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Guidelines For Proposing the Creation of a New MRS Award

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The following is a brief set of guidelines for MRS awards. They are intended to provide guidance to those considering proposals for new awards, rather than a set of rigid rules or prescriptions. All award proposals must be brought before the MRS Awards Committee for approval and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Overall Criteria

The purpose of each award should be clearly articulated. The award must represent excellence and prestige. It must not overlap with existing awards, but should address a constituency that is not served by the existing award family. The award should not confuse the scope of existing awards or diminish their prestige. New award proposals should suggest specific criteria by which the award might be identified and nominations be judged. A (confidential) list of examples of specific individuals who would be appropriate candidates for the award should be included.


Awards may be named after individuals, whether alive or deceased. Naming awards after a living person is possible; but the individual must have achieved a high level of visibility and distinction, and above all, must compare favorably with individuals identified by existing named awards. Awards proposed in the name of a company are not acceptable. Appropriate recognition of the source of an endowment in the award description is acceptable. Promotion of an award to be named after oneself is discouraged.

Financial Support of the Award  

Awards should ideally be endowed by either a lump sum contribution or a payment contract over time that also provides for the annual cost of the award including related expenses; e.g., travel and registration for the award winner.


Awards should not be limited to specific sub-fields of materials science, but rather, should be inclusive of the breadth of disciplines represented in the society.


All new award proposals should be brought before the Awards Committee for discussion and recommendation to the MRS Board of Directors.

For further information, please contact Lorri Smiley.