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Frequently asked questions

A page within Conference Experience for Undergraduates (CEU)


What is CEU?
The Conference Experience for Undergraduate (CEU) program was created to provide a capstone experience for students who have conducted research in nuclear science by providing them an outlet to present their research to a professional community. The CEU runs concurrently with the American Physical Society Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP) meeting, as such, it is a professional meeting for scientists at all stages of their careers. Students are able to participate in CEU activities and the regular DNP program.

Limit on Presenters

Is there a limit on the number of students who can present a single poster?

Yes. We understand there are many people who contribute to scientific research but due to space limitations and the practicality of presenting your research, only TWO students are allowed to present a single poster, i.e. "joint" poster.

Are co-authors eligible for CEU funding?

Yes, however, there are finite resources and this may limit the amount of funding offered to the second author of the work.

Is there a limit on the number of students who can present a research talk?

Yes. These are individual contributions. Oral presentations, i.e. talks, may not be shared.

Can I give a talk and a poster?

No. Per the APS rules, you may only submit one abstract. Please decide if you would like to give an oral presentation or a poster presentation.

Eligibility & Funding

Am I eligible to apply to the CEU program?
Students with research projects in nuclear science and are enrolled as undergraduate students in the fall semester of the conference are welcome to apply, i.e. you need to be an undergraduate when you present your research.

At this time, funding is only awarded to students who are enrolled in a US institution of higher education.

Should I apply for Cat 17 - Undergraduate Oral or Cat 16 - Undergraduate Poster?
This is an individual choice with different benefits.

The poster session is a dedicated undergraduate session for CEU students and is the highlight of the conference for many attendees. Unlike most conferences, this poster session is competitive, as resources are limited. If you require financial funding to attend the conference, the CEU program will concentrate resources on this group of students. There is a chance you are not accepted into this poster session and are unable to attend and present your work.

If you would like to guarantee attendance at the conference, then you should submit to one of the oral presentation categories, however, you will also need to have secured your own funding. 

Can I present my undergraduate research project during my gap year?
Yes, using category 17. However, in order to present a CEU poster and receive funding, you have to be a current undergraduate student. We encourage you to give a talk at the undergraduate research session or in another DNP session.

What types of funds can I request?
We are able to provide funding for travel, hotel, and reduced registration. Travel funding only applies to air, train, and long-distance bus travel. Driving to the conference and parking fees are not reimbursable expenses.

Do I increase my chances of acceptance if I do not request funding?
No. This question is asked to judge the resources needed to maximize the number of students accepted into the program.

I am an international student. Can I apply & receive funding?
Maybe.  Any student can apply to the program and be accepted to present their research in the poster session. The question comes down to funding. Yes, if you are an international student currently enrolled in a US institution of higher education. If you are an international student enrolled in a non-US-based institution then no.

I am enrolled in an international University. Can I apply & receive funding?
Maybe. Any student can apply to the program and be accepted to present their research in the poster session. The question comes down to the funding. If you are a US citizen enrolled in a foreign University then yes. If you are an international student enrolled in a non-US-based institution then you are welcome to apply to the CEU program. Your status at a foreign institution will not impact your acceptance into the program, however, at this time we are unable to offer you any financial support.

Application and Registration

What is the difference between "application" and "registration"?
You need to apply to present your poster at the conference. Your application includes a scientific abstract submitted via the APS website and the CEU application. This packet will be sent to a group of scientists who will review and rank your work. This will inform the acceptance and funding decisions.

After you have been accepted, you then register for the conference. This confirms that you will actually be attending and provides specifics such as how many days you require accommodations, roommate requests, and you will pay a one-time registration fee.

How do I register for the conference?
There is a special CEU registration form,  use the "Form" tab on the left-hand side of this page. Please do not register through the DNP conference site the CEU program does not receive this information and you will be dropped from the list and unable to present your poster or receive funds from the program. 

I heard everyone who applies to the program is able to present a poster.
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept all students who apply to the program.

What if I am not accepted into the poster session?
You are still welcome to attend the CEU events.

Cost and Travel

How much does the conference cost?
Registration fees vary each year depending on the location but are generally between $125 - $200. Students are required to pay these costs at the time of registration. Some CEU awards include a reduced registration fee. This is in the form of a code that is entered at the time of registration. For this reason, do not register until you receive your CEU letter as we are unable to reimburse these expenses.

What costs does the CEU program cover?
This depends on your award which varies and can be found in your acceptance letter. The program grants awards at a variety of levels which may cover hotel rooms (only in the CEU block of rooms), airfare, and registration fees. However, no food or misc. expenses are covered in the program. Therefore, please immediately speak to your research group and local University for additional resources to help pay for your conference experience.

