NSF seeks nominations for exceptional candidates that represent the diversity of the nation.
The honorary awards portal will open for nominations in late July 2023. To start early, you can review the nomination Form description, Letter of reference template, and Nominations tips to help you prepare a nomination.
The Nomination tips were created by the Alan T. Waterman Awards Committee to support nominators and reference writers in their efforts to expertly showcase the talents and expertise of nominees.
Additional information can be found in the Frequently asked questions.
Eligibility and selection criteria
NSF seeks nominations that reflect the diversity of the U.S.
- Nominees must:
- Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
- Be 40 years of age or younger OR not be more than 10 years beyond receipt of their Ph.D. by December 31st of the year they are nominated.
- Nominees should have demonstrated exceptional individual achievements in scientific or engineering research of sufficient quality, originality, innovation and significant impact on the field to place them at the forefront of their peers.
Alan T. Waterman award committee
Candidates are reviewed by the Alan T. Waterman Award committee once the nomination call has closed. The committee then recommends the most outstanding candidate(s) to NSF's director and the National Science Board.
Terms expire May 31, 2023
Gilda A. Barabino
Professor, Biomedical and Chemical Engineering
Olin College of Engineering
Eugene Higgins Professor, Electrical Engineering
Professor, Applied Physics
James B. Duke Distinguished Professor, Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Rachel Carson Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Microbiology Faculty, Yale School of Medicine
Terms expire May 31, 2024
Lesia L. Crumpton-Young
Texas Southern University
Katherine L. Gross (retired)
Professor Emerita, Plant Biology
University Distinguished Professor
Emerita Director, Kellogg Biological Station
Michigan State University
Myron P. Gutmann
Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado – Boulder
James F. Kurose
Associate Chancellor of Partnership and Innovation
Distinguished Professor, Information and Computer Sciences
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Terms expire May 31, 2025
Ana de Bettencourt-Dias
Susan Magee and Gary Clemons Professor of Chemistry, Foundation Professor
University of Nevada, Reno
Ann Quiroz Gates
AT&T Distinguished Professor, Computer Science
University of Texas - El Paso
Professor, Executive Director of the Murphy Institute
Director, Scripps Institution of Oceangraphy
University of California, San Diego
Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Darryl N. Williams
Senior Vice President, Science and Education
The Franklin Institute
NSF recognizes 3 scientists with the Alan T. Waterman Award
Credit: National Science Foundation
The 2022 Alan T. Waterman Award recipients are Jessica E. Tierney, a University of Arizona geoscientist; Lara A. Thompson, a University of the District of Columbia biomedical engineer; and Daniel B. Larremore, a computer scientist from the University of Colorado Boulder.
- Jessica E. Tierney is recognized “for outstanding advances in the reconstruction of past climate change and furthering the understanding of future climate change.”
- Lara A. Thompson is recognized “for pioneering innovations in rehabilitation engineering, discovering improved balance elicited by a vestibular prosthesis in primates with vestibular loss, and translation of basic science from her research towards engineering-based models and interventions to improve the lives of people suffering from balance, gait, and postural impairments.”
- Daniel B. Larremore is recognized “for foundational research in computational epidemiology, combining mathematics and computation with real-world data to create powerful new models that provide concrete, innovative, and useful answers to globally important questions in the study of epidemic dynamics, including timely research on vaccination and testing strategies for combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This is the first year NSF has chosen to honor three researchers with the award. Well over 100 nominations were received for the 2022 Alan T. Waterman Award, increasing the number and diversity of nominees and affiliated institutions compared with past years.
Please read NSF's press release for more information. Visit the 2022 Waterman Lectures webpage to watch presentations by each of the 2022 Waterman awardees.
Yes. The criteria state that the nominee must be 40 years of age or younger by December 31st of the year of nomination OR within 10 years of receiving their Ph.D. by December 31st of the year of nomination.
A complete nomination includes submission of all requested information through the nomination portal and submission of all four references. The four references must be from individuals who are not from the nominee's home institution. Incomplete nominations will not be reviewed by the committee.
Yes. Please submit no more than the four required reference letters. NSF will not review more than four letters per nomination. Reference letters are limited to two pages each.
Reference letters are welcome from colleagues outside the nominee's home institution. Colleagues at the nominee's institution may not submit reference letters for the nominee.
Yes. You may nominate as many qualified candidates as you would like.
No. Self-nominations are not accepted.
Because the award includes an extramural federal grant, federal employees are not eligible to be nominees.
Yes. The nominator can be from the nominee’s home institution or another institution.
The nominee can be informed that they are being nominated. Involving the nominee in a conversation around your intention to nominate them may help strengthen the nomination by providing additional insights into their work and suggestions for letter writers.
In general, nominations do not carry over. They will be removed from the portal at the end of the review cycle. Each year, a small number of nominees are shortlisted by the ATW Committee as “top performers”. Nominators of top performers are notified near the time when the nomination portal opens for the following year, so that they have an opportunity to update the nomination, should they wish to do so.
Graduate advisors can be nominators or letter writers (provided that the letter writer is not at the same institution as the nominee). Keep in mind that someone may be nominated up to 10 years after their doctoral degree. It is important to have a nominator and/or letter writers that can speak to the nominee’s professional experience. The contributors to the nomination should have relevant leadership experience in the nominee’s field of research to convey the importance, impact, and context of the nominee’s work within and across their disciplinary fields.
Yes. Letter writers can be from foreign institutions. However, the letters must be written in English.
For further information concerning the Alan T. Waterman Award program or nomination process, email email@example.com or contact NSF's Office of Integrative Activities at (703) 292-8040.