Early Career Award for Soft Matter Research

The Early Career Award for Soft Matter Research recognizes outstanding and sustained contributions by an early-career researcher to the soft matter field. The award provides $5000 and the cost of travel to the APS March meeting.

Rules and eligibility

Soft matter researchers with at most 12 years of full time activity after their PhD as of the nomination deadline, allowing for career breaks (e.g., due to child or dependent care, illness, military service, etc.), are eligible. The nomination package must explicitly state the date that the nominee obtained their PhD, and any career breaks. The award is open to researchers from all disciplines that contribute to the advancement of soft matter research. Ordinarily the prize will be awarded to a single individual. The research recognized could either be a single piece of work, or the sum of contributions. Should the nominee already have an APS Award or Prize, then the DSOFT Award must be based on clearly described and entirely different (or at the very least substantial further) work than that recognized in the earlier Award or Prize.

Process and selection

Any APS member (not a member of the committee making the selection) may submit one nomination or seconding letter for each prize or award in any given year. A nomination should include:

  • A letter (of no more than three pages) from the nominator evaluating the nominee's qualifications, identifying the specific contributions to be recognized.
  • A two-page biographical sketch
  • A list of (up to 20 of) the most important publications
  • At least two, but not more than four, seconding letters

Establishment and support

The award was established in 2015 and was generously sponsored by Solvay through 2020.

Recent recipients

Corentin Coulais

2024 recipient

For pioneering research into soft matter-based metamaterials with on-demand mechanical properties.

Pierre-Thomas Brun

2023 recipient

For creative and groundbreaking contributions in developing soft functional materials using mechanical and hydrodynamic instabilities, elasticity, and flow, from bubble casting for soft robotics to pendant drops coated on the underside of a substrate.

Nikta Fakhri

2022 recipient

For groundbreaking and inspiring developments in probing and analyzing biological systems as emergent non-equilibrium systems, elucidating how molecular-scale processes form cooperative functional structures at cellular and organismal scales.

Eleni Katifori

2021 recipient

For the seminal use of physical principles in understanding living transport networks.

Stefano Sacanna

2020 recipient

For imaginative synthesis of complex colloidal materials that have spurred important new inquiries and paradigms for assembly and control in soft matter.

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.

Early Career Award for Soft Matter Research

Nominations deadline
June 3, 2024
Early career and students
$5000, travel expenses to the APS March Meeting

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