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The 1st Annual Women In Physics Short Essay Competition

March 11, 2021

Presented by the Committee for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

It’s Women’s History Month, and we want to hear about the women in physics and astronomy who most inspire you both scientifically and personally. For as long as the studies of physics and astronomy have existed, there have been women both in the spotlight and in the shadows who have changed these sciences with both their discoveries and their mettle. This is your chance to tell us a new story we don’t know — or an old story from a new perspective. So send us your short essay on your favorite woman in physics or astronomy!


Graduate category: 1st prize $25, 2nd prize $15, 3rd prize $10
Undergraduate category: 1st prize $25, 2nd prize $15, 3rd prize $10


Your essay should answer these questions in 250 words or less:

  1. Who is your favorite woman in physics and/or astronomy?
  2. How has she impacted the landscape of physics and/or astronomy?
  3. Why does her story resonate with you in the way that it does?

How to Enter

Send a PDF of your short essay on or before March 20, 2021 to Sydney Whilden ( with the following subject line:

[Category] Women in Physics Short Essay Competition

Where [Category] is either Grad or Undergrad. In your email, include your full name, your year, and your major (if applicable), but do not put your name on the PDF of your essay. We will be grading the essays anonymously.

After March 20, winners will be selected by the Committee for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Winners will be be notified by email by the end of March. Winning essays will be posted on the Department of Physics & Astronomy website for all to admire.

Lastly, you do not have to be a woman to win!

We can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

Happy writing,

The Committee for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


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