Senior Member Nomination/Reference Guide

Senior Member Nomination/Reference Guide

This guide is intended to help OSA Members who are nominating or serving as a reference for a colleague in support of the OSA Senior Member designation. For your reference, all nominations are submitted online through OSA’s Member Designation & Program Application SystemAll nominations (and references) must be submitted by 28 February of each year. Applications for the 2020 class are closed and will reopen in late August for the 2021 Class.

OSA Members may nominate themselves or other members as candidates for OSA Senior Membership.* Nominations for Senior Membership are not confidential. A nominator can work directly with the nominee to obtain the necessary information to complete the designation submission. Here is quick guide on how to submit a nomination. 

In all cases, two active OSA Members must provide an endorsement statement in support of the designation request. An optional employer reference can also be submitted in support of the candidate.

View Sample Designation Requests

View Sample Endorsement Statements

*A student member is not eligible for Senior Membership and cannot serve as a reference.

What is required from Nominators?

  • Nominee’s name and primary email address
  • A curriculum vitae or resume including (as available):  academic history, professional experience, service accomplishments, awards and/or honors, publications and patents
  • A 1-page narrative/personal statement describing the candidate's significant professional and/or service performance
  • Two brief endorsement statements from current OSA Members.  Self-requestors and nominators will need to provide the names of their references through the application portal and references will upload directly to the application. A list of all current members is available by visiting the OSA Member/Individual Directory. Make sure to restrict search results to "OSA Member" only.
  • Monitoring your nomination to ensure all materials, including the two references, are received by the deadline of 28 February.

Who is eligible to be nominated?

Current OSA Members who have served with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics.

OSA serves a diverse and inclusive community worldwide.  Nominations of women and members of underrepresented groups are especially encouraged.


Who can serve as a Reference?

All current OSA Members can serve as references except for students.

What is required for References?

To serve as a reference, one must maintain a current OSA Membership. A brief supporting statement (500 words or less) should be submitted online in a PDF file format through OSA’s Member Designation & Program Application System by 28 February. Here is quick guide about submitting your reference letter. 

What is the Timeline?

Each round of Senior Member requests, including two endorsement statements from active OSA Members are to be submitted annually by 28 February (12:00 EST/17:00 GMT). Requests will be reviewed by OSA Staff and the OSA Membership Committee in April in preparation for the OSA Board of Directors review in June. Notifications of approval and deferral will be sent via email in mid-July.

How are Senior Member requests evaluated?

The following criteria is considered when evaluating Senior Member requests:

  • Technical contributions and achievements relevant to the optics and photonics field 
  • Active involvement with the Society
  • Service to the general optics and photonics community
  • Awards and/or honors within the field
  • Publications and patents

Significant professional experience and/or service performance can include, but is not restricted to:

  • Publication of research paper/s as lead author in x projects
  • Patents resulting from the research of the applicant
  • Development of new products/technology
  • Books (co) authored by the applicant
  • Awards and honors the applicant has won in recognition for technical contributions to optics- related discipline
  • Teaching and education-related awards, including optics
  • Technical editing, patent prosecution, or patent law, provided these contributions serve to advance progress substantially in optics-related fields

Some examples of service performance include:

  • Leading a project in optics/optics-related field/technology in your business
  • Supervision of research team/s  
  • Supervision of doctoral students
  • Developing and delivering teaching modules in optics and related fields in university and/or community college/technical school/high school
  • Knowledge transfer to business
  • Science outreach that includes optics to student and local community in your area

Some examples of active involvement within OSA include:

  • Reviewing articles for OSA journals and conference
  • Participation in OSA conferences and technical meetings
  • Participation in OSA technical groups
  • Active engagement with OSA local sections and student chapters
  • Volunteering at OSA meetings and on OSA committees/council
  • Education outreach efforts with Optics Suitcase and other OSA provided materials

Senior Member Designation Request Examples

One of Dr. X’s notable professional highlights is having made substantial contributions to a wide number of research fields including (specify contribution).  Dr. X‘s work in (specify) has resulted in (specify).  His/her work has provided significant contributions in (specify).  In the field of (specify), Dr. X has provided insight into how to (specify) and also is well-known for his/her problem solving skills as it relates to (specify).  His/her research demonstrates (specify).  He/she has also established himself/herself as a leader in (specify).  He/she has written numerous articles pertaining to (specify).  Dr. X has been invited to give (xx) talks, including keynote lectures at (specify).   He/she is a widely respected scientist across a diverse set of research fields.

