APS DPP Fellowship Nomination Tips

Members of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Plasma Physics wishing to nominate a colleague or themselves for fellowship in the society may find the information below helpful in the development of a nomination package.

APS guidelines require that a nomination include:

  • The nominee’s name, institution, and contact information
  • Nominee demographics (race, ethnicity, and gender). This information is confidential
  • A suggested citation (usually citations do not include the person’s name, and start with “For...”. See the APS Fellows Archive for examples
  • Limit the citation to 300 characters or less, including spaces.
  • A supporting paragraph (expand on the citation and indicate the originality and significance of the contributions cited in 2500 characters or less including spaces)
  • The sponsor’s and co-sponsor’s names, institutions, and emails
  • The sponsor’s recommendation letter
  • The co-sponsor’s recommendation letter
  • Nominee's CV including the nominee's academic and employment history, professional honors, list of principal publications only, and other contributions to physics
  • Up to two additional letters of support (optional)

Note that the APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who may have made advances in knowledge through original research and publication or made significant and innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. They may also have made significant contributions to the teaching of physics or service and participation in the activities of the Society. Specific details of interest to the Division of Plasma Physics Fellowship Committee include:

  1. For nominations focused on achievements in plasma physics, it is useful for the nomination to include a full list of publications, the total number of citations, a discussion of the citations of the principal works of relevance for the nomination, a discussion of the size of the plasma physics subfield, e.g., is the subfield large or small, and a discussion of the size of the research program at the nominee’s institution. For example, 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 a large number of 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. Simply having a large number of 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. The nomination package must make clear the nominee’s significant contributions. Including in the nomination package a google scholar link to the nominee’s publication record (and/or a citation analysis) is a useful, but not sufficient piece of information.
  2. Some nominees may have made their contributions to the field through the development, management, or operation of a particular experimental device, computational code, or theoretical initiative. The nomination package should then describe the importance of such contributions to the field of plasma physics. For example, a numerical code that is widespread use throughout an entire subfield might not garner citation levels commensurate with its actual impact in the field. Therefore, the nomination package should provide alternative measures of the impact of a particular contribution.
  3. Some nominees may have made their contributions through the training and education of students, service to the discipline of plasma physics, or leadership of a research program. The nomination package should then describe the importance of such contributions to the field of plasma physics. Some examples of contributions might include, teaching and engagement of undergraduates in plasma physics, creation of high impact courses or educational materials, or the training and mentoring of graduate students who have gone on to have a significant impact in the field of plasma physics. Quantitative descriptions of such impact should be provided in the nomination package.
  4. While it is expected that 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 a large number of 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.
  5. Nominees from demographic groups historically underrepresented in the Division of Plasma Physics may have followed career paths that are unconventional. 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.
  6. It will be helpful to the nomination committee if nominators prepare the package with some knowledge of typical questions asked by the committee during deliberations. Typical questions include:

A) What work by the candidate on plasma research, plasma education, or service to the plasma science community has had the greatest impact? How were these assessments determined?

B) For candidates who work in large teams, explain the candidate's role on the team.