Frequently Asked Questions
This information is intended to complement the information on How to Apply. Please see that page for a general description of what a nomination includes and how it is submitted.
Is there an age requirement?
FCA members are in the early stages of their computing career. That generally means you should have received your first baccalaureate or equivalent university degree not more than 10 years prior to the application deadline. If you are a student now, your degree should be almost completed.
I don’t work/study in the USA. Can I still apply?
Absolutely. ACM is dedicated to a diverse and globally inclusive future of computing. Applicants from all countries are encouraged.
Why do applicants need to be within 10 years of their first university degree?
We welcome computing professionals of all ages and backgrounds to get more involved in ACM, but the goal of this particular program is to invite participation from an age group that is otherwise underrepresented. Applicants need not have attended graduate school, but age is a factor. ACM wants to provide an opportunity for young people in their 20s and early 30s to become more active in community leadership.
Do I, or do my endorsers, have to be a member of ACM?
There are no membership requirements for anyone. If selected, you will need to join, but application is open to all.
My advisor/employer is a current member of the FCA. Can I still apply?
No. According to the ACM policies on conflict-of-interest, advisees or employees of current FCA members are not eligible.
What would my time commitment be if I became a member of the FCA?
The FCA expects its members to contribute roughly 3-5 hours per week, on average. This time will be directed, we hope, to commitments that are compelling to you.
How should I choose my endorsers?
Endorsers must have personal knowledge of your work so they can address why you are appropriate for the FCA. That means each endorser must be (or have been) your instructor, graduate advisor, project supervisor, or employer. In accordance with ACM policies on conflict-of-interest, ACM officers and FCA members cannot serve as endorsers.
Why should I contact the endorsers in advance?
Since endorsements must be completed prior to the deadline, it’s critical that you submit correct contact info and also make sure each endorser will be able to respond in time. Emphasize the deadline date for submitting the endorsements (and remember that their step can’t begin until after you formally “Submit” your own form). You should let each endorser know what s/he will need to do and make sure their email will accept an automated message from “acm.org”, since that email will have the URL to they need to endorse your candidacy. Endorsement requirements are listed under How-to-Apply, so point them to that webpage or include the information in your message.
What suggestions I should give the endorsers?
Tell the endorsers to be sure to include concrete details on why they think you are a strong candidate for the FCA. Short, vague endorsements that essentially just say you're qualified, or that only re-state accomplishments from your CV, are not effective. Consider this example: “I have known XXXX for 5 years. She led a software project to develop YYYY. She also has served on a conference program committee. I believe she meets the leadership and professional criteria for FCA.” As an endorsement, it is weak because the endorser does not appear to know your work well, and simply echoes the criteria without providing real information about how you meet them.
How will I know when my endorsers have submitted their statements?
You will receive a system email once all endorsements are complete.
After submitting a nomination/endorsement, can I access it to make minor changes?
No. However, if there is a minor correction that is important, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
An endorser submitted their endorsement after the deadline – will I still be considered?
If the application does not have at least 2 endorsements submitted by the deadline, it will not be considered in that cycle. ACM policy does not permit extensions for any reason.
What if an endorser did not receive the email message to confirm his/her endorsement?
The email may have been caught in a spam filter, or the email address may have been entered incorrectly. Please have the endorser contact email@example.com right away.
When will I know if my application has been selected and how will I be notified?
The committee normally completes its selections within 2 months of the deadline. You will receive a notification once the selection process is finished.
What if my question isn't listed here?
Contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.