A Student Primer on the Annual Meeting

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I attend the annual meeting?
The Health Physics Society (HPS) annual meeting is not only a highly respected forum for the exchange and dissemination of radiation safety-related information, but it has also become a national and international celebration of the health physics profession. The rather large number of people who attend the meeting can make the whole experience a bit daunting, but consider it an opportunity to hang out with your fellow students, meet new colleagues, and learn a bit more about what is currently on the cutting edge of the health physics field.
Can I obtain financial assistance to attend the annual meeting?
Yes!! The Society provides students with an opportunity to apply for HPS Travel Grants that will cover in full, or in part, your trip to the annual meeting. The Academic Education Committee (AEC) administers the HPS Travel Grant program and does an excellent job in providing as many travel awards to interested students as possible. Here's a tip: —your probability of being awarded an HPS Travel Grant increases if you are presenting a paper and are willing to work at the annual meeting. Information on the HPS Travel Grants can be found at the following address:


NOTE: the deadline for submitting HPS Travel Grant applications is usually around 1 March.
Are there events/meetings specifically for students?
Yes!! I strongly recommend that you attend the following two events that are specifically for students:
  • Student Reception — This is typically held on Monday night of the annual meeting. Be sure to keep a close eye on the annual meeting program to find out the exact location and time of this event. The Student Reception is an opportunity for students to gather and have a nice dinner (free!!) with students from other health physics programs. Recently, more and more of the HPS leadership, such as the president, president-elect, and Board members, have been showing up at this event. It is not uncommon for the chair of the Academic Education Committee (AEC) and the president of the Society to say a few words welcoming you and your colleagues to the annual meeting.
  • Student Branch Meeting — This two-hour meeting has been held on both Sunday and Tuesday of the annual meeting in the past. Again, please be sure to check the program to find out the exact time/location for this year's meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss issues relating to student branches formally recognized by the Society and concerns of HPS students in general. The meeting is moderated by the chair of the AEC. Please note that the meeting is open to all students who have attended the annual meeting, not just officers of the student branches.
What else is on the "must do" list for students at the annual meeting?
There are many things to do at the annual meeting. In fact, you may have to resign yourself to the fact that you can't do everything. However, here are some things that you should make an extra effort to do if you can find the time:
  • Technical Sessions — Try to catch as many technical sessions as you can. You really do get a sense of what is at the forefront of the radiation safety/protection field.
  • Poster Session — Be sure to take some time to walk around and visit the posters that are typically posted in the vendor area. There is a formal poster session when authors are standing in front of their posters fielding questions, but the posters are left up most of the week so you can go visit them at your leisure.
  • Alumni Get-Togethers — Most all health physics academic programs hold a breakfast, dinner, or night out for their alumni. These get-togethers are fun and give you an opportunity to meet —in an informal setting— many of the alumni of your program who are now health physics professionals. In some instances, the get-togethers are quite informal.
  • Meeting Reception– — This is the general welcoming reception for all attendees of the annual meeting. It is held on Sunday evening. It can be a bit crowded, but the food is good and it gives you chance to meet up with friends and get your bearings for the rest of the meeting.
  • Have Fun — Above all else, be sure to take in the sights and the fun the city hosting the annual meeting has to offer.