In addition, he/she has been a tireless volunteer, assisting in (specify), serving as a liaison to (specify) and as a mentor to (specify). Dr. X is currently a member of a (specify) societies. Based on his/her research excellence and strong commitment to the advancement of optical physics and engineering, and his/her innovation, insight and careful laboratory work makes him/her an ideal candidate for Senior Membership. 

After receiving PhD from the University of (specify), Dr. X had the opportunity to work in various national and internal research and academic institutes (specify).  Over a period of (xx) years, Dr. X conducted numerous high quality optical research projects from conception, design to implementation. While working as a research fellow at (specify) Dr. X developed (specify), which has received specific and general interest.  This work has resulted in (xx) publications, speaking engagements and magazine interviews. As a research scientist at (specify), his/her primary role is to (specify). Some of his/her key achievements have been (specify).

He/she mentors and trains research students, teaches fellows and professional staff and reviews research reports and examines PhD theses.  Dr. X holds professional memberships at (specify) and is a member of (specify) societies.  Dr. X has been a speaker at (specify).

Dr. X received his/her PhD in (specify) in (year) at the University of (specify).  For his/her PhD thesis he/she studied (specify).  He/she worked at (specify) first as a research associate and then as a research scientist. He/she was developing (specify) and pioneered (specify).  He/she was awarded (specify) from (specify) for (specify).  He/she invented (specify) that led to (specify).  He/she also developed (specify) which a significant achievement was. Dr. X published over (specify) peer reviewed publications, is author or co-author of (specify) and holds (specify # of) patents.

Professional memberships include (specify).  Dr. X organized the following conferences/workshops (specify).  The following are the professional society leadership positions and committee service of Dr. X (specify).  Volunteer work includes being a reviewer of the following journals/letters (specify).

Senior Member Endorsement Statement Examples

It is with great pleasure and privilege that I recommend for elevation to OSA Senior Member. X is a first rate scientist and engineer with a wide and diverse background in optics and materials who has made a large impact to many different fields (name fields).  His/her accomplishments in these fields are evidenced by a large number of peer reviewed publications and citations.  His/her published work in the areas of (name areas) are highly cited and show the diversity of his/her work and knowledge. X is currently a highly respected scientist at (name of organization).  His/her work with (name field), as well as other accomplishments, publications, and service to the scientific community show that he/she is a scientist of high caliber and we are fortunate to have him/her as a member of our technical community.  I strongly support his/her elevation to the rank of OSA senior member.

I am writing in support of X application for Senior Membership in the OSA.  X has a long and distinguished record of achievements in the fields of (name fields).  He/she is a dedicated optical scientist and is recognized in the industry for solving many difficult scientific and optical engineering problems (name one or two). He/she was instrumental in (give examples).  I have worked/collaborated with X for over xx years and have found our working relationship inspiring. He/she is an excellent colleague and I thoroughly enjoy discussing any number of problems with X to get his/her perspective. X is always willing to share or contribute his/her professional experience with peers, review scientific journals, or contribute to conferences.  X is a top-notch optical fiber scientist and engineer with an exceptional professional record of accomplishment of achievements in the field of optical fibers and their applications. I have no hesitation in highly recommending him/her for election in OSA Senior membership. 

X has made highly significant original contributions in the cutting-edge areas of (name areas). He/she is well recognized and his/her more than xx publications in refereed journals and leading conference proceedings are widely cited by his peers.  He/she has made so many contributions to the field of (name field) and I am happy to provide a few examples.  (Provide a few examples).   These examples alone would more than qualify X for Senior Member status.