ACS National Awards: Nomination Guidelines

Nominations for Awards

Any individual, except a member of the award committee or a Board member during their terms of service on the Board, may submit either one nomination or one support letter for each award in any given year.

A completed nomination is expected to include:

1. A complete set of address information for the nominee, the author of the recommendation letter, and the author(s) of supporting letters that includes:

a) A recommendation letter of no more than 750 words that clearly describes the work to be recognized by receipt of the award:

• The alignment of this work with the Award’s purpose, eligibility and/or criteria,

• The work’s impact on the discipline,

• The significance (scientific or otherwise) of this effort,

• The benefits to society.

b) One support letter of no more than 400 words. To assist the Selection Committee in its deliberations, the support letter should contain information not addressed in the recommendation letter. The support letter should clearly describe the impact of the work on the discipline, the significance of the research findings, and the way the Award’s purpose and criteria have been met.

c) A succinctly written biographical sketch and curriculum vitae or resume including date of birth and contact information (phone, fax and email); and

d) A list of up to 20 of the nominee’s most significant publications and patents that address the general area of the Award’s purpose.

e) A description of the work in 25 words or less that can be inscribed on the award certificate.

2. For the ACS Award for Creative Invention, a copy of the patent must be submitted with the nominating documents.

Optional: A second support letter of no more than 400 words, which contains information not addressed in the recommendation letter, is strongly encouraged. The second support letter should clearly describe the impact of the work on the discipline, the significance of the research findings, and the way the Award’s purpose and criteria have been met.

Presentation of Awards

The ACS national awards recognize individual or team accomplishments in diverse fields of the chemical sciences. The presentation of ACS national awards is an annual feature of the ACS spring national meeting. Customarily, the names of the recipients are announced soon after the preceding ACS fall national meeting. Each recipient is required to appear in person to receive the award and to deliver an award address on the scientific work that is being recognized. Customarily, the award address will be given at a session of an appropriate division. These requirements will be waived only under extraordinary circumstances.

Posthumous Awards

Posthumous awards will be made only when knowledge of the individual's death is received after the recipient has been announced. Nominations of individuals known to be deceased will not be accepted.

Sharing of Awards

Although nominations of more than one individual for an award are acceptable, the sharing of an award will be permitted only in exceptional cases and then only on prior approval of the sponsor and of the ACS Board Committee on Grants and Awards.

Multiple Awards

Should the same individual be chosen for two or more awards in any one year, the President and the President-Elect, in consultation with such members of the Society as they may choose, decide which award or awards will be given to that individual and, should one or more of the awards be withheld, to designate as recipient of any withheld award the second choice of the award selection committee.


In general, a recipient of a widely recognized scientific award is not eligible for an ACS national award unless the accomplishment cited as the basis for the nomination represents new or different work. An individual who has received an ACS National award may be nominated for a different ACS award if (1) the nomination is for clearly different work from the previous award. (the letter of nomination for the award must address the differences between the work performed for the previous ACS award and that which is addressed in the current nomination packet) or (2) at least five years has elapsed since the previous ACS award was received (this “five-year” rule is waived for the preceptor (s) of the students who are eligible to receive the Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry).