Ten tips to turn your APhA-APPM nominee into the awardee!

APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice & Management (APhA-APPM) recognizes achievement of members 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. Here are some tips from the committee to turn your nominee into the awardee. (download the PDF version)

1.   Pick the right award.

Review the criteria for each award (www.pharmacist.com/awards) to assure that your nominee meets the criteria. You can even compare your nominee with past winners listed.

2.   Fill out the application thoroughly.

Though we get a curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé, judging is easiest from the questions asked on the application. This is because CVs are formatted very differently, so it is not always easy to find the information we are searching for.

3.   Letters of recommendation:  Different perspectives.

Some awards allow more than one letter of recommendation, but only one letter is turned in. It is best to have multiple, different letters each discussing 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 résumés may not be the best 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 affected 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. While there is not a page or word limit, you can imagine how many letters are being read! Ideal letters discuss how the nominee meets the criteria in one to two pages. And, if the letters are very similar, it may be a wasted opportunity to showcase different perspectives. Coordinate with other letter writers to identify what each person will focus on.

7.   Service to APhA.

Document specific service to APhA. The APhA-APPM Awards Committee members sometimes say, “I thought they did more than that.” But, if it is not in the nominee materials, we can’t 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? Have they served on committees or leadership positions? Do they contribute to Engage posts? Did they run for a leadership position?

8.   Service to the profession and community.

Many awards include a section on service to the profession and community service. While we don’t want to double dip in service activities with APhA, 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 our meetings on the deadline for the award. Make sure the materials are completed by that deadline. Generally, the awards are open for 3 months, June to the end of August, so start early to get it all in.

10.  Resubmit.

We have multiple excellent candidates for one award. Don’t be afraid to resubmit your nominee for the award the following year. Just be sure to update materials and review your letters of recommendation (see #3-6).


APhA would like to thank the following individuals for their contribution to this tip sheet:

  • Katelyn M. Alexander, PharmD
  • David R. Bright, PharmD, BCACP
  • Nicole Gattas, PharmD, BCPS, FAPhA
  • Sarah A. Parnapy Jawaid, Pharm.D.
  • Emily Prohaska