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Herbert Walther Award

Herbert Walther Award

Presented for distinguished contributions in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as leadership in the international scientific community. This award is co-sponsored by OSA and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG)

Nomination & Reference Deadline

10 August

Nominator Requirements

There are no membership or country of residence restrictions for nominators.

Nominee Requirements

1. There are no membership or country of residence restrictions for nominees.

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. Joint nominees are permitted for the same project or for joint work completed over a long period of time.

4. Awards are not presented posthumously, except in the case that the recipient's death occurs after the Selection Committee decision has been made.

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. Self-nomination is not permitted.

Nomination Requirements

1. Name and email address for the nominee.

2. Award citation (no more than 35 words), which typically starts with “for” and should be concise, but broad enough to encompass the nominee’s contributions.

3. An original, one-page narrative/support statement describing the nominee's outstanding contributions to quantum optics and atomic physics, as well as leadership in the international scientific community.

4. Nominee's resume or CV, listing educational background, positions held, and highlighting key: positions, patents, awards, honors, activities, volunteer service, publications, and reports or product releases.

5. Four letters of reference (i.e., 4 is both the minimum and the maximum). Diversity of support is preferred; not all letters of recommendation should come from the nominee's institution. The nominator may not serve as a reference. The name and email address is required for each reference.

6. Optional support documents could include: additional patents, publications, reports, product releases, etc. Please remember that all materials should support the contributions and accomplishments outlined in the citation and narrative statement.

Note – all documents must in PDF format.

Submitting a Nomination

Nominations for 2022 should be submitted to DPG,

Selection Process

Each Society appoints a Selection Committee which reviews and discusses all eligible nominees. In even-numbered years OSA receives the award nominations, and the OSA Selection Commit-tee identifies a short list of top candidates. The DPG Selection Committee reviews the short list of candidates and recommends a winner. The roles are reversed in odd-numbered years. Recommendations are reviewed by each society’s governing bodies, which for OSA includes the Awards Council and Board of Directors.

Please note that a minimum of four eligible nominations are required before the Selection Committee(s) may select a recipient. If the minimum is not met, all nominations will be held for consideration the following year.

All nominations are automatically considered for up to three review cycles. After consideration by three Selection Committees, the nomination is retired.


We serve a diverse and inclusive community worldwide. Nominees that reflect and support this diversity across all areas including gender, race, educational/institutional background and geography are especially encouraged.