How to construct a nomination form

The nomination form is very important for any award selection process because it sets the stage for the candidate. Below are some thoughts on how to construct a strong nomination form.

a) It is important that the nominator be a strong individual with good credentials of his/her own. 

b) The nomination form must very clearly describe the candidate's specific qualifications for the Award. Before initiating a nomination, the nominator should have read the Award criteria and tailored the nomination text to meet the criteria. Concrete examples of specific achievements or specific contributions need to be clearly shown and clearly identified as the work of the candidate. It is quite important that specific examples regarding the impact of the candidate's work on the profession, as it relates to the criterion of the award, be included in the text of the nomination.

c) The endorsement letters are key to the evaluation process. The nominator can greatly influence the chances of a candidate being recommended for the Award if the nominator selects good endorsers who will take the time to write a solid endorsement letter. Instructions for the endorsers are noted below:

Details about institute-level awards can be found on the IEEE Awards home page.

It is up to both the nominator and the endorsers to assist the Selection Committee, Awards Board and Board of Directors, in viewing the achievements of your candidate as they do. Keep in mind that in some cases those involved in the selection process may have no personal knowledge of the candidate and will lean heavily on the documentation for the information they need to make reasonable judgments.

Below are generalized criteria that are considered by selection committees. Criteria specific to a particular award, including individual, or team eligibility are noted on the nomination form for each award.

Leadership in Field
Breadth of Work
Achievement in Other Fields
Inventive Value (Patents)
Individual vs. Group Contribution

Publications (Articles, etc.)
Originality of Contribution
Quality of Nomination
Society Activity & Honors
Quality of Endorsement


The Awards Board has implemented a preliminary screening of candidates with the use of the Potential Nominee Form. By completing this simple, one page form, you can obtain feedback on a candidate before the initiation of a formal nomination process from the appropriate medal/award committee. This form is not required in order to proceed with a formal nomination.

The following information will assist in the preparation of the nomination:

1. Candidate Eligibility: Any person may be nominated for an IEEE medal or award, regardless of IEEE membership, with the following exceptions:

  • IEEE Board of Directors- Exception: BoD Emeritus Member
  • IEEE Awards Board
  • Medals Council: members are not eligible for consideration for an IEEE Medal while serving on this council
  • Recognitions Council: members are not eligible for consideration for an IEEE Recognition while serving on this council
  • Technical Field Awards Council: members are not eligible for consideration for an IEEE Technical Field Award while serving on this council
  • Medal of Honor recipients cannot receive an IEEE Medal for the same work
  • Medal recipients cannot receive another Medal or Technical Field Award for the same work
  • Technical Field Awards recipients cannot receive another Technical Field Award for the same work
  • Award/Medal Selection Committee Members cannot be considered while serving on a relevant board or committee
  • Deceased persons - Exception: posthumous award may be presented if recipient's death occurs after the IEEE Board of Directors approves the nomination
  • Self nominations
  • IEEE staff

2. Nominator Eligibility: Any person may nominate a candidate for an Institute-level award, with the following exceptions:

  • IEEE Board of Directors (Exception: BoD Emeritus Member)
  • IEEE Awards Board
  • Medals, Technical Field Awards and Recognitions Council Members
  • Selection Committee Members while serving on a relevant committee
  • Self-nominations
  • IEEE staff

3. Candidate Personal Data: Provide complete name of candidate, not initials. Avoid abbreviations. Provide complete and accurate business title and addresses (business and home).

4. Endorsers: A minimum of three and a maximum of five endorsement letters are required.  Include name, mailing address and email for each. 

The endorsement letters may accompany the nomination or be submitted directly to IEEE.  It is the nominator's responsibility to contact the potential endorsers and to insure that they submit the promised letters by the submission deadline date.  

The selection of endorsers is important. An endorser should be in a position to substantiate the candidate's contribution(s) by providing explicit details from personal knowledge.

The endorsement letters should include the following:

  • A brief introduction and describe of association to the nominee(s)
  • Description of familiarity with the nominee’s work and the benefit(s) this work provided
  • Description of how the nominee has demonstrated innovative leadership
  • Pertinent information about the nominee that may be helpful during the evaluation process

The following persons may not serve as endorsers:

  • IEEE Board of Directors Members
  • IEEE Awards Board Members
  • Medal/Recognitions Committee Chairs are not permitted to endorse for any IEEE Medal or Recognition
  • Medal/Recognitions Selection Committee Members are not permitted to endorse for their committee award
  • Technical Field Award Committee Chairs cannot are not permitted to for any IEEE Technical Field Award
  • Technical Field Award Selection Committee Members are not permitted to endorse for their committee award
  • Nominators
  • IEEE staff

Below are some thoughts on how to write a strong endorsement; it is recommended that these instructions be provided to the endorsers.

a) Each endorser should include statements establishing his/her qualifications as an endorser. The endorser should be well qualified to judge the candidate and his/her attributes against the Award criteria. The relationship between the endorser and the candidate should also be included in the endorsement letter. This helps the award selection committee evaluate the strength of the endorsement.

b) The endorsement letters should identify specific attributes of the candidate that qualify him/her for the Award. Simply stating that 'I know him and he is a very qualified individual' is a poor endorsement. The more detailed the support data, the stronger the endorsement. Stating 'I know him and he is a very qualified individual because ....' and then identifying items that distinguish the candidate make for a good endorsement. It is very important that the endorsers provide details, substantiation or concrete examples of the candidates’ achievement as it relates to the criteria of the Award. The review committee will be looking at how each candidate matches up against the other candidates for the Award.

c) It is desirable that a letter from the President of the Society(ies) engaged in the technical fields relevant to the candidate’s citation. Please note, however, that a nomination will be considered without a society endorsement. The name of the Society representative who will provide comments should be listed in the endorsers section of the nomination form.

5. Proposed Citation. Be concise and accurate in citing the contribution deserving of honor. Do not exceed 25 words.

  • The citation should be complete, correct, and succinct.
  • Avoid superfluous phrases. Such as “outstanding” since the recipient’s and/or alternate’s work must be outstanding to fulfill the requirements for the Award/Medal/Recognition.
  • Avoid the word invention; evidence of discovery and/or invention may be difficult to prove.
  • Avoid references to specific companies and organizations.
  • Avoid specifying the gender in the citation.
  • Only in exceptional cases should the citation include the name of a particular country where the candidate’s work is especially recognized.
  • The citation may begin with the following phrases:
    • For contributions to (in)...
    • For developments in ...
    • For leadership of (in) ..

6. Professional history: Begin with candidate's present occupation followed by previous career experience. Indicate positions held, year, and briefly explain each responsibility. If necessary to accommodate space limitations, cite only principal positions.

7. Detailed evidence of technical accomplishment: May include the following; indicate sole/joint authorship. Technical publications such as books, papers, reports, standards. Patents by date, number, title, and country of origin. Documentation authenticating development of products, systems, facilities, or services. Technical presentations such as keynote addresses or papers, or courses developed. Refer to the nomination form for requirements specific to the particular award or medal.

8. Achievements pertinent to the qualifications for the award: (see CRITERIA on nomination cover page) Describe the candidate's outstanding contribution(s) in detail. Be specific in terms of the innovation, originality, creativity, and importance of the contribution(s). This item should be written in paragraph form only and is not to exceed one page in length.

9. IEEE activities: Provide dates and description of offices held, committee memberships, and other participation. List dates of each activity.

10. Non-IEEE professional activities: Provide dates and description of professional society, government, or international committee memberships, Professional Engineer's license, educational and trade association activities.

11. IEEE Fellowships: There are two IEEE Fellowships given to graduate students each year. In this space is where you would indicate if your candidate had received one of these awards.

12. Presentation location: IEEE Technical Field Awards are presented during IEEE sponsored conferences or symposiums. Include your top two choices of presentation.

IEEE Medals and Recognitions are presented at the annual IEEE Honors Ceremony.   

13. Nomination and endorsement letter submission: Please send all materials to:

(Name of IEEE Medal/Award Selection Committee)
IEEE Awards Activities
445 Hoes Lane
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Or email to: