CAP News Bulletin – February 2023 (#19.1)

On behalf of the CAP and the CAP Foundation, we would like to thank you for your support in 2022 and to wish you the very best in 2023.


In this News Bulletin, you will find updates on the following:

  1. Greetings from the President
  2. Important dates coming up
  3. Review of CAP EDI practices
  4. 2022 CAP Awards, Medals, Scholarships, and Fellows
  5. 2022 CAP Congress – McMaster University
  6. 2023 CAP Congress – University of New Brunswick, Fredericton
  7. Call for volunteers for CAP Operating Committees and Programs
  8. CAP Foundation Update



 Greetings from the President

Dr. Barbara Frisken, SFU

Dear CAP members,

As we embark on the activities of 2023, I am honoured to represent the CAP Board, the CAP Foundation Board, our Advisory Council, and the Student Advisory Council, in extending our thanks to all of our members, affiliates, partners, donors, and numerous volunteers whose support makes our operations possible. We look forward to working with everyone in 2023.

This newsletter contains updates on several of the exciting activities that the CAP has been focussing on during the past months.

– The Board commissioned a very useful review of our EDI practice that has resulted in an updated awards process. This led to a delay in the call for nominations of the 2022 Awards until August, but the excellent work of our selection committees allowed us to announce our 2022 medallists before the 2022 holiday break. We are now inviting nominations for the 2023 Medals and High School Teacher Awards, as well as applications for the 2023 Graduate Student Scholarships.

– McMaster hosted a very successful 2022 Congress, where it was very exciting to see people in person again, and we look forward to travelling to Fredericton NB for the 2023 Congress.

– The 2023 Undergraduate Lecture Tour is being offered in a hybrid format, with each lecture being held live at one institution but also broadcast over Zoom so it is available nationwide. The talks are being recorded and will be posted to the CAP YouTube channel. This makes it possible for people to see more talks, see talks of particular interest, and reduces travel time and cost for speakers. We encourage you to set up a meeting space in your department/institution for your undergrads, faculty, and researchers to watch the talks together.

We invite you to read more about these activities below. As always we welcome your input and feedback on our programs and activities. Please submit via e-mail to our Executive Director, Francine Ford, at

Best wishes,
Barbara Frisken
CAP President

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 Important dates coming up

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 Review of CAP EDI practices

Thanks to support from TRIUMF, Perimeter Institute, the McDonald Institute, and the Institute for Quantum Computing, the CAP was able to launch an EDI review of its recognition programs in January 2022. In May 2022, our contracted EDI consultant, Ana Sofia Barrows (ASB), and her collaborator, Imogen Coe, met with the CAP Board and Council to present their initial findings. In July, ASB submitted the final report which contains 34 recommendations to improve the nomination, evaluation, and selection process of our recognition programs.

A CAP EDI Review Implementation Team led by CAP Past President, Dr. Robert Thompson from the University of Calgary, reviewed the recommendations and sorted them into four categories: (A1) 5 recommendations that could be implemented quickly without a need for further consultation; (A2) 11 recommendations that should be implemented but require more time and consultation with the EDI Advisory Committee; (B1) 12 recommendations that require broad community consultation before a decision is made on when/how/if to implement in the near term; and (B2) 6 recommendations that require broad community consultation before a decision is made on when/how/if to implement in the longer term. This analysis was presented to the CAP Advisory Council and Board, with approval for implementation of the A1 recommendations received.

The A1 recommendations that were implementable prior to the launch of the 2022 and 2023 recognition processes were completed, and the remainder of these A1 recommendations are being worked on for implementation with the 2024 medals, awards, and scholarships programs. A consultation and implementation plan is being developed for the remaining recommendations. Further details will follow when available.

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 2022 CAP Awards, Medals, Scholarships, and Fellows

The recipients of the 2022 CAP medals and 2022 scholarships were announced prior to the holiday break. Our 2022 medallists gave virtual medal talks on Friday January 27th and Monday January 30th. Their talks will be available on the CAP YouTube channel by the end of February; the links will be posted here. All 2022 medallists have been invited to be presented with their medals at the CAP Recognition Dinner during the 2023 CAP Congress at UNB.

