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Each unit executive committee is responsible for canvassing for nominations, promoting fellowship in the unit, and forming the selection committee.
Canvassing and Promotion
At the end of the calendar year, APS staff will distribute a report of the carryover nominations that are still active and eligible for each unit’s honors. Executive committee members should review the existing nomination pool, canvass for a diverse pool of nominees, and send promotional messages via the unit’s communication channels. Unit officers can request a current list of unit members who are eligible for election to Fellowship by submitting a Unit Statistics Request through the APS Unit Service Desk.
If officers would like to submit a nomination themselves, please reference the conflict of interest definition and examples to prevent conflicts of interest.
Forming Selection Committees
Selection committees are formed by the related APS unit. The committee composition varies by unit and may be defined in the unit’s bylaws. In January, staff will ask each unit’s chair and secretary/treasurer to provide the selection committee. If committee selections are dependent on elections and newly filled positions, continuing committee members should be confirmed as soon as possible. All individuals serving on a selection committee are required to complete a professional conduct disclosure.
Guidelines for Promoting Equity
The APS Committees on the Status of Women in Physics and on Minorities have crafted guidelines to improve the effectiveness of award, prize and fellowship committees in finding the most qualified person from a diverse, representative pool of candidates.
Guidelines for Promoting Equity in Awarding APS Prizes, Awards & Fellowships (2014)
Selection committees are responsible for reviewing nominations and recommending fellows.
The Chair’s Role
The selection committee chair shall be responsible for ensuring the review and selection process is completed on time and in within the Society’s policies and procedures. The chair shall facilitate and document the review and selection process, but, if possible, should not score or vote on nominees unless needed as a tiebreaker. The chair may take part in discussion of the nominees, but should be mindful of their primary role of facilitator.
Scheduling Selection Committee Calls
APS recommends the selection committee has at least one conference call to discuss nominees and scoring. APS Honors staff can set up Zoom meetings and provide connection information for the committee’s use. Please request this in advance by emailing email@example.com.
If needed, APS staff can host an optional training session for selection committee members to review how to navigate the APS nominations system and answer any questions regarding procedures.
The chair of the selection committee shall complete the chair report by providing conflict of interest disclosure and the committee’s selection(s). Some unit bylaws require that the chair report first be shared with the unit executive committee before submission to APS. Once received by APS, staff will submit the reports to the APS Council of Representatives for review and approval.
December 1 - Nominations open.
January - Unit executive committee reviews carryover nominees (if applicable) and begins canvassing and promotion.
One month before Nomination Deadline - Selection Committee Due. The unit executive committee has formed the selection committee and reported the names to APS Fellowship staff.
June 1 - Nomination Deadline. After the nomination deadline, selection committees begin the scoring procedure.
June-July - Selection committees complete scoring and discuss nominees on conference call. Fellows are selected.
August 1 - Chair report due.
The optional suggested scoring procedure is intended to calibrate and focus the discussion of nominees, not replace or automate it. This is the process successfully used each year by the APS Medal and Prize Committee and the Apker Award Selection Committee. It is not mandatory if your unit already has a system in place that works well.
After the nomination deadline passes, committee members will be prompted to review nominations in the APS nominations system.
Instructions for scoring in the nominations system
Log in to the APS nomination system with your my APS account credentials
Select My Reviewing Assignments
Review and rate each nomination from 1 (least recommended) to 5 (most recommended).
After the scoring deadline, the chair will review the committee’s scores and facilitate a discussion of the candidates.
The chair may choose to assign each committee member as primary reviewer of a subset of nominations. The primary reviewer should be prepared to briefly summarize the nomination on the committee selection call before discussion. Primary reviewer assignments may be based loosely on area of physics, but not necessarily.
If a clear consensus is not reached on the selection call after discussion of the scoring, voice voting or ranking candidates on the call may help the committee reach a decision.
The following connections between selection committee members and nominees are conflicts of interest:
Residing at the same institution within the past four years,
Collaborations (co-authors, post-docs, etc.) published within the past four years,
Financial via direct chain of command and/or participation in tenure, promotion, salary or forms of support by either party,
Member of the same center or sharing any funding contract,
Relationship due to immediate blood relation, current or prior marriage or civil union,
Current or prior students, advisees, and advisors,
Nominator or participant in the nomination package.
Immediately after nominations are available for review, committee members should review the list of nominees and disclose to the entire committee any conflicts of interest as described above. The committee should unanimously agree on a response based on the level of the conflict. Recusal from scoring and discussion of the person with whom a committee member has a conflict is likely appropriate for most cases. In more serious cases, a new committee member may need to be identified. In less serious cases, disclosure to the committee may be considered sufficient. The chair is responsible for documenting the details of each conflict and the committee’s unanimous response in the chair report.
If the chair has a conflict as described above, they should immediately disclose it to the committee. A new chair may need to be identified, depending on the level of conflict. The committee minus the chair will vote to determine if the chair must be replaced due to conflict, or if recusal is sufficient.
Committee members are encouraged to disclose to each other any other formal or informal connections to nominees that are not described above, as the list is not exhaustive. These situations do not necessarily require a response, but open disclosure promotes an environment of transparency across the committee.
Honors Conflict of Interest Guidelines, v05.21
Individuals serving on a selection committee must not disclose information about the committee’s business to individuals outside of the selection process. Selection committee business includes the committee’s deliberations, the number of nominations reviewed, conflicts of interest, and other sensitive information. The recommended recipients are not official until approved by the APS Council of Representatives, and the recipient has been notified.
If you have any questions about the review process, please contact Jacob Robertson, Honors Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.