Resources for Women in Physics


Institute of Physics: Women in Physics Group Home Page

The Women in Physics Group is a Professional Group of the Institute of Physics in the UK. Their newsletter, events and annual meetings focus on professional development, careers of women physicists, education at all levels, research and academia, career breaks, career management and networking in the UK and Europe.

IUPAP Working Group on Women in Physics

The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics formed a Working Group on Women in Physics to survey the situation of women in Physics and suggest means for improvement. Their website includes meeting reports, resolutions (in 22 languages), poster presentations from various countries, details on topics they discussed, specific recommendations to improve the situation of women in physics and follow up reports and activities.

If you're looking for ways you can help the cause, check out their recommendations.

Elsa Garmire: Life as a Woman in Science

This article is based on a talk given by physicist Elsa Garmire about her life as a woman in science and engineering and about the importance of learning and playing the politics of a culture dominated by men.

In a great motivational article based on her Sydney talk (arranged by WISENET), Elsa Garmire offers important advice on how to be a happy and successful female scientist.

Yale Conference Resource List

Yale Univerisity also has a Conference for Undergraudate Women in Physics. Check out their resource list.

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Reports & Statistics

AIP: Data on Women and Minorities in Physics

A recommended starting point if you are interested in the current status of women in physics at all levels. The American Institute of Physics provides reports which document the current trends in the education and employment of women and minorities in physics and related fields.

Get highlights, the full report or order a free hard copies of these reports:

Women Physicists Speak: The 2001 International Study of Women in Physics
Findings from an international survey of over 1,000 women physicists from 55 countries. The study was conducted as part of a larger effort carried out by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (see link above).

Women in Physics, 2000
Data on current and historic trends in the representation of women in physics, including comparative data on women in related fields.

NSF: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering

This website is a good starting point for finding information about the participation of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering education and employment. Note that most of the statistics are for general science fields, such as physical sciences and not specifically for physics.

This site contains data tables on U.S. Demographics, undergraduate enrollment and degrees, graduate enrollment and degrees, postdoctoral status and employment for various groups.

Chart formats available: PowerPoint presentation slides, PDF, and Excel.

Links to additional data sources and reports on these topics are provided.

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Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Research Experience for Undergraduates

(We highly recommend participating in an REU program that interests you.)

The National Science Foundation funds a wide variety of research opportunities for undergraduates. An REU is the equivalent of a paid summer internship for science students, especially those interested in attending graduate school or becoming research scientists. This is a great way to gain experience in physics and find out if you like working in a specific field. Check out the list of Physics REU sites or general information about REU programs.

Research Experience for Undergraduate Women In Physics

APS and IBM co-sponsor a summer research internship program for undergraduate WiP.

Summer Research at Caltech

This program is for underrepresented students who would like to do research in the fields of biology, chemistry, engineering, earth and space sciences, physics, or math/economics.

REU Programs at Columbia University in Materials Science and Nanoscience

During this 10 weeks of the program, participants develop practical research skills with guidance from a faculty advisor and a graduate student or post doctorate mentor. Participants˘ experience is further enhanced with weekly seminars, field trips, and interaction with participants from other summer science research programs.

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Funding for Graduate School

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Every year NSF offers approximately 1,000 graduate fellowships in this competition. The Graduate Research Fellowship provides three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based master's or doctoral degrees and is intended for students who are at the early stages of their graduate study.

Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship Awards

The Hertz Foundation's Graduate Fellowship, which is based on merit,consists of a cost-of-education allowance and a personal-support stipend for up to two, three or five years.

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

The Department of Defense (DoD) is committed to increasing the number and quality of our nation's scientists and engineers. Toward that end, the DoD offers portable fellowships to US citizens and national to allow the recipients to pursue their graduate studies at whichever U.S. institution they choose to attend.

Bell Labs Graduate Research Fellowship Program

This program is for women and members of underrepresented minority groups who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are planning to pursue a PhD in science or engineering.

The fellowship covers tuition, a living stipend, and fund for books and travel to conferences for up to four years. The program is primarily directed to graduating college seniors. Applications are typically due in January for a fellowship beginning the following fall.

AT&T Labs Fellowship Program (for graduate studies for women and minorities in science)

This fellowship is for minority and women students who are U. S. Citizens or Permanent Residents and who are pursuing PhD studies in computer and communications-related fields.

The 3-year fellowship covers all educational expenses, stipend, support for attending scientific conferences and a mentor who is a staff member at ATT Labs. It is recommended that students apply in the year prior to graduation.

Funding Resources for Women in Physics

This document lists fellowships and grants that are available to women physicists, as well as men physicists and non-physicists. The list is broken down into the following categories:

Note that this document was last updated on August 10, 1995, so the specific information may be out of date. However, it does include a good list of places to begin a search.

Graduate Level Fellowships for Women in Science and Engineering

The positions listed on this site were for 1999-2000, but you can think of it as a list of companies that have provided fellowships for female scientists and engineers in the past.

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Contributions of 20th Century Women to Physics

Complete webpages of 83 twentieth century women, who have made original and important contribution to physics prior to 1976. Researched, archived and well documented. Definitely recommended reading.

Some other features:

Black Women in Physics

This list is a compilation of all of the African American women who have earned a Ph.D. in Physics, Astronomy or related fields. Corrections? Additions? Please contact

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Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics

This is our pet project - a two day conference at USC for junior and senior female undergraduate physics students. Follow the link above for more information.

Annual Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics

Okay, so this isn't exactly about women in physics, but we think it's a great model of a conference for undergraduate women in science. Their presentation tips can help anyone preparing to speak at a conference.

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Books on Careers in Physics and Women in Science

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Graduate School Resources

Survival Guides

Preparing and Presenting Scientific Posters

Giving Scientific Talks

Career Resources

APS Careers & Employment A wide range of resources for undergraduate and graduate students. Check out the Professional Development Guide from the APS Committee on Careers and Professional Development.

Career Options for Undergraduate Majors Notes from a talk given by Elsa Garmire on career options for those with a Bachelor's, Master's or PhD in physics. An excellent read with a lot of good information.

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Do you have any other resources you would like to recommend? Please let us know!

Contact us at wiphys [at] usc [dot] edu with questions, comments and additional resources.