Call for Nominations: October Madness 2019

by User Not Found | Sep 11, 2019

October Madness, Sigma Xi's Nobel Prize prediction contest is back for its fifth year! 

How it Works

Sigma Xi collects nominations from the public and then runs 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. 

Tell us who you think will win a prize this year! We are calling for eight nominations each for the:

  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry

  • Nobel Prize in Physics

  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

  • Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences 

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. PT on September 18 by using our nomination survey 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 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 September 19 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!  


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, affiliates, or explorers will receive a free year in the Sigma Xi Affiliate Circle* (a $50 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 Fiscal Year 2020 (July 1, 2019–June 30, 2020). Those who already renewed will have their dues paid for  Fiscal Year 2021. We will select one winner per prize category for a total of four winners. 


September 11–September 18: Send in your nominations

September 20: Nominees announced; Elite 8 voting begins and runs through September 24. 

September 25: Elite 8 winners announced; Final 4 voting begins and runs through September 27. 

September 30: Final 4 winners announced; Finals voting begins and runs through October 3. 

October 3: Announcement of 2019 October Madness winners. 

October 7-14: Official Nobel Prize winners named

October 15**: Winners announced from the raffle who win a year in the Sigma Xi Affiliate Circle or a free year of dues for members, affiliates, or explorers. 

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

**If Sigma Xi receives less (or more) than 8 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.

Example of 2018's final bracket for Physics

Champion Bracket, Physics


See other 2018 brackets.

Sigma Xi looks forward to receiving your nominations! 

October Madness is brought to you by the following Sigma Xi staff: Lindsay Holton, member engagement coordinator; Eman Ghanem, director of membership, chapters, and programs; and Heather Thorstensen, manager of communications.

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