Call for Nominations: October Madness 2021

by Janelle Simmons | Aug 31, 2021

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

How it Works

Sigma Xi collects nominations from members and 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 outstanding achievements. 

Tell us who you think will win a prize this year! We are calling for sixteen 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. PT on September 8 by using our nomination survey

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 10 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!  


All nominators will be submitted into a drawing to win a Sigma Xi prize package!

If you nominate someone who goes on to win a Nobel Prize, you will also 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 2022 (July 1, 2021–June 30, 2022). Those who already renewed will have their dues paid for Fiscal Year 2023. We will select one winner per prize category for a total of three winners. 


August 31–September 8: Send in your nominations

September 13: Nominees announced; Sweet 16 voting begins and runs through September 15

September 17: Elite 8 winners announced; Elite 8 voting begins and runs through September 21. 

September 23: Final 4 winners announced; Final 4 voting begins and runs through September 27. 

September 28: Final voting begins and runs through September 30.

October 1: Prediction winners are announced.  

October 4-11: Official Nobel Prize winners named

October 13**: Winners announced from the raffle will 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 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. October Madness is not affiliated with the Nobel Prize.

Example of 2019's Finals Bracket for Chemistry 

2019 Final Bracket Chemistry

Sigma Xi looks forward to receiving your nominations! 

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