Steps to Become an IEEE Fellow
Requirements for Fellow nomination
At the time the nomination is submitted, a nominee must:
- Have accomplishments that have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology, bringing the realization of significant value to society
- Hold IEEE Senior member or IEEE Life Senior member grade
- Have been a member in good standing and has completed a minimum of five full years (consecutive or not) of IEEE membership in any grade preceding 1 January of the year of elevation
Note: IEEE Society affiliation membership does not apply.
Non-eligibility: The nominee cannot be a member of the IEEE Fellow Committee, members of the IEEE Board of Directors, the President, Past President, and President-Elect of an S/TC, as well as any S/TC officer to whom the S/TC Fellow Evaluating Committee reports, shall not be a Nominee for a Fellow Nomination evaluated by the S/TC, or members who are prohibited from publishing in IEEE publications.
A nominator's responsibilities
Any person, including non-IEEE members, is eligible to serve as a nominator. The following are exceptions: members of the IEEE Board of Directors, members of the IEEE Fellow Committee, IEEE Society/Technical Council Fellow Evaluating Committee Chairs, Vice-Chairs, and members of IEEE Society/Technical Council Fellow Evaluating Committee reviewing the nomination, or IEEE staff. Self-nomination is not permitted.
- The nominator is responsible for preparing the IEEE Fellow Grade Nomination Form.
- The nominator is responsible for soliciting at least three, but no more than five, references capable of assessing the nominee’s contributions.(NOTE: A reference must be an IEEE Fellow in good standing. The following individuals are ineligible to serve as IEEE Fellow references: members of the IEEE Board of Directors, members of the Fellow Committee, members of the IEEE Society/Technical Council Fellow Evaluating Committee reviewing the nomination or IEEE Staff. In addition, a nominator may not serve as a reference for a nomination he/she is submitting.
Exception: References will be accepted if a reference is an IEEE Senior or Life Senior member from Region 9, in good standing and the nominee they are serving as a reference resides in Region 9).
- There is the option of soliciting no more than three endorsements capable of supporting the nomination. Any person, including non-IEEE members, may submit an endorsement. The following individuals are ineligible to serve as endorsements: members of the IEEE Board of Directors, members of the Fellow Committee, members of the IEEE Society/Technical Council Fellow Evaluating Committee reviewing the nomination or IEEE Staff. In addition, a nominator may not serve as an endorser for a nomination he/she is submitting.
- The nominator is responsible for identifying an IEEE Society/Technical Council whose evaluating committee will assess the nominee’s technical qualifications and contributions.
- It is essential that a nominator reads the How to Write an Effective Nomination document carefully so that the nomination is not put at risk.
The Fellow evaluation process
The process consists of two evaluations. The first evaluation is completed by the IEEE Society/Technical Council that is identified on the nomination form. The IEEE Society/Technical Council evaluation is extremely important, because it is an impartial and even-handed view of the nominee’s merit, by persons who are familiar with his or her work. Once the IEEE Society/Technical Council evaluation is completed, their comments and scores are given to the IEEE Fellow Committee for the second evaluation. Society/Technical Council’s Fellow evaluations that are not received by the 15 June deadline will be deemed incomplete and will not be forwarded for consideration to the IEEE Fellow Evaluation Committee.
As discussed above, the nomination form is evaluated twice: first by the IEEE Society/Technical Council and second by the Judges on the IEEE Fellow Committee. These Judges are IEEE Fellows, but they may not have worked in the exact area of expertise of the 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; which 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.
All nomination materials are forwarded in confidence to the IEEE Fellow Committee. The IEEE Fellow Committee has 51 members plus a chair. All committee members are IEEE Fellows and selected to represent the 10 IEEE Regions, and have expertise in the technical areas represented by IEEE Societies/Technical Councils.
The IEEE Fellow Committee recommends nominees to the IEEE Board of Directors, according to the following criteria:
- Significant contributions as Application Engineer/Practitioner, Educator, Research Engineer/Scientist, and Technical Leader.
- Evidence of technical accomplishments and realization of significant impact to society
- Evaluation by the IEEE Society/Technical Council selected by the nominator
- Confidential opinions of references and endorsers
- Service to professional engineering societies
- Total years in the profession
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 3rd quarter, and the Board acts upon those recommendations at its year-end meeting. According to IEEE Bylaw I-305.5, the total number of Fellow recommendations in any one-year must not exceed one-tenth of one percent of the voting membership on record as of 31 December of the year preceding.