Optimized Guide to Applying for Senior Member Grade

The IEEE Boston Section is providing this optimized guide to applying for Senior Member grade, which reduces overall effort and has an actionable flow. The process uses the same tools as the IEEE HQ guide but optimizes the tasks in a more logical sequence prior to starting the application process.


  1. Select three references
  2. Prepare your resume or CV
  3. Complete & submit online application
  4. Contact your references
  5. Track status of your application
  6. Interpret results

Step 1: Select three references

Identify the three references who will support your application for Senior member grade. References must be active members and hold the grade of IEEE Senior member or Fellow. It is generally preferable that your references know you personally or professionally; however, this is not required. The Boston Section has over 1100 senior members and fellows of its 6100 members in all specialties which you should be able to contact to act as a reference. The best source to find senior members and fellows is:

  • Use IEEE Collabratec and select Menu (top left) > People > Country: USA, State: MA, Member Grade: Senior Member.

This lists member grade, society, section, and company to help you find someone within your technical field. Someone in your technical area that knows you is preferred. Finally, if you have difficulty in locating individuals to serve as your references, we suggest you contact your local volunteer officers for assistance. For help locating their contact information, forward your inquiry to sr.member@ieeebostonsection.org

Once that you find a reference, write to them to ask if they have time to be your reference for senior grade membership. You should provide them with your work history. They will need to provide you with their member number.

Step 2: Prepare your resume or CV (optimized, verified, accurate and ready to be submitted for the application process)

Your resume should highlight areas of your experience that go toward meeting the requirement for five years of significant performance, not routine job responsibilities. Resumes or CVs should also include relevant dates of your professional and educational experience. Dates are important in order to determine that you do, in fact, have the required ten years of professional experience and five years of significant performance.

Applications that are not approved are the result of missing relevant dates and details associated with their background, or from a failure to properly document those specific activities that meet the significant performance requirement (not routine work). It is suggested that you review the requirements for Senior member grade; your documents should clearly state how you meet all the requirements. See the optimized sample CV template for example cases.

Step 3: Complete and submit online application (include resume)

It is strongly recommended that you upload the resume or CV to your application. The resume will assist the review panel in confirming that you meet the requirements for Senior member grade. Complete the Senior member application online form. Send any questions to bostonmd@ieee.org. The application form contains these sections:

  • Applicant Contact Information, Professional Experience, Significant Performance
  • University Attended
  • Present Occupation
  • References: from Step 1 and 4
  • Attachments: where to attach your optimized resume from Step 2, and optionally also a full CV/resume
  • Review/Submit: you may review (even if you log back in later) until you submit. Details or references cannot be edited once you click Submit.

Step 4: Contact your references

Once their member number from Step 1 is entered into the online application in Step 3, they will immediately receive an e-mail to visit the IEEE website’s Senior Member Application, Nomination, and Reference Form to provide their referral in writing. You should immediately contact the individuals you have selected to serve as your references and provide them with a copy of your resume or CV (the full version as well as the optimized version) on which to base their recommendation. The system will suspend your application indefinitely until they visit the website to recommend you, and changing references is a tedious process, thus provide the relevant information in your e-mail with an encouraging reminder to log into the website.

Step 5: Track status of your application

Applications or nominations submitted will appear on the Senior Member Status Report, which is posted to the Web at close of business every Friday. The appearance of your name on this report indicates that your application was received. This is manually added by a reviewer within seven days.

Next to your name, you will find three columns. As your references are received, the initials of the references will appear in the columns. Once all three columns have been filled, the note “to be verified” will appear in the comments field. This means that your references are being checked to confirm they are active IEEE members who hold the grade of Senior Member or Fellow. After verification, the comment field will be updated to denote “complete.”

After your application has reached the “complete” stage, it will automatically be scheduled to be considered at the next available Senior Member Elevation Review Panel. Reaching “complete” must occur at least ten days prior to the Panel meeting to allow ample time for processing and shipping the application package to the meeting location.

You can check the status of your application at any time by logging back into your application using your username and password.

Step 6: Interpret results

Shortly after your application has been peer reviewed at an A&A Review Panel meeting, you will receive an e-mail notification if your application was not approved.

Applicants whose application for Senior member grade elevation was approved will be sent a congratulatory letter within seven business days of the meeting date. Approved applicants will have their name posted in the Senior Member Update Report. Approximately six weeks after approval successful applicants will receive via surface mail: a formal letter confirming their grade elevation along with a wood-and-bronze engraved commemorative plaque and a voucher for up to US$25 which can be used to join a new IEEE Society of their choice.

Applicants who are deferred will normally be asked to submit additional documentation in support of their application. This generally means the committee was unable to ascertain whether all the requirements for Senior member grade have been met. Deferrals can nearly always be avoided by spending some time and effort on the original submission. Failure to document the relevant dates of your positions or the details of how your experience is to be considered “significant” are frequent reasons that applications are deferred. Remember that the meaning of job titles can vary from company to company and may not be sufficient in and of themselves to confirm significant performance. For example, if you were a Team Leader, describe the size and scope of the projects worked on, and do not rely on only the title to convey the importance of the work performed.

Upon request for additional information, applicants can log into their application and attach additional information, which will be forwarded to an upcoming A&A Review Panel meeting. For applications received prior to the new online application, applicants can forward additional information to the contact in the e-mail notification.

Applicants who are denied Senior member grade have the right to an appeal of the decision through the A&A Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee is comprised of the Vice Presidents of Regional Activities, Educational Activities, and Technical Activities. Appeals are not automatic and must be requested by the applicant. The Appeals Committee will review the documentation that was submitted to the Review Panel and make a determination to uphold or overturn the Panel’s decision. The applicant is allowed, but not required, to send along further documentation in support of his/her case. For example, if the Review Panel determined that the applicant had only nine years of professional experience, it may be helpful to provide a calculation on how the applicant believes he or she meets the requirement for ten years. Overlapping work and education experience will not be counted in both categories. It will be credited in the way most favorable to the applicant, but double credit will not be given for activities occurring in the same time frame.