Dissertation Award in Statistical and Nonlinear Physics

This award recognizes exceptional young scientists who have performed original doctoral thesis work of outstanding scientific quality in the area of statistical and nonlinear physics.

This annual award consists of $2,000, a certificate citing the accomplishments of the recipient, the honor of an invited talk at APS March Meeting at which the award will be presented, and a travel allowance to attend the meeting. The travel allowance will be of up to $750 for awardees based in North America and up to $1,500 for awardees from overseas. The invited talk will be held in the GSNP Award Session, which also hosts presentations associated with the Student and Postdoctoral Speaker Awards. There will be one awardee each year. The awardee is expected to attend the corresponding APS March Meeting.

Establishment & Support

The award was established in 2017 by the Topical Group on Statistical and Nonlinear Physics, and is supported by a joint sponsorship with Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science (AIP Publishing).

Rules & Eligibility

Nominations will be accepted by July 31 of each year for doctoral dissertations written in English and as part of the requirements for a doctoral degree at any university or equivalent institution worldwide. Nominees must be members of the GSNP and have their approved dissertations submitted in final form to their institutions between July 1 of the previous year and June 30 of the nomination year. The student is expected to be nominated by their thesis advisor, who is not required to be a member of the GSNP. A student who has won a dissertation award in another APS unit, or whose thesis advisor serves on the current selection committee, is not eligible.

Nomination & Selection Process

Deadline: Monday, July 31, 2017

Nominations must be received no later than July 31 of each year. The nominations will be evaluated based on the quality of the dissertation, the contribution of the student to the research, and the impact of the work. The winner will be identified by early November (before the abstract submission deadline for the APS March Meeting). The committee will be formed by the GSNP Chair and will consist of the Past Chair and three additional senior members of the GSNP, including both experimentalists and theorists with expertise spanning both nonlinear and statistical physics.

The nomination package must include:

  1. Nomination letter from the nominee’s doctoral advisor. The letter should include  statements: 1) certifying the eligibility of the nominee for the award, and 2) disclosing whether the nominee is being concurrently nominated for a dissertation award in a different APS unit.
  2. Curriculum vitae of the nominee, including contact information and an explicitly marked list of the publications resulting and/or expected to result from the dissertation work under consideration.
  3. A dissertation summary of no more than 4 pages (including figures and any references) prepared by the nominee. The summary should be prepared in 12-point font size with 1-inch margins.
  4. A copy of the dissertation in final form as approved by the nominee’s institution.
  5. Two additional letters of support from senior researchers familiar with the candidate and their work.
  6. A letter from the department chair or relevant program director certifying the date of the submission of the approved thesis.

Submit nominations through the FluidReview website as described in the Prize & Award Nomination Guidelines. Please contact honors@aps.org if you have questions.


Serving a diverse and inclusive community of physicists worldwide is a primary goal for APS. Nominations of qualified women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and scientists from outside the United States are especially encouraged.

2018 Recipient

Alison Koser Patteson
University of Pennsylvania