Nominations for the 2023 suite of medals are open until February 28th.

Our inaugural Fellows – Dr. Arthur McDonald and Dr. Donna Strickland – were honoured at the 2022 CAP Congress. Work continues for the launch of the call for nominations for the 2023 Fellows.

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 2022 CAP Congress – McMaster University

The first in-person Congress since 2019 was a great success, with 638 registrants attending in person and 48 registered for virtual participation. There were a total of 513 contributions, 40% of which (214) were entrants in the best student presentation competition. A total of 52 division and CAP prizes were awarded.

Participants were invited to complete a post-congress survey. Key feedback received from the 152 responses included input submitted to the 2023 Congress lead organizers: a summary program is sufficient but should be supplemented by full daily printouts posted/available at the registration desk each day and full session details posted at each room; posting the requirements for competition presentations and rubrics at least a month in advance. Most common concerns were centered around the quality of food; the poster session being two crowded; the need for more student-focussed sessions. Having the presentations streamed was appreciated, but this should include the ability for online participants to ask/post questions. There is strong support for continuing with online AGM and business meetings.

Other suggestions currently under consideration for future congresses include: more poster sessions; moving the student competition finals to Friday morning to open up a full day of programming on Thursday. Additional feedback for more general consultation: 46% would like to see a regular online congress, with a slight preference for every other year.

Additional comments/suggestions about future congress planning are always welcome. Please submit them to our Program Coordinator, Ellen Molloy at

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 2023 CAP Congress – University of New Brunswick, Fredericton

Abstracts are now invited for the in-person conference to be held from June 19-23 at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. The 2023 Congress continues the restructured model which built in additional parallel sessions to accommodate more presentations and increased time to network with other Congress delegates throughout the 4-day event. It will also include plenary talks from our 2023 medallists.

Our Herzberg Public Lecture will be given by Mark Kasevich from Stanford University; two of our three plenary speakers have been confirmed, including Katherine Mack from Perimeter Institute and Jessica McIver from UBC. A day consisting of seven themed symposia will be held on Tuesday, June 20. Wednesday will start with an EDI plenary talk (speaker tba) and will include a number of EDI-related sessions in addition to the regular programming, the DGEP networking session, and the Medallists and Fellows Recognition Dinner. Congress will, of course, feature the Best Student Presentation Competition (oral and poster) with the oral finals scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Click here to see the current program outline.

NOTE: We have been advised that Fredericton is a very popular summer destination and hotel rooms get booked up starting in the Spring. Thus, we highly recommend that anyone who is even thinking of attending book accommodations as soon as possible to ensure that you have a place to stay. Some possible venues can be seen on this page.

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 Call for volunteers for CAP Operating Committees

Interested in communications? Consider volunteering your efforts by becoming a member of the Communications Operating Committee under the direction of our CAP Director of Communications, Jenny Kliever. Opportunities include, but are not limited to, working on social media, the CAP website and subdomains, helping to put together Newsletters, and managing video postings for the CAP YouTube channel. To get involved: send a summary of your interests and relevant experience to Jenny Kliever via

Interested in supporting the CAP/CAPF activities related to student affairs? Consider volunteering your efforts by becoming a member of the Student Affairs Operating Committee under the direction of our CAP Director of Student Affairs, Ben Newling to help oversee and provide input to the CAP on its student-related programs. To get involved, contact Ben Newling at

The CAP Office is also currently looking for volunteers for the following positions:

  • Coordinator for the BC HS Prize Exam (see below),
  • Members for the University Prize Exam Committee (to help develop and mark the exam), or
  • Judges for the CAP prize(s) at the 2023 Canada-Wide Science Fair being held in Edmonton from May 14-19. Judging is on Monday, May 15 with some additional judging on Wed. May 17. Virtual orientation at 7:00 pm MT on Thursday, May 11.
  • Members/supporters of the CAP Foundation Board to help with the fundraising initiatives that support the numerous programs supported by the Foundation (see below).

