)

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 contact us.

Can I come late? Can I leave early? Can I skip things that I’m not interested in?  (not applicable for 2021)

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?  (not applicable for 2021)

Students will be accommodated at a hotel booked by the conference organizers. Please visit our Travel & Accommodation page for more information. Do not make your own hotel reservations.

How can I get to and from the airport, train, or bus station?  (not applicable for 2021)

For in-person conferences, the organizers will provide information about travel from key locations (e.g. train station, airport) to the conference event.  A detailed guide will be posted on our Travel and Accomodation page – please don’t hesitate to contact us if further guidance is needed.

When will I get reimbursed for travel?  (not applicable for 2021)

If you are being reimbursed by the conference (rather than by your department or other sponsors): after the conference, you can submit the reimbursement form that will be provided to you. Reimbursement (at least the pre-approved amount) will be mailed to you within a month of the conference. For more details please contact us.

Student Talks and Posters

What are the student talks and posters?

The student talks and posters give students the opportunity to practise their presentation skills in an accepting environment and to share their research. They also give all conference delegates the opportunity to learn more about the research in physics that the student presenters are involved in. We are encouraging anyone who is interested to submit an application!

How can I apply for a talk or poster space?

On our registration form we will have an application to submit your abstract separate from the application to attend the conference itself. When you submit an application to present, you will be asked to include a 250 word abstract on your talk or poster along with a title and give the talk a category.

What can I talk about in the student talks and poster session?

Usually the posters and talks are about the student’s research but we are open to other proposals. The talk does not need to be about research. If you have an interesting idea about women in physics, intersectionality, or any other topic appropriate for this conference, you can also present!

What do I need for my talk?

Once you receive the virtual conference link information, you are asked to connect to make sure that your system is compatible and you have downloaded all required software prior to the event.  All speakers should plan to connect to the conference at least 15 minutes prior to the start of their session to verify that the connection is working and that they  are ready to start their presentation when called upon.

For in-person conferences, we will have a windows computer provided and a projector. You may bring a usb stick to load whatever visual aids you need. You may also bring your own laptop if you wish but we will only have an HDMI cable.

How long should my talk be?

We will have a 10 min slot per person. 7 mins for the talk and 3 mins for the question.

Will there be prizes for the student talks and posters?

Yes!

How will the student talks and poster be marked?

We will be marking on presentation skills, organization of slides and poster, clarity and the research. We will release the rubric closer to the deadline!

Who will be marking the talks and posters?

We will have a team of graduate students or faculty marking the posters and talks.

Grad and Career Fair

What is the Grad/Career Fair?

The grad and career fair is an event that allows attendees and recruiters from schools and companies to interact. If you are interested in attending Grad school or applying for a job at a physics related job this is the place for you!

Should I attend the fair even if I won’t be graduating soon or I don’t plan on applying for grad school?

Yes! The grad /career fair is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the possibility of physics and physics related fields. It also allows you the chance to talk to recruiters about their experiences.

Miscellaneous

What if I have dietary restrictions?  (not applicable for 2021)

As long as it is stated in your registration form (there will be a specific section), we will accommodate any 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?   

Although you will be attending a virtual conference, this is an official physics event.  We encourage all participants to dress comfortably and be suitably attired for video connection, particularly if you will be a presenter.

For in-person conferences, the conference has no dress code, and we encourage students to be comfortable. There will be a dinner banquet 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. Some locations can be very cold and windy in January, so make sure you dress warm when travelling between sites. Good indoor walking shoes are recommended while attending the conference.

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 special requirements, and we will work to accommodate you.

Will there be resources available for religious practices? 

Anyone attending the virtual conference who will be presenting should let the organizers know if there will be times that should be avoided as they plan the schedule of talks.

For in-person conferences, organizers will arrange to have a prayer room and other necessary facilities available 24/7.

What are the guidelines for posters and talks?

Please see our Presentation Guidelines page for more information.

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

Yes! We have set up a Facebook page: Canadian Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics.

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

For the virtual conference, if you are concerned about any aspect of participation in the event, if you feel comfortable doing so, we invite you to contact the organizing group at ccuwip2021@gmail.com to make them aware of our concerns so that they can look at ways in which to make your participation as comfortable and rewarding as possible.

For in-person conferences, there are many new initiatives that were started in 2020 to bring light to these issues and help those suffering from them. Firstly, a traffic light system will be implemented to make sure people feel comfortable in a social context. If delegates choose to wear a green button, this indicates the person is willing to socialize with anyone. If delegates choose a yellow button, this indicates that the person is only comfortable talking with people they have already talked to. A red button symbolizes the person does not want to talk with anyone. Additionally, we will hold a workshop on mental health, and an open discussion on imposter syndrome.

If you feel comfortable doing so, please contact the organizing team so that we are aware of your concerns. We encourage you to try your best during the networking opportunities, but if you would like 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 understand that everyone needs to go at their own pace and we are here to support you to the best of our abilities. It is our hope that everyone will be able to comfortably attend the conference and get something from it.

What if I need child care?  (not applicable for 2021)

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide child care. That would have to be arranged. Please contact us to discuss your needs.