Ten Tips for Award Submissions

APhA recognizes member achievement with several competitive awards. The awards committee enjoys reviewing nominees and determining award recipients, but sometimes great candidates are left out because nomination materials are lacking. Consider these tips when developing your nomination packet materials.

  • 1. Pick the right award. Review the criteria for each award ( to ensure that your nominee meets the criteria. You can even compare your nominee with past recipients listed.
  • 2. Fill out the application thoroughly. Judging is easiest from the questions asked on the application, not the resume or CV. CV formats vary; it is not always easy to find the information the award committee is searching for.
  • 3. Letters of recommendation: Different perspectives. Some awards allow more than one letter of recommendation, but often only one letter is submitted. It is best to have multiple letters discussing different and various viewpoints of the nominee.
  • 4. Letters of recommendation: Identify key criteria and tell us more. Detailed letters of recommendation are essential. Award committees judge a candidate only from their nomination materials. CVs or resumes are not the only method to identify key criteria, such as impact on the profession, innovative services, management impact, etc. Review the specific criteria for the award and be sure to describe how your nominee meets that criteria in your letter.
  • 5. Letters of recommendation: Everything is awesome. In your letter, don’t just say everything is great! Tell the committee specific details about how an innovation impacted the profession or the people around the nominee. Was there a ripple effect? Did the innovation affect the health system, students, other health care professionals, etc.? If so, how? How do you know? Quantify the impact if possible.
  • 6. Letters of recommendation: Sweet spot for length. Letters vary from one paragraph to three or more pages. Ideal letters discuss how the nominee meets the criteria in one to two pages. Coordinate with other letter writers to identify what each person will focus on.
  • 7. Service to APhA. Document specific service to APhA. If it is not in the nominee materials, the awards selection committee cannot consider it. Document specific dates for membership and volunteer opportunities. Did the nominee volunteer to review JAPhA articles, abstracts, or posters? Serve as a delegate in the APhA House? Serve on committees or in leadership positions? Contribute to Engage?
  • 8. Service to the profession and community. Many awards include a section on service to the profession and community service. This category can include service to other professional organizations and/or interprofessional outreach and community outreach. Often nominees may not document community service, such as a local health fairs, in a CV, so this may be a good area to ask the nominee about.
  • 9. Deadlines. The committee bases all its meetings on the deadline for the award. Make sure the materials are completed by that deadline. The submission period is from June to the end of August, so start early to get it all in.
  • 10. Resubmit. Every year, multiple excellent candidates are nominated for each award. Don’t be afraid to resubmit your nominee for the award the following year. If resubmitting, ensure all materials are updated and review the letters of recommendation (see tips 3–6).

APhA would like to thank the following individuals for their contribution to this tip sheet:
Nicole Gattas, PharmD, BCPS, FAPhA; Sarah A. Parnapy Jawaid, PharmD; Emily Prohaska, PharmD, BCACP, BCGP; David R. Bright, PharmD, BCACP; Katelyn M. Alexander, PharmD