Submitting an Award Nomination

Submitting an Award/Medal Nomination

In the interest of efficiency and speed, all nominations are submitted online through BEAM, OSA’s Awards and Honors System. 

Please review the descriptions of each award/medal prior to submitting a nomination. Note that not all awards are presented every year.

Nomination & Reference Deadlines:

Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award & OSA Treasurer's Award 
Nominations: 10 July
References: 15 July

Herbert Walther Award
Nominations & References: 10 August
All materials for 2020 should be submitted to DPG.

John Tyndall Award
Nominations & References: 18 August
All materials for 2020 should be submitted to IEEE Photonics Society.


All Remaining OSA Awards & Medals
Nominations: 1 October
References: 10 October

Nominations received after the deadline or those that are incomplete will be held for consideration the following year.

Important Note:  The nominee does not participate in the process. To maintain confidentiality, the necessary facts should be obtained from the nominee only if the complete and correct background information is not available elsewhere.


  1. Award recipients are not required to be OSA members. However, in most cases, nominators must be OSA members (not applicable to co-sponsored awards/medals).
  2. An individual may not receive more than one Society award in a year, nor may an individual receive more than one award for the same body of work.
  3. The Society allows joint recipients for some awards when the nomination is for the same project or for joint work completed over a long period of time.
  4. OSA does not present awards posthumously, except in the case that the recipient's death occurs after the OSA Award Selection Committee approves the nomination. 
  5. A minimum of four eligible nominations are required before the Selection Committee may select a recipient.


You will need the following information to submit an award nomination:

  1. Full contact information for nominee (including email address)
  2. A concise (35-word or less) suggested citation
  3. An original, one-page narrative/support letter in PDF-format, describing significant aspects of the nominee's career and accomplishments which are relevant to the award/medal's scope.
  4. Nominee's vita or resume in PDF-format, listing educational background, positions held, publications, patents, awards, honors, activities and OSA service
  5. Optional supporting documents in PDF-format such as a full patent and/or publication list
  6. Names and contact information (including email address) for 4 (four) references, who you have already contacted and asked to provide a reference

Submitting a Nomination

  1. Log in to BEAM, OSA's Awards and Honors system
  2. Be sure you are on the "Nominators" tab
  3. Click the "Submit a New Nomination" button and select the appropriate award from the list
  4. Identify the intended nominee(s)
  5. Type the citation and upload the supporting documents as separate PDF files
  6. Enter details on the references
  7. Review and submit the nomination prior to the deadline (1 October for most awards)

After submitting the nomination you will receive a confirmation email and the references will receive one email prompting them to submit a reference.

View information for references.


Any nominee not selected as the award/medal recipient is automatically considered for the award by the next two consecutive Selection Committees.  Nominators are encouraged to update or augment the nomination materials, if appropriate, prior to the next year's deadline. After consideration by three Selection Committees, the nomination is retired.

Selection Process

Each year the OSA Awards Council and Board of Directors appoints Selection Committees responsible for reviewing the candidates for the awards and medals of the Society. The Selection Committees carefully consider the eligible nominees and recommend the recipient(s) and citation to the Awards Council and Board of Directors.
View information about Fellow Nominations.