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Sponsorship Guidelines

Each nomination requires a Letter of Support from the Nominator and two additional sponsorship evaluations from an AATS member.

The strength of a Nominators letter and/or sponsor evaluation is important when the Membership Committee evaluates candidates and should reflect the Association's criteria for membership.

Nominators will be required to submit a letter of support for their applicant and are encouraged to utilize the Association's letter of support template to help standardize the review process for the Membership Committee.

Secondary and tertiary sponsors will be required to submit a sponsorship evaluation that will be sent to them by the AATS Membership Specialist once they have been identified by the candidate, allowing sponsors to identify how the candidate meets the Association’s membership criteria.

Candidates must have at least three years of experience in cardiothoracic surgery practice post training. To better assist prospective sponsors, the Membership Committee has provided letter of support examples (below) that address items the Committee focuses on during their review. These letters are to be example only.

Letter of Support Examples



Example Letter



Example Letter


Additional International

Example Letter


The Committee looks to identify candidates with evidence of contribution within the Association’s five core values and in the following areas:


Academic Appointment: University affiliation is desirable. Appropriate academic appointment for experience and evidence of progress in academia over time is important albeit not essential.

Bibliography: For some candidates, a bibliography is most reliable index of academic performance and potential. The candidate's list of publications is reviewed to assess the value of original contributions in English language literature rather than relying only on the total number of publications. In addition, evaluation of the candidates' contribution to the publication, as opposed to being an incidental co-author, is important.

Personal Knowledge of Candidate: Personal knowledge is useful in interpreting letters of support and in understanding a candidate’s input to publications and potential academic productivity.

Professional Conduct: Evidence of scientific originality and demonstration of careful, honest reporting and accurate scientific analysis of data is important. Discretion in relation with peers, patients, and the public is a requirement.

Professional Memberships: Membership in other national or international organizations is encouraged, although not essential.

Clinical Performance: Clinical performance may be assessed by reviewing the sponsor’s letter of support. A minimum of two years in the current practice location at the time of application is no longer required, however institutional longevity will still be considered by the Committee during their review.

Professional Stature: Evidence of leadership or medical innovation in cardiothoracic surgery, including proficiency in teaching, is desirable. This can be illustrated through awards documenting outstanding achievements, active involvement in surgical practice and professional community, and innovative contributions to improve the care of the thoracic surgery patient. This may include, but is not limited to, medical patents, devices, processes and new technological advancements for patient care.

Sponsor Letters: The strength of a sponsor letter is important in evaluating candidates, however confirmatory evidence of qualities, rather than emotional appeal, is expected. The sponsor’s own contributions to the Association should add weight to the candidate’s support, but should not dominate the application process. When writing a letter of support, sponsors are urged to touch on the following qualifications: (1) Personal knowledge of candidate; (2) Academic appointments; (3) Academic prestige and grant support; (4) Clinical performance; (5) Professional conduct; (6) Professional memberships; (7) Professional stature on a local and national level; (8) Grant support.

Grant Support: The candidate’s current and past grant support should be considered as evidence of academic productivity.


Leadership: Demonstrating citizenship, integrity, and professionalism

Excellence in Patient Care: Dedicating ourselves to the care of thoracic and cardiovascular patients

Education: Disseminating knowledge and commitment to lifelong learning

Research and Innovation: Advancing the field through the creation and application of new knowledge

Mentoring: Fostering the next generation of healthcare specialists for thoracic and cardiovascular patients