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. The invited talk will be held in the GSNP Award Session, which also hosts presentations associated with the Student and Postdoctoral Speaker Awards. There will be one awardee each year. The awardee is expected to attend the corresponding APS March Meeting.

Establishment & 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).

Rules & 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.

Nomination & Selection Process

Deadline: Thursday, August 1, 2024

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)

Submit applications through the nomination website as described in the Prize & Award Nomination Guidelines. Please contact honors@aps.org if you have questions.


2020 Selection Committee Members: Daniel Lathrop (Chair), Danielle Bassett, Arshad A. Kudrolli, Jurgen Kurths, Nicholas T. Ouellette

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.

2023 Recipient

Colin Scheibner
Princeton University

Past Recipients

2022: Adrian van Kan
2021: Yuanzhao Zhang
2020: Suraj Shankar
2019: Hong-Yan Shih
2018: Alison Koser Patteson