Fellowship Nomination Package Guidelines

Fellowship Nomination Package Guidelines

Thank you for considering nominating someone from the DPP community for an APS Fellowship! Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one's professional peers. Each year, no more than 0.5% of the Society’s membership (excluding student members) is recognized by their peers for election to the status of APS Fellow. We understand putting a nomination package will be a significant effort on your part and it can be disappointing if your nomination is not successful. DPP Leadership would like to provide some recommended guidelines.

What to include in the nomination package:

  1. The nominees name, institution, and contact information
  2. The sponsor’s and co-sponsor’s letter recommendation letter
  3. Nominee's CV (see below for further details)
  4. Up to two additional letters of support (optional, but recommended)
  5. A suggested citation (usually citations do not include the person’s name and start with “For...”. See the APS Fellows Archive for examples
  6. Limit the citation to 300 characters or less, including spaces.
  7. A supporting paragraph (expand on the citation and indicate the originality and significance of the contributions cited in 2500 characters or less including spaces)
  8. Nominee demographics (race, ethnicity, and gender). This information is confidential.
  9. The sponsor’s and co-sponsor’s names, institutions, and emails

Areas of Evaluation: Fellowship candidates are evaluated in four topical areas (listed in no particular order):

  • Research and Innovative Contributions,
  • Professional and Society Service Contributions,
  • Mentoring and Research Leadership, and
  • Plasma Education Contributions.

A well-rounded candidate will excel in all or several of the topical areas; however, the Fellowship Committee will also consider those who are preeminent in a single topical area with contributions in other topical areas. Successful nomination packages likely discuss contributions to all the topical areas. Below are some examples of ways to highlight impact in each of the topical areas. Note that contributions may overlap several topical areas. This list is neither exhaustive nor prescriptive, its purpose is to serve as some initial guidance for putting together a nomination package.

Research and Innovative Contributions: This includes a broad range of areas, including but not limited to, research in experiments, modeling, theory, individually or in combination. Innovative contributions could be to a specific technology, diagnostic or measurement technique, or modeling capability that impacts the field. Regardless of the type of contribution it is imperative that the nomination package describe the importance of said contribution to the field of plasma physics.

Specific examples that can be included in Nomination Packages:

  • Describe 1 or 2 impactful research results or innovative contributions and include the effect it has on the plasma physics community
  • Include how the nominee specifically contributed to large team efforts
  • Bibliometrics (h-index, i-10 index, citations, publications etc.)

Regarding publications, we expect that nominees from smaller institutions may author or co-author a smaller body of work and that work may not benefit from large numbers of citations from a large local research group, so it is especially important to fully describe the impact of the nominee’s research in the context of the size of the subfield and their home institution. Nominees who are part of a large experimental collaboration may have co-authored many publications, so it is particularly important for the nomination package to describe the specific contributions of the nominee to the pieces of work highlighted in the nomination package. The nomination package must make clear the nominee’s significant contributions.

Professional and Society Service Contributions: This includes service to the APS or DPP and service to other organizations that support the plasma physics community. Service to APS and/or to DPP which could include:

  • Member of DPP Program Committee
  • Member of DPP Leadership
  • Member or support of DPP Affinity Group
  • Participation in Plasma Expo
  • Member or role in other DPP committees
  • Contributions to foster DEIA in the plasma physics community or the nominee’s institution

Other Professional Contributions could include:

  • Editorial board for a relevant publication
  • Leadership in a scientific organization
  • Planning or steering committee membership for conference meetings
  • Participation in high-level agency reports

Mentoring Contributions and Leadership: This includes formal and informal mentoring of students and postdocs, early career scientists, staff, and peers. It also includes leadership roles in an institution, research project, or scientific organization. Examples include:

  • Discuss mentorship experience including input from mentees
  • Formal and informal leadership roles
  • APS Career Fellow mentor

Plasma Education Contributions: This can include classroom or university teaching, informal education (e.g. workshops or school visits) and other forms of public engagement. If available, include quantitative descriptions of impact of contributions. Some examples include:

  • Formal teaching contributions at any level
  • Mentorship of undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or early career scientists
  • Book publications or review articles
  • Participation in summer schools or tutorials
  • Creation of high impact courses or educational materials
  • Outreach to K-16 students or the general public
  • Research collaborations at/with Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) or Minority ServingInstitutions ( MSIs)
  • Planning or participation in career development workshops (or DPP Student Day or Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics)

What to include in the CV: We receive a large range of information in CVs. Below is a list of useful information for the committee to have. Not all sections and examples will be applicable to every nominee.

Summary: short description of research area, bibliometrics, numbers of students/postdocs mentored, total funding portfolio, numbers of invited talks, etc.
Education: Lists all degrees
Employment: Lists employment activity
Teaching Experience: include classroom teaching, guest lectures, summer school lectures, etc Advising
Experience: list students/postdocs advised, research topics, and current positions Honors and Awards:
List awards received
Professional Service: List all service roles and perhaps include the following subcategories: Editorial Positions, High-level Reports, National and International Committees, Institutional Committees, Service specific to DEI, Review Panels, Journal Referee, Contributions to DEIA
Research Projects: Briefly list research projects, include funding agency, and dollar amount. Can include sections for roles as PI and Co-PI Invited Oral Presentations: include invited oral presentation, with subsection or note if it is a plenary or keynote talk. There may also include a Seminar or Colloquium section.
Full list of Publications: include all publications and total number of citations. In the nomination package, it is very important to describe the specific contributions to the publications. Simply having many citations on a large body of work (a large H-factor) is not evidence of significant contributions to the field of plasma physics by an individual. Note that including a google scholar link to the nominee’s publication record (and/or a citation analysis) is a useful, but not sufficient piece of information.
Other information: please feel free to include other information you deem relevant to the nomination package.

Conflict of interest: Please note the APS Guidelines for conflict of interest. When putting together your fellowship package please note that the people evaluating the package may not be familiar with your work and may not be familiar with your sub-field. These will be the people that your nomination package must convince your candidate is worthy of APS Fellowship. In our experience, successful nominations are written such that anyone on the selection committee, not just those in the specific sub-field, can recognize the impact and importance of the contributions of the nominee. Committee members are instructed not to score anyone in which a conflict of interest could exist. According to APS Guidelines, these include:

  • Residing at the same institution within the past four years,
  • Collaborations (co-authors, post-docs, etc.) published within the past four years,
  • Financial via direct chain of command and/or participation in tenure, promotion, salary, or forms of support by either party,
  • Member of the same center or sharing any funding contract,
  • Relationship due to immediate blood relation, current or prior marriage or civil union,
  • Current or prior students, advisees, and advisors,
  • Nominator or participant in the nomination package.

Additional Comments: While it is expected that the nomination package will include supporting letters (the sponsor, co-sponsor, and up to two additional letters) from colleagues who have a broad perspective on the contributions of the nominee to the field, the specific information provided in the letters is more important than the home institution of the letter writer. Nominees in smaller subfields or from smaller institutions may not have access to many high-profile letter writers, therefore it is important for letters to focus on the specific contributions of the nominee and to help the fellowship committee place those contributions in context. Additionally, some Nominees may have followed career paths that are unconventional. Overall, it is important for the nomination package to emphasize any unique features of the nominee’s career path that help to place their contributions in context. It may be helpful to consider and describe which areas described above are strongest for the nominee, how that may address lesser strength in other areas, and how this relates to the nominee's career path. Finally, please address the nomination to a broad audience, since the committee represents the entirety of the field, and the nomination will most likely be reviewed by people not from your subfield due to COI and composition of the committee.