Review requirements/qualifications

New IEEE members must have completed an IEEE Membership application and have received an IEEE member number before applying. Members beginning the application process or nominating an IEEE member for Senior Member Grade should carefully review the requirements to ensure eligibility.

Determine application deadline

For applications or nominations to be considered, they must be received completed, with all required references and resume, at least seven days for all Meetings.

Review Senior Member Panel meeting dates

  • The Admission and Advancement (A&A) Senior Member Review Panels meet periodically, at least six times annually, to review applications or nominations for election or elevation to Senior Member (SM) grade. 
  • Review panel meetings are held in various locations throughout the world.
  • A panel of reviewers is recruited among Senior members, Life Senior members, and Fellows in the Section where the meeting is to be held.
  • This full-day session is presided over by the Admission and Advancement Chair and/or Vice Chair, as well as a representative of the Member and Geographic Activities staff.
  • Applications from all ten regions are reviewed at each meeting.

Contact qualifying references

Identify three references who will support your application for Senior Member grade elevation. References must be an active IEEE member and hold the grade of IEEE Senior member, Life Senior member, Fellow, or Life Fellow. It is preferred, but not required, that your references know you personally or professionally. Once a member number of the reference is entered into the application, they will receive an email with a link to the Senior Member portal to complete the reference for the applicant. 

It is the responsibility of the applicant to follow up with their references regarding the completion of the reference form.


If you have difficulty in locating Senior members or Fellows to serve as references, you have three options.

Option 1

Follow these simple steps to search for qualifying members using IEEE Collabratec.

  1. Sign in to Collabratec.
  2. Enter your user name and password.
  3. On the top of Collabratec, click on “People.”
  4. Under the “IEEE Membership Directory” on the lefthand side, use "Member Status" to filter “Senior Member,” “Life Senior,” “Fellow,” and “Life Fellow.”
  5. Use the remaining Filters on the lefthand side to narrow your search as you please.
  6. Click on any of the profiles listed that you wish to message.
  7. Click the “Message” tab to message the member.

Option 2

Contact the Section or Chapter chair for assistance in finding qualified references. More information about your Section chair can be found under the "References" tab of your application. 

The applicant is responsible for contacting your Region/Section Chair. Tell them you are applying for Senior membership and require three references. Your Section Chair may ask you a few questions and ask to see your resume. You will need names and membership numbers that will be entered into the reference tab of the application process.

If you are working with your Society or Region, they may offer to endorse (be a nominator) on your application. IEEE Sections/Societies can receive a rebate of $10 for each successful nomination as part of the Nominate a Senior Member Initiative. If they wish to serve as a nominator they should begin the application process for you and then the applicant will finish the remaining tabs of the application.

Please note: If you have a nominator, they serve as a reference as well; therefore, you will only require two additional references.

Option 3

Attend Section meetings and network with Senior members and Fellows in your areas. A nomination by a Section or Society will help them earn a rebate at the end of the year through the Nominate a Senior Member initiative. 

: If you are being nominated by another member, the application must be started by the nominator or nominating entity.

Complete application/nomination form

Applicants: After you have notified all your references and given them the proper instructions, fill out the online application via the Senior Member portal.

Nominators: Begin the application process prior to the applicant completing the application via the Senior Member portal. Once the nominator or nominating entity enters the applicant's member number, this information is saved by clicking on another tab. The applicant can now sign in and complete the remaining tabs of the application and then review/submit.

Submit resume or curriculum vitae

It is recommended that you upload a resume or curriculum vitae when completing your application. Dates help the Review Panel confirm that you meet the requirements. Your resume should highlight:

  • Five years of significant performance; dates and details must be provided
  • Relevant dates and details of your professional and educational experience highlighting activities of significant performance

Track status of application and references

You can check the status of your application at any time by logging into the Senior Member Portal. Under the “Status” column, you will see the current status of your application. Below is a summary of what each Status means:

Draft: Your application is started but has not been submitted.

Submitted Pending References: Your application is submitted, but it does not have all the required referrals back yet from your references. You will be able to see which references are still needed by clicking on the “References” tab of your application.

Submitted Pending Review: Your application is fully completed. It is now awaiting the next Senior Member Review Panel Meeting to be reviewed. Please note: Applications stay in this status until the next Panel Meeting. There are six Panel Meetings in a year. See the list of Panel Meeting Dates.

In Review: Your application is currently assigned to a Senior Member Panel Meeting and is being reviewed. Your application will stay in this status until the meeting is complete. Please note: The IEEE Senior Member Team cannot confirm the decision of any application until the meeting is completed.

Approved/Deferred/Denied: This is the status of your application. You will receive an official notification email with the outcome and next steps.

IMPORTANT: The deadline for each Panel Meeting is at least seven days prior to the Review Panel meeting to allow ample time for processing.

Notification of results

You will receive a congratulatory letter via email if you have been approved or an email notification as to whether you have been deferred or denied.

About two weeks following a review panel meeting, an update report with the names of the newly elevated Senior members is published and available for those who hold a volunteer position. 

Approved applicants will:

  • Have their name posted in the newly elevated Senior members report after all applicants have been notified
  • Receive a formal letter via email confirming grade elevation after approval
  • Receive a wood-and-bronze commemorative plaque and an opportunity to join a new IEEE Society of your choice for one calendar year
  • Request for employer to be notified using the employer notification form

Denied or Deferred applicants will normally be asked to submit additional documentation in support of their application. This generally means the committee was unable to ascertain whether all the requirements have been met. Failure to document relevant dates of positions or details of how your experience is to be considered significant are frequent reasons that applications are deferred. The meaning of job titles vary from company to company and may not be sufficient to confirm significant performance. For example, if you were a Team Leader, describe the size and scope of the projects worked on. Once further documentation has been submitted, the application will be sent for reconsideration at the next available A&A Review Panel. 

Applicants who have resubmitted information and are still not elevated after multiple panel reviews have the right to an appeal of the decision through the Appeal Committee. The Appeal Committee is comprised of the Vice President of Member and Geographic Activities, the Vice President of Technical Activities, and the Vice President of Educational Activities. Appeals are not automatic and must be requested by the applicant.

The Appeal Committee shall review documentation submitted to the Review Panel and make a determination to uphold or overturn the Panel's decision. The applicant is allowed, but not required, to send along further documentation in support of his/her case. For example, if the Review Panel determined that the applicant had only nine years of professional experience, it may be helpful to provide a calculation of how you meet the requirement. Overlapping work and education experience will not be counted in both categories.

Volunteer Resources

Visit the Volunteers section for the following:

  • Senior member initiative
  • Section and Society benefits
  • Best practices for Sections and Societies
  • Schedule of review panels
  • Senior member statistics
  • Admission & Advancement Committee