George E. Valley, Jr. Prize

To recognize one individual in the early stages of his or her career for an outstanding scientific contribution to physics that is deemed to have significant potential for a dramatic impact on the field. The prize consists of $20,000 and a certificate citing the contribution made by the recipient. It shall be awarded to one individual who has received his/her PhD no earlier than 5 years before April 1 of the year of the nomination deadline. It is awarded biennially in even-numbered years.

Establishment & Support

The prize was established by the APS Council in 2000 under the terms of a bequest by George E. Valley, Jr.

Rules & Eligibility

Nomination documents must include a statement from the nominator or from the candidate's department certifying the date of the candidate's PhD. Unsuccessful nominations can be carried over to the next time that the prize is awarded provided that: a) the requirement specified above is still met; b) the nominators update the dossiers of the candidates to include the elapsed two years.

Note: Work done by a graduate student for his/her thesis is eligible for consideration if it is demonstrated that the student's contributions have been crucial to an important piece of research.


Nominations received by APS will be distributed to the APS Society Medal & Prize selection committee for review. The selection committee's recommendation will be forwarded for approval by the APS Council of Representatives and upon such approval a notification letter will be sent to the recipient. The Prize will be presented at the next appropriate meeting of the APS at which the recipient will also be invited to present a lecture.

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 or 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 link above and log into the form using the email address and password you used to create your nominator account.

Selection Committee

The selection committee will be the APS Society Medal and Prize Committee which consists of the APS President-Elect, all APS Councilors representing the Divisions of the Society and one additional Councilor appointed by the President-Elect from the Councilors not representing the Divisions. The chair is the President-Elect.

2016 Selection Committee Members: Laura H. Greene (Chair), Nicholas P Bigelow, James Robert Chelikowsky, Mark D. Ediger, Cary B. Forest, Miriam A. Forman, Giulia Galli, Timothy James Gay, Wick C. Haxton, Ann Renee Karagozian, John Bradley Marston, Amy Mullin, Jose N. Onuchic, Thomas Roser, Philip Michael Tuts, Johanna Barbara Stachel (Chair-appointed Committee Member)

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.

2014 Recipient

Leif Ristroph
The Courant Institute

Leif Ristroph

Past Recipients

2012: Jinhui Chen
2010: Shina Tan
2008: Paul Sorensen
2006: Irfan Siddiqi
2004: Ivo Souza
2002: David Goldhaber-Gordon