ACM Senior Member Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


This information is intended to complement the Nominating Process page. Please see that page for a general description of what a nomination includes and how it is submitted.

What does ACM look for in terms of “demonstrated performance”?

The areas of achievement evaluated for Senior Member are listed under Nominating Process. Performance should be explained using specific examples. Saying a candidate has good project leadership is not specific enough; instead, give details on the project. For example, describe the name of the project, the depth and length of time spent on it by the candidate, the number of people he/she supervised, and the impact of the project. If there is impact outside the candidate's organization, be sure to provide details.

What should I include under “accomplishments”?

Provide a brief summary of overall accomplishments, plus details on a few key accomplishments. Note that saying you’ve “published many papers in journals and at conferences” is vague; instead, say how many papers were published, in what research area(s), and provide the title, conference/journal, and importance of a few key publications. Don’t include URLs to papers or additional information (they will be ignored; what you write must contain all the information the committee needs for its evaluation).

An error message says the character limit has been exceeded – but my computer says it’s within the limit.

ACM’s character limit counts spaces and hard returns. You will need to shorten the text within the form field in order to submit.

How should I choose my endorsers?

The choice of endorsers is important. Each endorser should know you and your work well (e.g., supervisors, co-authors, collaborators). ACM membership is not a requirement, but it’s a good idea to have at least one endorser who is an ACM Member or Advanced Grade Member (Senior Member, Distinguished Member, or Fellow). If you do not know ACM members, consider their rank and experience. Endorsements from people who have been in the computing profession for several years are much stronger than those from recent hires. Similarly, endorsements from supervisors or higher ranking positions will carry more weight than statements from individuals at lower ranks. A letter from a colleague at the same rank can be good, as long as that colleague is well established or regarded.

Why should I contact my endorsers in advance?

It’s important for you to verify the contact info (email)  and to make sure each endorser will be able to respond in time.  The Nominator should emphasize and remind the endorsers of the deadline date for submitting and confirming the endorsements (a two-step process). 

You should also tell the endorser what she/he will need to do and make sure their email will accept an automated message from “[email protected]”, since that email will have the URL/link to confirm the endorsement after it has been submitted by the endorser.   Endorsement requirements are listed under Nominating Process, so point them to that webpage or include the information in your message.

Are there suggestions I should give my endorsers?

Tell your endorsers to be sure to include concrete details on why they think you have fulfilled the requirements for Senior Member. Short, vague endorsements that essentially just say the candidate is qualified, or that only re-state the candidate’s accomplishments, are not effective. Consider this example: “I have known the candidate for one year. The candidate has technical project leadership and has published over 20 papers in journals and conferences. They also have several professional contributions to professional societies and has served on at least ten conference committees. I believe the candidate meets the technical leadership, technical contributions and professional contributions criteria of Senior Member.” As an endorsement, it’s weak because the endorser has not known the candidate very long, does not explain in what role they know the candidate, and echoes the criteria for Senior Member without providing details about how the candidate meets them.

After submitting my nomination/endorsement, can I access it to make minor changes?

No. However, if there is a minor correction/change that is important, please contact [email protected].

How can I check on the status of my Senior Member nomination?

After you submit the nomination, an endorsement tracker URL will be sent to you in an email from at “[email protected]”. The tracker will allow you to see if your endorsements have been submitted and/or confirmed. You will need to log in with your ACM Web account.

My endorser(s) submitted the endorsement after the deadline – must I resubmit the nomination?

Nominations which are not ready for review in the latest cycle will be automatically carried forward to the next cycle.

What if my endorser did not receive the email message to confirm his/her endorsement?

The email may have been caught in a spam filter, or the email address may have been entered incorrectly. Please have the endorser contact [email protected] right away.

My endorser incorrectly answered "No" to one of the three qualifying questions, and now the endorsement has been rejected. Can it be fixed?

Ask your endorser to contact [email protected]. We will make the correction and send your endorser a URL to confirm the change.

In trying to confirm an endorsement, the endorser received an error message saying it was a bad URL – what should he/she do?

Be sure to cut and paste the entire URL into the browser address field (remove any hard returns). If there’s still an error, contact [email protected].

When will I know if I have been selected and how will I be notified?

The committee will complete its selections within 30 to 45 days of the latest deadline. All candidates whose nominations were complete by the deadline will be notified as soon as the selection process is finished.

If I am not selected can I resubmit my nomination?

Yes, but you must wait at least one year before resubmitting. It may help you to know that each nomination is considered independently of the others being submitted, so if yours is unsuccessful it’s because you didn’t meet the criteria and/or because the endorsements were too vague, too short, or didn’t address the criteria for Senior Members.

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