Irwin Oppenheim Award

This award recognizes outstanding contributions to physics by early career scientists who publish in Physical Review E (PRE). The annual award consists of a $3,000 stipend, a certificate, registration waiver and travel reimbursement to attend the APS March Meeting, and an invitation to speak at the conference.

About Irwin Oppenheim

This best paper award, the first APS award established by a Physical Review journal, honors the founding editor of Physical Review E, Irwin Oppenheim. Under his editorship, the journal grew significantly in both size and scope. A visionary editor, Irwin promoted new areas, including soft matter, biological physics, and complex networks. Physical Review E, with its broad coverage and interdisciplinary scope, continues to embrace Irwin's editorial philosophy, and the journal is an important part of his legacy.

A distinguished scientist, Irwin Oppenheim studied nonequilibrium phenomena and was a leader in statistical physics and kinetic theory. His illustrious career as a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology spanned more than five decades. Irwin is remembered for his warmth and wisdom as a mentor to many students and postdocs who later went on to become prominent in their field. Appropriately, the Irwin Oppenheim Award recognizes early career scientists.

Establishment & Support

The award was made possible by generous contributions from Irwin’s family and friends along with his students, colleagues, and members of the Physical Review E community. We are deeply grateful to all those who helped establish this award by contributing to the Irwin Oppenheim Award fundraising campaign.

Rules & Eligibility

The award will be granted once a year to the authors of a regular article or Rapid Communication published in Physical Review E in the calendar year preceding the year of nomination (e.g. those nominated in 2020 will have published in 2019). This recognition is restricted to researchers with at most 12 years of full-time activity after their Ph.D. as of the date of publication, allowing for career breaks (e.g., due to child or dependent care, major illness, military service, etc.). Authors who are at an even earlier career stage, including in particular graduate and undergraduate students, are eligible as well. All authors of the paper must meet this eligibility criterion, and the authors' CVs must explicitly state the date that the author obtained their Ph.D., and list any career breaks. 

Nomination & Selection Process

Deadline: Tuesday, June 1, 2021

This is a self-nomination and should be completed by the corresponding author. To be considered for this award, please submit an online application form and include the following information:

  • Volume number, article number, and title of article
  • Total number of authors
  • Contact information for each author
  • Ph.D. award date for each author
  • CV, including publication list, for each author. Please ensure that each CV states the Ph.D. award date. When appropriate, periods of inactivity should be indicated on the CV with a brief explanation
  • A concise text, not to exceed 500 words, explaining the significance of the contribution

To start a new or update a continuing nomination, please log-in to the online nomination submission site, SM Apply. All files must be uploaded in PDF format.

Selection Committee

A committee consisting of members nominated by relevant units of the American Physical Society and, after the first awarding, a prior recipient will select the winner based solely on the scientific merit of the paper.

2021 Selection Committee Members: Joshua Shaevitz (DBIO) (Chair), Eric DeGiuli (‘20 Recipient), Arezoo Ardekani (DFD), Aparna Baskaran (DSOFT), Emanuela Del Gado (DCOMP), Jack Douglas (DPOLY), Valeri Goncharov (DPP), Corey O’Hern

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, 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.

2021 Recipients

Jeremy L. England
Georgia Institute of Technology

Sumantra Sarkar
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Past Recipients

2020: Eric DeGiuli
2019: Jordan M. Horowitz
          Todd R. Gingrich