Nomination Guidelines APS Society-level Prizes, Awards, and Dissertation Awards

Eligibility to Nominate

  • The nominator does not have to be an APS member, except for the Deborah Jin Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Atomic, Molecular, or Optical Physics and the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics. Most unit awards do require APS membership and unit affiliation.
  • Anyone except a member of the committee making the selection may submit one nomination or seconding letter for each prize or award in any given year.
  • Self-nominations are not accepted, except for most Lectureships and Fellowship Awards.

Eligibility to be Nominated

Specific eligibility criteria are listed on each award page. Generally:

  • Nominators are expected to think about a diverse set of nominations that include women, members of underrepresented minority groups and scientists outside the United States.
  • A nominee does not have to be an APS member, except for the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics, the Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award in Astrophysics, and Deborah Jin Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Atomic, Molecular, or Optical Physics which require APS membership and unit affiliation (as do most unit awards).
  • Emphasis should generally be on the nominee’s recent work.
  • Most nominees are individuals, but in some cases teams may be nominated, especially collaborations involving more than one institution. When considering nominating a team, only nominate the primary members who have made original and indispensable contributions.
  • An APS prize or award recipient may be nominated for other APS prizes or awards for new work or achievements, or significant extension of the previously awarded work or achievements. Please do not nominate a person or team for the same work or achievements for which they have already received an APS Society level prize or award (dissertation or unit awards are acceptable).
  • APS does not award honors posthumously.

Nomination Components

Specific nomination components are listed on each award page, but generally, a nomination consists of:

  • The nominee’s name, institution, contact information, (and for dissertation/thesis awards, date nominee passed their dissertation/thesis defense)
  • A suggested citation (Citation begin with "For...", are less than 300 characters including spaces, do not include the Nominee's name, gendered pronouns, or symbols. See the APS prize and award recipients page for examples.)
  • A nomination letter evaluating the nominee's qualifications in the light of the particular features of the prize or award and identifying the specific work or achievement to be recognized
  • At least two, but no more than four letters of support. The nominator is responsible for collecting and uploading all nomination materials.
  • The nominee’s CV or biosketch
  • A list of the nominee’s most important publications
  • Up to five reprints or preprints (optional)

All files must be written in English and uploaded in PDF format. Letters must be on letterhead, dated, and signed physically or with an electronic signature. Include the name of the nominee in the filenames.

Instructions for Submitting a Nomination

The nomination period for Society-level prizes and awards typically opens in January each year. Please refer to the deadlines page for when a nomination period closes.

To submit a new or edit an existing nomination:

  1. Go to SM Apply and log in with your myAPS account credentials.
  2. Select or search for a Prize or Award.
  3. Complete each of the required tasks.
  4. To edit an existing nomination, find the nomination under My Applications and click the Edit button.

Nomination Review, Selection, and Notification

Questions? Please contact honors@aps.org.

After the nomination deadline passes, the selection committee will begin their review and selection process. Selection committees are formed by the related APS unit or committee, or APS if the honor is not related to a unit or committee. The committee composition varies by honor and may be defined in the unit’s bylaws.

Selection committees recommend recipients. The recommendations of APS Society-level prize or award selection committees are reviewed and approved by the APS Council of Representatives. Dissertation and unit awards are approved by the related unit or committee’s executive committee.

After selections are approved, the recipient, sponsor, co-sponsor, selection committee chair, and the unit chair and secretary receive a notification letter from the APS President. APS will announce the recipient on the APS website and other media.

APS Honors staff will notify nominators whose nominations were not selected. Depending on the rules of the award, the nomination will either be carried over to be reviewed in the next review cycle, or the nomination will expire. A nomination is typically active for three years for annual awards, and two nomination cycles for biennial awards. Some awards, particularly the LeRoy Apker Award, and many dissertation awards do not carry over.

When the next nomination cycle begins, nominators who have an active carryover nomination will receive a reminder to log in to the nomination system to review and update their nomination, if desired. If a nomination is expired, the nominator may submit a new nomination.