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A member whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished and who has been a continuous member for the four year period leading up to the year of nomination, may, by virtue of such meritorious contribution be elected a Fellow by the Association. Examples of areas in which nominees may have made significant, sustained contributions are research; teaching; technology; services to professional societies; administration in academia, industry, and government; and communicating and interpreting science to the public.

In February of each year, the ISMA membership nominates individuals whom they consider to have achieved unusual distinction in the field. These nominations are then considered by the Fellows Selection Committee, comprising 9 ISMA Fellows who are current members of ISMA and chaired by the immediate Past President of ISMA. The committee generally selects 5–10 new Fellows each year.