Call for Nominations: October Madness 2017

by User Not Found | Jul 26, 2017

Heather ThorstensenOctober Madness, Sigma Xi's Nobel Prize prediction contest is back for its third year! 

How it Works

Sigma Xi collects nominations from the public and then runs weekly voting to advance researchers on our sports-style brackets. We hope you join in the fun as we wait for the official Nobel Prize announcements in October. But we need your nominations to get the contest kicked off! This is another way we can promote researchers and their incredible achievements. 

We are calling for 16 nominations each for the:

  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry

  • Nobel Prize in Physics

  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

How to Nominate

Anyone can nominate and vote; Sigma Xi membership is not required to participate in October Madness. Send in your nominations by 11:59 p.m. PDT on August 24 by using our nomination form or email me at*

Please include:

  • Your nominee's name (you can submit as many nominations as you would like and you can submit a group of researchers who worked on a project together)

  • Which Nobel Prize you think this person, or group, should win

  • The reason why you think the person, or group, should win (such as, "for the discovery of XYZ")

  • The institution of employment or affiliation for your nominee(s)

  • Your name and email address

How to Vote

We will announce the October Madness nominees on August 29 and open the brackets for voting on Keyed In. You can also follow along on Sigma Xi's social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Remember to use #OctoberMadness! Vote each week on Tuesdays, except for Labor Day week when voting will be held on September 6. 


If you nominate someone who goes on to win a Nobel Prize, you will be entered into a raffle. Raffle winners who are not Sigma Xi members will receive a free year in the Sigma Xi Affiliate Circle** (a $70 value), which includes a one-year subscription to American Scientist  magazine. Members, affiliates, or explorers who win the raffle will have their dues paid by Sigma Xi for 2017–18. Those who already renewed will have their dues paid for 2018–19. We will select one winner per Nobel Prize category for a total of three winners. 


July 26–August 24: Send in your nominations

August 29: Nominees announced; Sweet 16 voting begins and runs through September 4. 

September 6: Sweet 16 winners announced; Elite 8 voting begins and runs through September 10. 

September 12: Elite 8 winners announced; Final 4 (Semifinals) voting begins and runs through September 17. 

September 19: Final 4 winners announced; Finals voting begins and runs through September 24. 

September 26: Announcement of 2017 October Madness Winners. 

October 2–9: Official Nobel Prize winners named

October 5*: Winners announced from the raffle for a year in the Sigma Xi Affiliate Circle or a free year of dues for members, affiliates, or explorers. 

*If Sigma Xi receives less (or more) than 16 nominations per prize, then its staff will select the nominees who are put on the bracket. But we prefer to use your nominations! Please nominate anyone you feel is worthy of the prize. Potential candidates might be found here, here, here, or here. October Madness is not affiliated with the Nobel Prize.

**Affiliate Circle status does not qualify one for full or associate membership in Sigma Xi's nomination-based honor society. 

Example of last year's final bracket for Chemistry

Champion Bracket, Chemistry

See other 2016 brackets.

Sigma Xi looks forward to receiving your nominations! 

Heather Thorstensen is manager of communications for Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society.

*The winner of the drawing/raffle was originally scheduled to be announced on October 10, but was rescheduled to October 5. 

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