Max Delbruck Prize in Biological Physics

To recognize and encourage outstanding achievement in biological physics research. The prize consists of $10,000, an allowance for travel to attend the meeting at which the prize is awarded, and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient or recipients. It is presented annually.

Prior to 2008, this prize was awarded as the Biological Physics Prize.

Establishment & Support

The prize was established in 1981 by friends of the Division of Biological Physics and renamed the Max Delbruck Prize in 2006 in conjuction with a campaign that endowed the prize. The successful fundraising efforts enabled the increase of the prize amount from $5,000 to $10,000. Key contributors include an anonymous donor, a former student of John Hopfield, and all DBIO members as a group through a lump-sum transfer from DBIO operating funds.

Previous sponsors of the Biological Physics Prize included Abbott Labs, Bio-Rad Microscience Division, Candela Laser Corp., Coherent Laser Products Group, Eastman Kodak Co., Furumoto Research Foundation, Newport Corporation-Bio-Instruments Division, and Siemens AG, Medical Engineering Group with continued funding by Coherent.

Rules & Eligibility

Nominations are open to scientists of all nationalities regardless of the geographical site at which the work was done. The prize may be awarded to more than one investigator on a shared basis. Nominations are active for three cycles.

Nomination & Selection Process

Deadline: Friday, July 1, 2016

The nomination package must include:

  • A letter of not more than 5,000 characters evaluating the qualifications of the nominee(s).

In addition, the nomination should include:

  • A biographical sketch
  • A list of the most important publications
  • At least two, but not more than four, seconding letters
  • Up to five reprints of preprints

There may be additional requirements for particular prizes and awards. Please read the rules carefully.

To complete a nomination click here for the electronic submission form. All files should be uploaded in PDF format. Letters can be signed electronically (for example, using an embedded facsimile) or physically. In the latter case, they should be digitally scanned. Filenames should include the name of the nominee.

For updating an existing nomination, please click the above link and log into the form using the email address and password you used to create your nominator account.

2017 Selection Committee Members: Phil Nelson (Chair), Joanna Aizenberg, Ken Dill, Steve Quake (2016 Delbruck Winner), Robert de Ruyter van Steveninck

Nomination Guidelines


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.