Best Student Presentation Competition

The CAP is hosting The Best Student Paper Oral and The Best Student Poster competitions at the 2021 Virtual CAP Congress. There will be cash prizes awarded by the CAP for the top three overall oral presentations by a student and for the top three overall poster presentations by a student. In addition, various CAP subject divisions and other sponsors will host more focused competitions by subject areas.


The intent of these competitions is to encourage graduate students to present their research work to and interact with the Canadian physics community at an early stage in their careers. Students should present the work and take primary responsibility for the content of the presentation as well as the written abstract and, if selected as a winner, the extended summary for Physics in Canada. Undergraduate students who fulfill these criteria are also welcome to participate in the competition.


In order to be considered for this competition, a student must be a member (graduate) or affiliate (undergraduate) of the CAP. Undergraduate affiliateship is free throughout their BSc program.  The first year of membership is free for graduate students; significantly reduced fees apply for subsequent years. Membership applications and renewals can be submitted online here.
Please note that it can take up to 10 business days in total to activate your membership/affiliateship, which includes processing payment, if applicable. Therefore, you should submit your membership application at the same time as you submit your abstract.


Students who wish to enter the best student competition must specifically indicate their intention to compete by selecting the appropriate option for either the oral or the poster competition at the time of submission of the congress abstract. Note that while a student may give more than one presentation (e.g. a talk and a poster), the student cannot enter more than one CAP competition (oral or poster).

Instructions for preparing a presentation, including student competition presentations, please click here


Winners of the CAP best student competition (oral and poster), as well as any subject division competition will be announced and posted on the Congress website, as well as in an awards ceremony held during Congress and in our publication, Physics in Canada.  In addition, winners of the CAP-level best student competitions (oral and poster) will be invited to publish an extended summary of their presentation for Physics in Canada.


Division and Sponsored Competitions

A student entering either the CAP best student presentation competition will automatically be entered into the appropriate CAP divisional competition if one exists and if they are a member of that division. Any student who has questions or concerns about competing for all prizes for which they are eligible should email . Membership in a CAP subject division is free for students and can be activated upon applying or renewing CAP membership. Current members of the CAP can join a CAP subject division by sending an email request to

The list of CAP divisional competitions and prizes to be awarded at the 2021 Virtual CAP Congress can be found on this page (link coming soon).