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Alan T. Waterman Award

The Alan T. Waterman annual award recognizes an outstanding young researcher in any field of science or engineering supported by the National Science Foundation.



The annual award is the nation's highest honor for early-career scientists and engineers. In addition to a medal, the awardee receives a grant of $1,000,000 over a five-year period for scientific research or advanced study in the science and engineering disciplines supported by the National Science Foundation at the institution of their choice. Disciplines supported by the NSF include the biological sciences, computer and information science and engineering, engineering, geosciences, mathematical and physical sciences, social, behavioral and economic sciences, and research on STEM education.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  • A candidate must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • They must be 40 years of age or younger, OR not more than 10 years beyond receipt of the Ph.D. degree, by December 31st of the year in which they are nominated.
  • A candidate should have demonstrated exceptional individual achievement in scientific or engineering research of sufficient quality, originality, innovation, and significant impact on the field so as to situate themselves as a leader among peers.

Nomination Requirements

  • Nominations are accepted in any field of science or engineering that the NSF supports.
  • Nomination packages consist of a completed nomination and four references.
  • The four references cannot be from the nominee’s home institution.
  • Nominations reviewed by the Committee must meet all requirements.
  • Institutions may nominate an unlimited number of individuals.

A nomination description form, letter of reference template, frequently asked questions, and other resources can be found at www.nsf.gov/waterman.

For questions, please contact waterman@nsf.gov.


Disclosure Statement: The information requested on this nomination is solicited under the authority of the NSF Act of 1950, as amended, and will be used and disclosed to reviewers and the National Science Board in connection with the selection of qualified applicants.