Every year, the American Academy of Microbiology elects exceptional microbiologists to fellowship in the Academy. ​Over 2,600 distinguished scientists have been elected to the Academy that represent a wide variety of microbiology sectors, including research, education, public health, industry and government service. Fellows in good standing can nominate microbiologists who exhibit high ethical standards, scientific excellence, originality, scholarly and creative achievement and leadership for fellowship.

Nomination Process and Timeline

Nominations open Aug. 1 and close Oct. 1. To put forward a candidate for fellowship in the Academy, the primary nominator and 2 supporting nominators must be Academy fellows in good standing. To be considered in good standing, a fellow must be a dues-paying Academy fellow and a dues-paying ASM member in 2023. Lifetime and emeritus fellows are exempted from these requirements. All nominations will be reviewed by the Academy Subcommittee on Elections and Governors. The final 65 elected candidates are carefully vetted and supported by the majority of the governors. 
Fellowship nominations open Aug. 1 until Oct. 1. Nominations are reviewed from Oct. to Jan. The new class of Fellows are announced in Feb.

Fellows may serve as a primary nominator for a maximum of 2 fellowship nominations per cycle and as a supporting nominator for a maximum of 2 fellowship nominations per cycle. Only 1 person from among the primary nominator and 2 supporting nominators can be affiliated with the same institution as the nominee. All nominations must be submitted online. Check out the criteria for election for more detail. All of the following materials must be received by the deadline:
  1. Nomination form submitted by the primary nominator describing the nominee's work, bibliography of the nominee's 10 most significant publications and why they should be elected to the Academy.
  2. Curriculum Vitae  of no more than 5 pages. Nominees are highly encouraged to use the fillable CV templateThe CV can be provided by the nominee but must be submitted by the nominator. 
  3. Supporting statement submitted by 2 supporting nominators. The supporting statement is integrated with the nomination form. The nominator enters the supporter information into the nomination system, which generates a link for the supporters to use to submit their statement.
  4. New: Demographic information submitted by the nominee. In the effort to increase diversity, equity and inclusion among Academy fellows, nominees will be requested to submit demographics information, field of expertise and a link to their NCBI bibliography to show the complete list of publications. Demographic information will not be included in the review process and will not be used in determining the qualification of a nominee.

Nominees are highly encouraged to reach out and collaborate with their nominator and supporters (who must be current Academy fellows in good standing) in preparing the nomination submission. However, self-nominations will not be accepted.


For Nominators
  • Coordinate the nomination with the supporters and/or nominee.

  • ​Ensure only 1 person among the nominator and 2 supporters are affiliated with the same institution as the nominee.

  • ​Request bibliography and CV* from the nominee.

  • Complete the nomination form.

  • Submit the nomination form, bibliography and CV by Oct. 1.

  • ​Remind supporters to submit their statement via the link provided.

* The biblography and CV can be filled out by the nominee, but they must be submitted by the nominator.

For Supporters
  • Complete and submit your supporting statement via the link provided by Oct. 1.

  • Notify nominator and nominee (if applicable) after submission.

For Nominees
  • Reach out to current Academy fellows to request nomination (if applicable).

  • Provide nominator with a completed bibliography and CV.

  • Complete the demographic information form by Oct. 1. 

  • Remind nominator & supporters of the Oct. 1 submission deadline. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

For Nominators and Supporters

What does it mean to be a fellow in good standing?

You are a fellow in good standing if you have previously been elected into the Academy and have paid your Academy and ASM dues for the current year. Emeritus and lifetime Academy members are exempt from this requirement. Finally, to maintain the good standing status, fellows must further abide by the ASM’s code of ethics.

I am an honorific fellow; can I submit a nomination?

No, you cannot. Only fellows in good standing are eligible to nominate. If you are not sure about your Academy membership status, contact service@asmusa.org.

Can I nominate more than one individual?

Yes, as a fellow in good standing, you may nominate up to 2 candidates and support 2 other candidates in each fellowship cycle.

I was approached by a colleague who asked me to be their nominator—is this allowed?

Yes. Starting in 2020, individuals are encouraged to reach out to current Academy fellows to request nomination.

Can I submit a nomination if I am an ASM member but not an Academy Fellow?

No, Academy fellowship in good standing is required to nominate.

A colleague at my institution asked me to nominate them; can I be the nominator?

Yes, you can nominate a colleague from the same institution. However, the 2 supporting nominators must be from different institutions. For example, if you and the nominee are from Institution A, the 2 supporting nominators cannot be from Institution A.

This is my first year submitting a nomination. What do I need to know?

Nominators hold primary responsibility to coordinate with the nominee and supporting nominators. Nominating a candidate is a commitment from the nominator and supporters. Use the checklist and nomination materials required by the Academy to help you plan and stay on track. Finally, submit your nomination in advance of the deadline. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Can I save my nomination online and return to complete it later?