Interested members should contact Francine Ford at

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 CAP Foundation Update

The CAP Foundation (CAPF) Board of Directors thanks to all of the generous donors who provided funding for the broad range of education-related activities supported by the CAP Foundation in 2022. As we launch our 2023 programming, we ask you to consider a gift to support future Canadian physicists by donating to the CAP Foundation.

Membership fees support the services provided by the CAP. Your generous donations to the CAP Foundation are essential for the provision of educational activities and resources, such as scholarships, prize exams, career videos, lecture tours, outreach to high school teachers, etc. Please click DONATE NOW to help in this mission.

Below is a brief update on some of the programs supported solely through charitable donations to the CAPF.


CAP Lecture Tour

The 2023 CAP Lecture Tour series has officially started, with the first hybrid lecture by Dr. Cliff Burgess of McMaster Univ. given at Mount Allison University on Friday, January 27th, and the second given by Dr. Rowan Thomson at the University of Toronto on Tuesday, February 7th at 6:00 pm EST. The talks are being recorded and will be added to the CAP YouTube channel as soon as possible after the lecture has taken place. To find the Zoom links for the remaining four lectures, please visit the schedule of the upcoming lectures and posted videos.

The travel expenses for the speakers are supported through CAPF donations and some sponsorships.


University Prize Exam – 2023 March 18

The 2023 University Prize Exam is scheduled to be held on Saturday, March 18th (Eastern time). Students will be able to start the open-book exam at any time that day up until 23h30 ET; once started, they will have 3 hours to complete. Student sign-up for the exam will be open around the end of February. Further details will be available on the CAP website.

National prizes for this exam are supported solely through CAPF donations.


High School Prize Exam – 2023 April 5

The 2023 High school prize exam will be held on April 5th. It will be administered in person by high school teachers in local schools. Students interested in participating should contact their physics teacher who can register their school as a participant by contacting their provincial coordinator.

Prizes are offered at both the national and provincial levels, all supported solely through CAPF donations.

2023 Graduate Scholarships – Application Deadline: 2023 March 15

The following graduate scholarships are being offered in 2023. Applications must be completed by March 15, 2023. Visit the scholarship web pages for application guidelines and submission instructions.

Allan Carswell Physics Educator Scholarships recognize the critical importance and value of having people who are trained in, and passionate about, physics engaging young Canadians in the classrooms of this country. Up to 2 scholarships, valued at $5,000 CAD, will be awarded. Click here for more details.

The funding for this scholarship is provided through a generous endowment from the Carswell Family Foundation.

A Svensson Graduate Scholarship, valued at $3,000 CAD, will be awarded to a graduate student in a Canadian university/college who has demonstrated both research excellence and significant service to the CAP and/or broader Canadian physics community. Click here for more details.

The funding for this scholarship is drawn from targeted donations made to the CAP Foundation. We are hoping that additional donations will be made that will allow the creation of an endowment to ensure that this scholarship is sustainable in the long term.

High School/CÉGEP Teacher Awards – NEW Nomination Deadline: 2023 June 12

The CAP Award for Excellence in Teaching High School/CÉGEP Physics, which was introduced in 2010, is intended to recognize excellence in teaching physics in Canadian high schools or CÉGEPs in five regions in Canada and to encourage and promote physics at the high school/CÉGEP level in Canada. The award has been sponsored at the national level by the CAP, TRIUMF, Perimeter Institute, and the Institute of Particle Physics. The deadline for nominations for the 2023 awards is 2023 June 12. Click here for more details.

Additional national sponsors at the $1,000 and $2,500 levels are welcome. Contact our Executive Director, Francine Ford, at

Other Programs Supported Through Donations to the CAP Foundation


Want to support the efforts of the CAP Foundation outlined above?
Click here to DONATE NOW and Ignite the Spark!