Tips for Preparing Nominations

Please take the time to review these tips on creating a good nomination packet.

Why is a Good Nomination Packet So Important?

A good nomination is key to communicating a candidate's qualifications to the award committee.

  • Represent your candidate – Poorly-prepared or incomplete nominations will not highlight the technical or service accomplishments of a candidate and places them at a disadvantage.
  • Help the award committees – Well-written and concise nominations allow committee members to use their time effectively when evaluating candidates.

Please note: Nominations are confidential and all award nomination materials are confidential.

Self-nominations are not accepted.

How Do I Compose a Good Nomination Packet?

  • Initiate the nomination process early – Compiling a thorough nomination packet takes time. Begin the process early in the year and be sure to check the deadline for each award being considered.
  • Check the individual award webpage – To ensure that your candidate fits the award criteria and that you have provided all required documents, be certain to check the individual award webpage.
  • Provide sufficient information – The entire nomination packet should consist of sufficient detail to enable the committee to assess the candidate’s qualifications for the award. This requires a thorough, but concise, nomination packet.
  • Keep it concise – Please note that the nominator's supporting statement should be no more than two pages; letters of endorsement should be no more than one page each; and the resume/curriculum vitae should be no more than 5 pages. Except in the case of a best paper award, where a copy of the nominated paper should accompany the nomination packet, any additional material or pages received will not be forwarded to the award committee.

How Do I Get Started?

Before you begin, ask these questions and determine if the candidate meets each one:

  • Is there an age requirement?
  • Is there a membership requirement?
  • Is there a field of expertise requirement?
  • Do the candidate's accomplishments meet the award criteria?
  • What supporting documents will I need to gather for this award?

When you start compiling your nomination packet, follow these steps:

  • Plan your argument – Outline your potential candidate's qualifications, comparing them to the award criteria. This will make it easier to compose your argument. Be certain to address each of the criteria.
  • Compose your supporting letter – Using the points you have already collected, compose a two-page letter outlining your candidate's qualifications and how they apply to the specific award criteria in a logical and concise statement. This letter should include:   
    • Significant information regarding the professional and industrial achievements of your nominee and how they relate to the award criteria.
    • Relevant professional history, education, job experience, company affiliations, licenses and certifications, patents, or organization memberships.
    • An explanation of how the candidate’s work has influenced the industry. Give details regarding the originality of the candidate's work.
    • Please note that the supporting letter should be no more than two pages. Any pages beyond the first two will not be forwarded to the award committee.
  • Fill out the application form completely – Make sure you have filled out all applicable fields in a legible manner.
  • Ask the candidate to suggest references – When choosing references:
    • Ask well-known, highly-regarded people such as past award recipients, a past TMS president or past board member, well-known industry experts, etc. to provide letters of endorsement.
    • Make sure the endorser knows the candidate and his/her work.
    • Start early as it can take some time and work to identify these people and have them write endorsements.
    • Keep in mind that no more than one letter of endorsement may be from the same affiliation as the nominee. The nominator’s letter may be counted in the total number required.

After you have gathered your materials, it is important to thoroughly review your packet:

  • Double check the award requirements – Visit the individual award page and make sure that you have gathered all the required documentation.
  • Check spelling and grammar – Be sure to do a thorough proof-reading of all documents being submitted.
  • Get feedback from the candidate – Let the candidate review the final nomination. This may lead to improvements in examples and additional supporting details.
  • Get a second reviewer – Ask another person to review the nomination for both content and the quality of the writing before submitting.

How Do I Write a Good Letter of Endorsement?

  • Explain your relationship – Letters should include a brief introduction and discuss the relationship between writer and candidate.
  • Keep the award criteria in mind – The letter writer should address specific examples of the candidate's work that meets the award criteria.
  • Use concrete evidence – Statements such as: “because he/she is an excellent engineer” must be followed by concrete evidence of why.
  • Be original – Letters copied from other sources may not do justice to the nomination. Do not encourage multiple identical endorsements from colleagues. Similarly, ensure each letter of endorsement is composed independently and addresses unique aspects of the candidate’s work. Avoid reciprocating endorsements, (e.g. you endorse me and I'll endorse you).
  • Be concise – Each letter should be no longer than one page.

How Do I Submit my Nomination Packet?

Word and PDF files are accepted.

Once you have gathered all your information documents, email them to awards@tms.org by the award deadline.

Contact Us

Feel free to reach out to our Awards & Recognition Specialist, Deborah Hixon.
Email: awards@tms.org
Phone: 1-724-776-9000 ext. 232