Yes, nominators can save the nomination form and complete it at the later time. However, supporters are requested to complete the submission in 1 sitting. 

After further consideration, I have decided I want to withdraw my nomination/support. Can I do that?

Yes, withdrawal will be accepted at any time before Dec. 31. The nominator and/or supporters can withdraw their nomination/support with or without reason by notifying the Academy at academy@asmusa.org. The nominee will be disqualified for fellowship for that cycle. Because of the impact of the decision on the nominee, we highly encourage careful consideration and discussion among the involved parties before notifying the Academy.

Can I nominate the same nominee from last year?

Yes, there is no limit to the number of times a nominee can be nominated. Re-nomination is welcome.

Can I nominate a nominee who is not an ASM member? 

Yes, ASM membership is not a prerequisite to be eligible for the Academy fellowship. 

What does the review process look like? 

All nominations will be reviewed by the Academy Subcommittee on Elections. Each nominee is reviewed by at least 3 reviewers to ensure thorough evaluation. A selected set of highly recommended nominees will be sent forward to the Academy Governors for the Phase II review. Each of these recommended nominees is carefully reviewed by at least 2 governors. The final 65 elected candidates are carefully vetted and supported by the majority of the governors. This mBio article details the mechanics of the fellowship election process.

For Nominees

Can I nominate myself to Academy Fellowship?

No, self-nomination is not allowed. However, potential nominees are encouraged to reach out and collaborate with current fellows in good standing to ask for their nomination and support.

I don’t know any fellows. Where should I start?

Check out our fellows directory. (ASM log-in is required. Create a free ASM account for access). Identify fellows from your institution and reach out to them first. You will have a higher chance of getting their support.

I am an ASM member. Can I just pay Academy dues to become a fellow?

No. Although the Academy is an honorific arm of ASM, membership in the Academy follows a strict nomination and review process by current fellows to ensure those who carry the title of fellow meet the rigorous criteria required by the Academy.

I have run my lab for 10 years. Am I ready for Academy Fellowship?

  • Review the evaluation criteria and do a self-evaluation of your record.

  • ​Schedule conversations with current fellows. If you need assistance, contact academy@asmusa.org for additional support.

I identify as female. Do I have a lower chance of being elected to Academy Fellowship?

Our data show that in recent years, female nominees have a higher acceptance rate to the Academy than male nominees. The Academy continues to focus on increasing gender diversity in its membership by encouraging more female microbiologists to be nominated to fellowship.

I am concerned about the diversity in the Academy. Do I have a chance to be accepted?

The field of microbiology has changed significantly in the last decades. Many early career microbiologists have reached a high level of accomplishment due to hard work and creativity. We encourage you to reach out to our current fellows to start a conversation. ASM and the Academy are committed to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). An organization-wide policy and new practices were put in place to support DEI.

I was nominated for fellowship a few years ago but did not get accepted. Should I try again?

Absolutely. We encourage nominees who did not get accepted into the Academy to try again. Due to a variety of factors, a nominee might not be accepted into the Academy in any given year. Nominees will be reviewed and evaluated using the same standards applied for that year for all nominees.

I heard it has become harder to be elected to fellowship in recent years. Is that true?

In a sense. We want to ensure that election to Academy fellowship represents a high honor to the newly elected. Thus, the Academy governors decided to limit the number of fellows elected each year. Not only must a nominee be qualified, but he/she must also be among the top of the nomination pool that year.

I work in industry. Can I be considered for Academy Fellowship?

Microbiologists in all sectors can be considered for Academy fellowship. Diversity in expertise and background is essential for the Academy. Regardless of the sector one is working in, excellence is required for fellowship. The nomination materials need to strongly reflect contributions of the nominee to the field of microbial sciences.

What should I do to make my nomination stand out?

  • Spend time preparing your CV and bibliography by following the format and guidelines. Make sure the information is clear to facilitate the review process.

  • Communicate with your nominator and supporters to ensure they have the information that they need.

  • Remind them to submit the materials before the deadline.

  • ​Submit your demographic information by the deadline.

Why does ASM ask for demographic information? How do I ensure my data is safe and does not work against me? 

ASM embraces the concept of diversity, equity and inclusion. Thus, we want to gauge our progress in ensuring that historically underrepresented groups have access to Academy fellowship. This information will allow the Academy and ASM to track its progress supporting and promoting inclusive diversity with equity, access and accountability. Your data will not be shared with any third party and will not be used in any part of the decision-making process. 

Can I choose to not disclose my demographic information? 

Yes, you can select "Prefer to not Disclose" option. 

I do not live in the U.S., the race/ethnicity options do not apply to me, what should I do? 

You can select "Non-US candidate" from the options list.