Prizes & Awards

Early Career Award for Biological Physics Research

This award recognizes outstanding and sustained contributions by an early-career researcher to biological physics. The Division of Biological Physics presents the award annually, consisting of $2,000, a certificate, up to $1000 U.S. or $1,500 international travel reimbursement, and a registration waiver to receive the award and give an invited talk at the APS March Meeting


This Unit-level award was created in 2021 and is supported by Operating Funds.

Rules & Eligibility

  • The applicant must be an APS-DBIO member at the time of application.
  • Biological physics researchers with at most 7 years of full time activity since starting their first independent position as of the nomination deadline, allowing for career breaks (e.g., due to child or dependent care, illness, military service, etc.), are eligible. The application package must explicitly state the date that the applicant started their first independent position, and any career breaks. 
  • The award is open to researchers from all disciplines that contribute to the advancement of biological physics, broadly construed, including experimental, computational, engineering, or theoretical approaches. The prize recognizes the fundamentally interdisciplinary nature of biological physics. The postgraduate degree and/or current affiliation of the applicant need not be in Physics, but may also be in any appropriate related area, including, but not limited to, Biomedical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, Biological Physics, Biophysics, Biology, Materials Science, Mathematics, Biochemistry, Chemistry or Chemical Engineering. 
  • Applications are open to all scientists of all nations regardless of the geographic site at which the work was done. 
  • The applicant cannot be a previous recipient of the award
  • The applicant cannot be a member of the award selection committee
  • No current member of the DBIO Executive Cmte may apply for this award. If an Early Career member’s term ends on their final year of eligibility, they will be allowed to submit an application at most 1 year past their final eligibility date (no more than 8 years of full time activity).

Application & Selection Process

Deadline: Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Any eligible applicant may submit one application each year. The application should include:

  • A personal statement (of no more than three pages) from the applicant summarizing their scientific achievements and broader impacts of their work to the field of biological physics
  • A two-page biographical sketch.
  • A list of (up to 10 of) the most important publications.
  • Names of least two, but not more than four, individuals to be contacted for recommendation letters.

No time limits are set on when the work was done, but emphasis should generally be on recent work performed during their independent position(s).The research recognized could either be a single piece of work, or the sum of contributions. 

Ordinarily the prize will be awarded to a single individual. 

To start a new or update a continuing nomination, please see the Application Form.

2022 Selection Committee Members: Raghu Parthasarathy (Chair), Bill Bialek, Michael Desai, Arpita Upadhyaya

The membership of APS is diverse and global, and the nominees and recipients of unit awards 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.

2023 Recipient

Dr. Sujit Datta
Princeton University

2022 Recipient

Dr. Armita Nourmohammad
University of Washington and Max Planck Institute

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.