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Nominations being accepted for $1M NSF Alan T. Waterman Award

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is currently accepting applications for the Alan T. Waterman Award. This annual award is a prestigious honor for early-career scientists and engineers, recognizing outstanding young researchers in any field of science or engineering. In addition to a medal, the awardee receives a discretionary grant of $1,000,000 over a five-year period for scientific research or advanced study in the mathematical, physical, biological, engineering, social or other sciences at an institution of their choice.

Important Deadlines
The nomination portal is currently open and will accept applications until September 16, 2022.

Evaluation Criteria
Nominees are evaluated on their demonstrated exceptional individual achievements in scientific or engineering research of sufficient quality, originality, innovation, and significant impact on their field of study. Nominees should be considered

Eligibility Information

  • Nominees must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Nominees must also be 40 years of age or younger OR not be more than 10 years beyond receipt of their Ph.D. (Note: nominees over the age of 40 but received their doctoral degree less than 10 years ago WILL qualify for nomination)
  • NSF is specifically seeking nominations for exceptional candidates that represent the diversity of the nation.

Nomination Information

  • An institution may submit as many qualified nominations as they would like, and nominations can come from anyone (Note: an individual may not nominate themselves)
  • Nominations must be submitted through the NSF’s new Honorary Awards nomination portal.
  • A complete nomination will include submission of all requested information through the Honorary Awards nomination portal and submission of four references (maximum). The four references may not be individuals from the nominee’s home institution. Reference letters are limited to two pages each.
  • Nominators must review the Nomination Form Description and Letter of Reference Template prior to preparing a nomination.
  • Nominators are strongly encouraged to review and utilize the Waterman Award Nomination Tips document while preparing a nomination. These tips were created by a previous Alan T. Waterman Awards review committee to support future nominators and reference writers in their efforts to expertly showcase the talents and expertise of nominees.


Review Process
Candidates are reviewed by the Alan T. Waterman Award committee once the nomination call has closed. The committee will recommend the most outstanding candidates to the Director of the NSF and the National Science Board.

To learn more about the program, please visit the program page. Here is a PDF copy of the call for nominations flyer. Program inquiries should be directed to the NSF’s Office of Integrative Activities (703-292-8040).

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Last Updated: 10/4/22