Dissertation Award in Statistical and Nonlinear Physics

This award recognizes exceptional early-career scientists who have performed original doctoral thesis work of outstanding scientific quality in statistical and nonlinear physics.

This annual award consists of $2,000, a certificate, travel reimbursement (up to $750 for North America, $1,500 overseas), and a registration waiver to receive the award and give an invited talk at the APS March Meeting in the GSNP Award Session. There will be one awardee each year. The awardee is expected to attend the corresponding APS March Meeting.

Rules and eligibility

Nominations will be accepted 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. For example, for the 2019 recipient nomination period, with a deadline of July 31, 2018, the nominee’s thesis submission date must be between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. 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.

Process and selection

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:

The nomination package must include:

  1. APS Prizes and Awards nomination form (nominee’s contact information, thesis date).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. A copy of the dissertation in final form as approved by the nominee’s institution.
  6. Two additional letters of support from senior researchers familiar with the candidate and their work.
  7. A letter from the department chair or relevant program director certifying the date of the submission of the approved thesis.
  8. Demographics form (if known/wish to specify age, gender, race, and ethnicity of the nominee)

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Establishment and 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).

Recent recipients

Colin Scheibner

2023 recipient

For groundbreaking contributions at the interface between soft matter and dynamical systems including the theoretical formulation of odd elasticity as well as studies of interfacial excitability and spontaneous wrinkling of atomically thin films, all in striking agreement with experiments.

Adrian van Kan

2022 recipient

For outstanding contributions to the understanding of quasi-two dimensional turbulence, demonstrating the presence and nature of phase transitions in such systems using a combination of simulations, modeling, and stochastic methods with applications to geophysical flows.

Yuanzhao Zhang

2021 recipient

For an outstanding doctoral thesis that advances our understanding of emergent collective behavior and symmetry phenomena in heterogeneous network systems.

Suraj Shankar

2020 recipient

For an outstanding doctoral thesis that blends geometry and statistical mechanics to uncover new topological phenomena in both equilibrium and active soft matter physics.

Hong-Yan Shih

2019 recipient

For an outstanding doctoral thesis that relates the transition to turbulence in pipe flow and the evolution of interacting populations through collective effects.

See all recipients

The membership of APS is diverse and global, and the nominees and recipients of APS Honors should reflect that diversity so that all are recognized for their impact on our community. Nominations of members belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in physics, such as women, LGBT+ scientists, scientists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), disabled scientists, scientists from institutions with limited resources, and scientists from outside the United States, are especially encouraged.

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.

Dissertation Award in Statistical and Nonlinear Physics

Nominations deadline
August 1, 2024

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