If I have received a travel award, how should I purchase my airline ticket?
As per University of Wisconsin (UW) guidelines, anyone who is reimbursed for travel via the UW system must book travel through Travel Inc. You will be reimbursed for the amount of your travel expense or your CEU grant (whichever is less) after the conference, with the submission of the original travel receipt AND the travel reimbursement form. Please note, that this is a REIMBURSEMENT, not a discount. You will be responsible for paying the full ticket price at the time of booking and will be reimbursed by check after the conference.

If you receive a travel award you MUST book travel with Travel Inc. or you will not be reimbursed. There can be NO exceptions as this is a State of Wisconsin policy. All of you are eligible to purchase your ticket, regardless of a travel award, and can do so at any time by following the directions here.

What if I find a better ticket price somewhere else?
Unfortunately, you still have to book with Travel Inc. if you want to be reimbursed. Here is a guide to some best practices when working with Travel Inc.

Do I have to pay the full ticket price before the conference?
Yes. Even with a travel award, you will have to pay for your ticket and then apply for reimbursement after the conference. The travel award does not reduce the price of the ticket.

What are the housing arrangements for CEU students?
For those of you who have received a lodging award, we are taking care of all the arrangements for your stay. Please do not contact the conference hotel to make arrangements! You will be staying in double or triple-occupancy hotel rooms with one or more CEU students. If you receive a lodging award but elect to stay elsewhere for the conference you will forfeit this award.

Students are usually placed in triple rooms but all will have their own bed.

How many nights are covered?
The DNP conference begins with a Plenary session on the first evening and ends with a half-day on the fourth day. If you received a lodging award, CEU will pay for those three nights. This does not include the pre-conference workshops or any other nights you wish to extend your trip.

Can I request a roommate?
Absolutely. Roommate requests are honored when possible.  Please keep in mind, that room assignments are based on the most efficient use of space and funding.


If I have received a travel award, how do I go about receiving reimbursement for my travel expenses?
After the conference, you will need to provide a copy of your original travel receipt(s) and submit a travel reimbursement form (left-hand side under "forms").

Can my reimbursement check be made out to my parent/advisor/department?
Unfortunately, the reimbursement check can only be made out to the ticketed passenger.

Poster Presentations

What size poster should I prepare?
Each student will have a 4' x 4' area on which to display the research presentation. Pushpins will be available for mounting. 

What are some suggestions for poster preparation?
There are many resources on the web for poster preparation (this one for example). This one has gathered some good general presentation guidelines. You might also consider the following suggestions: 

  • Title of the project: Place somewhere near the top of the display, along with all names of the people involved. Font size for this information should be between 40 and 72 pt.
  • Textual description of the project: Ought to be clear and concise. Try and avoid a lot of dense text, but separate sections of a few sentences at a time and spread them out generously on the page. Font size should be a minimum of 24 pt.
  • Total information content: Remember that you will be present to discuss the work with visitors, and hence the displays don't need to contain "information overload." They should give the viewer a concise overview of the project.
  • Use graphics wherever possible: Plan to include photographs, diagrams, plots, etc. wherever appropriate.

When will the posters be on display?
The official time for the CEU research poster session is or will be made available on the webpage for the DNP meeting (link provided on the CEU conference page), and on the CEU schedule when that becomes available, also linked on the CEU conference page.    

During the Conference

Will I have the opportunity to speak with representatives from schools and laboratories about graduate school opportunities?
Yes. In addition to whatever private conversations you strike up, we are scheduling a special time during which several schools and laboratories will be available to discuss their graduate programs with students individually. For scheduling details, see the CEU schedule of events linked on the CEU conference page. 

How much time will CEU activities occupy us during the conference?
You are only required to attend the Poster Session. There are multiple events scheduled for CEU students (see the schedule of events) to optimize your conference experience but it is important for you to integrate yourself into the conference community. 

Is there a dress code at my poster?
No, but please keep in mind this is a professional conference and consider how you would like to present yourself to the community. Have a look at past conference poster pictures for an idea.


If I do not receive a travel or lodging award, can I still participate in the DNP conference?
Absolutely! As with any professional physics conference, as long as your research is appropriate to the conference (i.e. experimental, computational, or theoretical nuclear physics), you are welcome to participate. If you do not receive a travel and/or lodging award, the hope is that your advisor, research institution, or home institution will be able to provide you with the necessary means to participate in the meeting. We suggest that you check with these sources to see what availability of assistance there might be in case you do not receive an award.

However, at this time, only students accepted into the CEU program can present their work at the CEU poster presentation. All other CEU events are free and open to all undergraduates attending the conference.