Important guidance for nomination letters

The nomination consists of a single letter that must emphasize two aspects of the candidate’s career.

First, it is critical that the letter describe the specific and substantial contributions the nominee has made to the ASBMB. Details and support for how the candidate has actively engaged in furthering the mission of the ASBMB should be provided. Examples of service to the ASBMB include, but are not necessarily limited to, leadership on a committee, being a sustained, active contributor to an ASBMB journal editorial board, contributing to programs supporting diversity, actively participating in standing ASBMB committees or providing significant and sustained support to students involved in the ASBMB. Whether a nominee’s most noteworthy contributions fall under only one of these categories, or into multiple categories, quality and impact are considered significant criteria.

Second, it is also critical that the letter highlight the noteworthy professional contributions the nominee has made in their field, beyond the ASBMB. The nominee's most important accomplishments in research, teaching, mentoring, promoting diversity and inclusion, and/or any additional professional service that advances molecular life sciences must be described. Although a strong record of service to the society is essential, an ASBMB Fellow must also be an accomplished professional in their chosen area(s) of concentration, whether this takes place in a laboratory, a company, a classroom or a statehouse.

Accordingly, the nomination letter should address (A) the nominee’s service and contributions to the ASBMB as well as (B) the nominee’s contributions in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology.

(A) In what ways has the nominee made substantive and substantial contributions to the society?

Nomination letters should provide concrete details of the specific and substantial contributions the nominee has made to the ASBMB. Especially noteworthy are nominees that have contributed to increasing diversity and inclusion within the society and/or in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology, including efforts to develop opportunities for underrepresented or historically marginalized groups. Letters should emphasize the impact the nominee has made to the ASBMB by providing detailed examples that explicitly explain not only the extent of service, but the leadership role(s) of the nominee. Examples could include:

  • If the nominee participated in one or more ASBMB committees, the letter should describe the projects in which they were involved and outline their specific contributions. 
  • If the nominee contributed to, developed or evaluated applications in the Accreditation Program or the Certification Exam, the letter should include the involvement and role of the nominee and the extent of their sustained engagement. 
  • If the nominee served as a member of the editorial board of a society journal, the letter should mention not only the approximate quantity of manuscripts reviewed or length of service, but also their impact as a reviewer and their contributions to the quality of the journal that were significant and sustained. 
  • If the nominee was a session chair at the ASBMB annual meeting, the letter should clarify whether they simply introduced the speakers or played a key role in identifying and recruiting them to speak and to join the society. 

There are numerous avenues through which nominees can contribute to the mission of the ASBMB. Illustrative examples, neither exhaustive nor prescriptive, could include:

  • Hold a leadership position on an ASBMB committee.
  • Serve as a member and contribute to the ASBMB Council.
  • Serve as member of and contribute to an ASBMB committee.
  • Co-organize the annual meeting or an ASBMB small meeting.
  • Co-organize a theme area at the annual meeting.
  • Organize an ASBMB event such as a workshop, a networking get-together, a small meeting or a meeting session.
  • Serve as Editor or Associate Editor of an ASBMB journal.
  • Serve as a judge or organizer of the undergraduate poster competition.
  • Support diversity by serving as a member of the Maximizing Access Committee (MAC), the Women in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Committee (WiBMB), or engaging in other activities that support diversity issues.
  • Contribute articles or other content for ASBMB Today.
  • Contribute in a meaningful way to Hill Day activities.
  • Participate in Professor Rounds through the MAC.
  • Participate in the IMAGE grant writing and mentoring initiative.
  • Serve as an active and sustained reviewer or editorial board member for an ASBMB journal.
  • Be involved in ASBMB leadership and service through Student Chapters.
  • Organize regional ASBMB Student Chapter meetings.
  • Create, revise or review the ASBMB accreditation process.
  • Lead an accreditation effort at the home institution.

(B) In what ways has the nominee made significant impacts on the field of biochemistry and molecular biology?

Nomination letters should also emphasize the noteworthy professional contributions the nominee has made in their field, beyond the ASBMB. Thus, a nomination letter should focus, for example, on the individual’s scientific achievements, mentorship of students, efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion outside of the ASBMB, or other exceptional contributions to the molecular life sciences. Nomination letters could emphasize the nominee's substantial and sustained impacts as demonstrated through research publications in scientific journals, development of educational materials and programs, creating opportunities for and supporting marginalized students and faculty, teaching, patents, reviews, advocacy, notable accomplishments of their students and mentees, or other activities. It is important that letters include specific information and emphasize the impact of the nominee’s activities, and their role(s), in their contributions outside of the ASBMB. Representative activities and contributions to the field outside of ASBMB could include:

  • Scientific contributions to their field, including publication of significant, peer-reviewed scientific or educational research.
  • Active support for the recruitment and professional development of scientists from diverse backgrounds.
  • Promotion of a culture of diversity and inclusion and/or gender equality.
  • Contribution to education in biochemistry and/or molecular biology.
  • Contribution to the development of potential therapeutics or other commercial products.
  • Obtaining funding for research, education and/or outreach.
  • Service as a reviewer for grant applications or manuscripts for non-ASBMB journals.
  • Leadership within their home institution.
  • Leadership beyond their home department.
  • Support of other societies and organizations furthering our scientific world.
  • Significant activities in support of non-ASBMB journals.
  • Support of granting agencies by leadership or service on multiple panel reviews.
  • Obtaining funding for student /mentor training (undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral).
  • Long and significant teaching accomplishment to support student learning.
  • Management of institutional and scientific community service.
  • Generation and advancement of curricular changes that go beyond the nominee’s institution.
  • Significant outreach activities for students, including those in underserved/marginalized communities.

It is important to note that in evaluating the "significant contributions" of a nominee, their impact holds greater importance than the mere quantity, duration or classification of their contributions. The ASBMB values all mission areas in which its members are engaged, recognizing the diverse ways in which individuals can make meaningful contributions to the field.