I’ve been a fellow since 2000. Fellowship for me is acceptance by my peers of my work in medical physics and bioengineering, plus a demonstration of senior standing within the profession.
Fellowship of the IOP is held in high repute. In terms of advice to those considering an application, I would recommend that members of the IOP review their situation in relation to the requirements for fellowship on a regular basis and discuss their potential application with a fellow, ideally one who is on the fellowship panel.
Applications take time, so my recommendation is to apply as soon as you believe that you meet the criteria.
Another route to fellowship is through nomination by another fellow. I assess applications for fellowship, and personally I find that an application is easier to assess when it has been written by the applicant his or herself. Fellows are strongly encouraged to promote fellowship of our prestigious institution, either by nomination, encouragement to apply or supporting an application.
I work in the medical device industry, where fellowship is not as well understood as it is in academia. However, it has definitely been very beneficial to me in my career progression to explain at interview that I am a fellow of the Institute of Physics. Within the healthcare sector, more needs to be done to promote both membership and fellowship.
Stephen O’Connor, 60, holds BSc, MSc, PhD, CPhys, CEng and CSci. He has worked in many areas of engineering and physics applied to medicine over the past 38 years, following postgraduate studies at the Medical College of St Bartholomew’s Hospital. He has worked within the NHS, the pharmaceutical and the implantable medical device industry.