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Nominators Guide

Nominator's Guide

Thank you for your interest in nominating a colleague for Fellow. We know that submitting an effective nomination can seem like a challenge, so we have created this guide to assist you.

Please remember that the nominee should not participate in the nomination process, and in particular, should not ask to be nominated. To maintain confidentiality, the necessary facts should only be obtained from the nominee if the information is not available elsewhere.

Nominations must be submitted by 15 June. References are due 25 June.

If you need additional assistance please contact the Awards Office at


  • Only current Fellow members can submit nominations
  • Any current member who has served with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics may be nominated for Fellow
    • There is no length-of-membership requirement
    • Nominees do not need to be Senior Members
    • Nominees that support diversity across all areas including gender, educational/institutional background and geography are especially encouraged
    • Nominations of colleagues from outside your home institution are encouraged
  • Anyone can serve as a reference
    • At least one (1) reference must be a current Fellow Member
    • There is no membership requirement for the other three (3) references
    • Diversity of support is preferred
    • It is recommended that only one (1) reference be from the same institution as the nominee
    • Nominators cannot also be a reference

Nomination Materials/Information

All nomination materials are submitted online through BEAM. Any documents must be uploaded as PDF files. The following is needed for a nomination:

  1. Nominee’s name, affiliation, and primary email address.*
  2. A concise (~20 word) citation that highlights the nominee’s contributions.*
  3. One (1) page narrative/statement of support that outlines why this nominee should be elected Fellow. The narrative should clearly describe the impact of the nominee’s contributions and how they support the nomination category(ies)
  4.  Supporting documents, must be 10 pages or less in total:
    • Current CV/resume (required)
    • Patent/Publication List (optional). It’s recommended that you note/highlight the patents and publications that are most relevant.  
    • Other supporting documents (optional). Please note that additional references or letters of support should not be included. Any such documents will be removed during the Quality Check process.
  5. The Technical Division that best fits the nominee's work.*
  6. Nomination category(ies) that best match the nominee's most significant contributions.* New in 2021 – you can now select an optional secondary nomination category.
  7. Four (4) references*. At least one (1) reference must be a current Fellow Member. Important – be sure you have asked the references to participate before you add them to BEAM. Once a reference has been added they will immediately receive an email with instructions for submitting their reference, even if you have not completed/submitted the nomination.

* This information is all entered directly into BEAM.

If you have any difficulty using BEAM, please contact us at

Nomination Do’s and Don’ts

The Fellow nomination process is competitive and the quality of the nomination matters!


  1. Include the nominee in the submission process!
  2. Forget to check for spelling errors, typos and grammatical errors.
  3. Just cut & paste from the CV/resume. Write a narrative that describes the candidate and their unique and outstanding contributions.
  4. Submit more than 10-pages of support materials.
  5. Include letters of support or references in the supporting materials. Any such documents will be removed during the Quality Check process.
  6. Assume that the reviewer knows your candidate well.
  7. Use generalizations.
  8. Just say your nominee is outstanding – prove it!


  1. Communicate with your references! Confirm that they are willing to be a reference, and will be enthusiastic about your nominee before you add them to the system.
  2. Make the narrative clear and easy to read. Consider using bullet points and section headers.
  3. Give specific examples that explain the impact of the nominee’s work, with special emphasis on the nomination category(ies).
  4. Proofread your material for typos and mistakes.
  5. Include qualitative and quantitative facts, statistics, metrics, etc.
  6. Avoid providing an extended resume, job description or list of appointments/posts.
  7. Tell a story about the nominee and demonstrate why they are outstanding and should be a Fellow.


Additional Resources