Alan T. Waterman Award

Congress established the Alan T. Waterman Award in August 1975 to mark the 25th Anniversary of the National Science Foundation and to honor its first Director. The annual award recognizes an outstanding young researcher in any field of science or engineering supported by the National Science Foundation. 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 mathematical, physical, biological, engineering, social, or other sciences at the institution of the recipient's choice.

The YCC encourages its members to apply or nominate individuals for this award.


over a five year period for scientific research or advanced study


  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • 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
  • Demonstrated exceptional individual achievement in scientific or engineering research of sufficient quality, originality, innovation, and significant impact on the field so as to situate him or her as a leader among peers

Application Deadline

Exact dates may change but the call for nominees runs between the beginning of August and the end of October (For example, the 2018 call for nominees was between August 7 and October 23, 2017)

Nomination Requirements

  1. Nomination packages consist of a nomination and four letters of reference submitted via FastLane Reference letters should not exceed two pages
  2. The names of four references are required for each nomination. The references cannot come from the nominee’s home institution. References must be requested by the nominator and submitted by the established FastLane deadline
  3. Nominations will not be reviewed by the Committee unless all the requirements are met
  4. Institutions may nominate an unlimited number of individuals