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SPIE Society Awards nomination guide

How to successfully nominate an exceptional colleague

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Ready to honor an individual who has made outstanding contributions to optics and photonics? Follow the step-by-step instructions below to submit your nomination.

Nominations are due 31 July 2024.

A happy group of SPIE Members at the annual Awards banquet

Your nomination checklist


Identify the most suitable award for your nominee from the list below.

Prepare all needed nomination materials.

  • Your nomination will require the following:
    • Basic career and contact information for the nominee
    • Descriptive support
      • Citation (a brief and specific statement; the basis for the award nomination)
      • Narrative (significant aspects of the nominee’s career)
      • Technical accomplishments (outstanding technical accomplishments in an educational, research, design, engineering, manufacturing, testing, or other capacity)
      • Contributions to SPIE
      • Impact to the community
      • Other efforts related to the citation
    • To prepare this support, please consider the following:
      • Distinguished and outstanding contributions to optics (or related) education
      • Entrepreneurial or technical management contributions to the optics and photonics industry, government programs, or other organization's service to the community
      • Clear and outstanding contributions to the international optical community
      • Service to other societies in related fields
      • Participation in activities to raise visibility and support for optics and photonics within governments
      • Publication record, including journal and proceedings papers, books, trade journal articles, technical reports, patent disclosures, and high-level presentations
      • Voluntary work with local schools and science fairs
      • Educational history, work experience, awards, honors, patents
      • While publications, presentations, and patents serve as good documentation of technical accomplishments, there are often circumstances where the candidate's accomplishments are not directly available or easily presented due to classifications or industrial propriety. In this case, listings of the contributions with enough detail to justify their consideration by the committee will suffice.
    • Curriculum vitae: should not exceed 20 pages

Determine two (2) to five (5) references who can provide letters of support for the nominee.

  • Diversity of support is preferred. Not all letters of recommendation should come from the nominee's organization.
  • You will enter each reference’s name and contact information into the nomination form. The nomination system will automatically reach out to them via email, and they will be asked to upload a support letter in a PDF, DOC, or DOCX format directly to the nomination form. It's best to give them a heads-up so that they can draft their letter ahead of time.
  • Letters must be received within two weeks of the nomination deadline (14 August).

Create your SPIE account or log in to an existing SPIE account.

Fill out the nomination form using the link below.

  • Pro tip: make sure you're logged in to your SPIE account first. If not, you'll need to return to the nomination landing page once you are. 
  • Don't forget to hit "Submit" when you're done!
  • Watch this short video to avoid unconscious bias in your nomination.
  • Reach out to awards@spie.org with any questions.
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Diversity, eligibility, and other award nomination process


Serving a diverse and inclusive community is a core value of SPIE. Nominations of historically marginalized groups are especially encouraged. The SPIE Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee provides these resources to avoid unconscious bias in your nominations. 

Nominations are eligible for a three-year period. 

Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award nominations are submitted through a separate process. Learn more here.