Requirements for Fellow nomination

As defined in IEEE Bylaw I-104.2, the following qualifications apply to Fellow grade:

The grade of Fellow recognizes unusual distinction in the profession and shall be conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest (Bylaw I-104.11). The accomplishments that are being honored shall have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology, bringing the realization of significant value to society.

At the time the nomination is submitted, a nominee must:

  • Hold IEEE Senior member or IEEE Life Senior member grade.
  • Be a member in good standing and have completed a minimum of five cumulative years (1,825 days) of IEEE membership in any grade preceding 1 January of the year of elevation.

Note: IEEE Society affiliate membership does not apply.


  • Members of the IEEE Board of Directors.
  • Society/Council officers to whom the Society/Council Fellow Evaluating Committee evaluating the Nominee reports.
  • Members of the Society/Council Fellow Evaluating Committee evaluating the nomination.
  • Individuals who are prohibited from publishing in IEEE publications, as identified by the Publication Services and Products Board.
  • Members who have committed either a plagiarism violation or other form of major publication misconduct, as identified by the Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB) or a conduct violation or other form of major ethics violation as identified by the relevant IEEE bodies, in the five years preceding 1 January of the year of elevation. 

A nominator's responsibilities

Any person, including non-IEEE members, may serve as a nominator with the following exceptions. In accordance with IEEE Bylaw I-305.9, the following individuals are ineligible to serve as nominators:

  • Member of the IEEE Board of Directors
  • Member of the Fellow Committee
  • Chair, Vice Chair, or member (Evaluator) of any Society/Council Fellow Evaluating Committee (S/C FEC) evaluating the nomination
  • Any member of the Cohort Fellow Evaluating Committee (CFEC) evaluating the nomination
  • IEEE staff


Additionally, the following individuals are ineligible to serve as nominators:

  • Any Society/Council officer to whom the S/C FEC reports
  • The nominee (self-nominations are not permitted)
  • A reference for the same nomination
  • An endorser for the same nomination
  • The nominator is responsible for preparing the IEEE Fellow Grade Nomination Form through the Fellow Portal
  • The nominator is responsible for identifying an IEEE Society/Council whose evaluating committee will assess the nominee’s technical qualifications and contributions
  • The nominator is responsible for soliciting at least three, but no more than five, references capable of assessing the nominee’s contributions. Please see the Reference Quick Help Guide to learn more about requirements for references  
  • The nominator may (optionally) solicit up to three endorsements capable of supporting the nomination. Please see the Endorsement Quick Help Guide to learn more about endorsements


There are resources available on the website to help you prepare the nomination. In addition to the Fellow FAQs page, please visit the Guidelines page where you will find:

  • Quick help guides for nominators, references, and endorsers, along with samples of what to expect for each form
  • IEEE Fellow Contribution Categories Matrix, which can help you determine the category or categories to select for the nominee’s contribution(s). The matrix provides examples of typical evidence for documenting the nature, extent, and impact of such contributions
  • The IEEE Fellow Committee Operations Manual

The Fellow evaluation process

The rigorous process consists of two evaluations. The first evaluation is completed by the IEEE Society/Council that is identified on the nomination form. The IEEE Society/Council evaluation is extremely important because it is an impartial view of the nominee’s merit by persons who are familiar with the nominee’s work. Please consider the Society or Council that most closely aligns with the contribution(s) that you intend to include in the nomination.

Once the IEEE Society/Council evaluation is completed, these comments and scores are provided to the IEEE Fellow Committee for the second evaluation. The IEEE Fellow Committee has 51 members plus a chair. All committee members are IEEE Fellows and selected to represent the 10 IEEE Regions. They have expertise in the technical areas represented by IEEE Societies/Councils, but they do not all have expertise in all of the technical areas for each nominee.

Your goal, as a nominator, is to make the cited contributions of the nominee easy to identify and to make their importance and impact easy to understand and verify.

Include in the nomination sufficient background material about the outstanding contributions of the nominee whom you cited and why they are important. Describe the state of the art prior to the nominee’s contributions and highlight the significance of the contributions in this context. Finally, summarize how the nominee overcame the challenges involved. Include examples, if appropriate, illustrating the impact of the nominee’s work. Such impact might include how the nominee’s contributions paved the way for future contributors. Please see the Fellow user guides, especially the Contribution Categories Matrix to help you with your work on the nomination form.

The IEEE Fellow Committee recommends nominees to the IEEE Board of Directors, according to the following criteria:

  • Significant contributions as Educator, Research Engineer/Scientist, Standards Contributor, Technology Innovator, Technical Leader
  • Evidence of technical accomplishments and realization of significant impact to society at large
  • Evaluation by the IEEE Society/Council selected by the nominator
  • Confidential opinions of references and endorsers
  • Professional activities within the IEEE fields of interest
  • Each nominee is rated numerically on the basis of this information


Submittal to Board of Directors

The slate of nominees is submitted by the IEEE Fellow Committee to the IEEE Board of Directors during the 4th quarter, and the Board acts upon those recommendations at its year-end meeting.  According to IEEE Bylaw I-305.9, the total number of Fellow recommendations in any year must not exceed one-tenth of one percent of the IEEE voting membership on record as of 31 December of the year preceding.
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