Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
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In 2003, to comply with E-government requirements, the nomination processes were converted to electronic submission through the National Science Foundation's (NSF) FastLane system. Individuals can now prepare nominations and references through
Subsequently, Executive Order 10961 specified procedures for the Award by establishing a National Medal of Science Committee which would “receive recommendations made by any other nationally representative scientific or engineering organization.” On the basis of these recommendations, the Committee was directed to select its candidates and to forward its recommendations to the President.
In 1962, to comply with these directives, the Committee initiated a solicitation form letter to invite these nominations. In 1979, the Committee initiated a nomination form as an attachment to the solicitation letter. A slightly modified version of the nomination form was used in 1980.
The Committee established the following guidelines for selection of candidates:
1. Principal criterion: The total impact of an individual's work on the current state of physical, biological, mathematical, engineering or social and behavioral sciences.
2. Achievements of an unusually significant nature in relation to the potential effects on the development of scientific thought.
3. Unusually distinguished service in the general advancement of science and engineering, especially when accompanied by substantial contributions to the content of science. Recognition by peers within the scientific community.
4. Contributions to innovation and industry.
5. Influence on education through publications, teaching activities, outreach, mentoring, etc.
6. Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who has applied for citizenship.
In 2003, the Committee changed the active period of eligibility to three years, including the year of nomination. After that time, candidates must be renominated with a new nomination package for them to be considered by the Committee.
Narratives are now restricted to two pages of text, as stipulated in the guidelines at
The Alan T. Waterman Award Committee was established by NSF to comply with the directive contained in Public Law 94-86. The Committee solicits nominations from members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, scientific and technical organizations, and any other source, public or private, as appropriate.
In 1976, the Committee initiated a form letter to solicit these nominations. In 1980, a nomination form was used which standardized the nomination procedures, allowed for more effective Committee review, and permitted better staff work in a short period of time. On the basis of its review, the Committee forwards its recommendation to the Director, NSF, and the National Science Board (NSB).
Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and must be 35 years of age or younger or not more than seven years beyond receipt of the Ph.D. degree by December 31 of the year in which they are nominated. Candidates should have demonstrated exceptional individual achievements in scientific or engineering research of sufficient quality to place them at the forefront of their peers. Criteria include originality, innovation, and significant impact on the field.
1. Distinguished himself/herself through public service activities in science and technology.
2. Pioneered the exploration, charting, and settlement of new frontiers in science, technology, education, and public service.
3. Demonstrated leadership and creativity that have inspired others to distinguished careers in science and technology.
4. Contributed to the welfare of the Nation and mankind through activities in science and technology.
5. Demonstrated leadership and creativity that have helped mold the history of advancements in the Nation's science, technology, and education.
Nominations must include a narrative description about the nominee, a curriculum vitae (without publications), and a brief citation summarizing the nominee's scientific or technological contributions to our national welfare in promotion of the progress of science. Nominations must also include two reference letters, submitted separate from the nomination through
Eligibility includes any individual or group (company, corporation, or organization) that has increased the public understanding of science or engineering. Members of the U.S. Government are not eligible for consideration.
Candidates for the individual and group (company, corporation, or organization) award must have made contributions to public service in areas other than research, and should meet one or more of the following criteria:
1. Increased the public's understanding of the processes of science and engineering through scientific discovery, innovation and its communication to the public.
2. Encouraged others to help raise the public understanding of science and technology.
3. Promoted the engagement of scientists and engineers in public outreach and scientific literacy.
4. Contributed to the development of broad science and engineering policy and its support.
5. Influenced and encouraged the next generation of scientist and engineers.
6. Achieved broad recognition outside the nominee's area of specialization.
7. Fostered awareness of science and technology among broad segments of the population.
Nominations must include a summary of the candidate's activities as they relate to the selection criteria; the nominator's name, address and telephone number; the name, address, and telephone number of the nominee; and the candidate's vita, if appropriate (no more than three pages).
The selection committee recommends the most outstanding candidate(s) for each category to the NSB, which approves the awardees.
Nominations remain active for a period of three years, including the year of nomination. After that time, candidates must be renominated with a new nomination for them to be considered by the selection committee.
In 1996, the White House, through the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), established the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) program. The program, administered on behalf of the White House by the National Science Foundation, seeks to identify outstanding mentoring efforts or programs designed to enhance the participation of groups (women, minorities and persons with disabilities) underrepresented in science, mathematics and engineering. The awardees will serve as exemplars to their colleagues and will be leaders in the national effort to more fully develop the Nation's human resources in science, mathematics and engineering.
An honorarium in the amount of $10,000 will accompany the award along with a commemorative Presidential certificate. The award will be made to: (1) An individual who has demonstrated outstanding and sustained mentoring and effective guidance to a significant number of students at the K-12, undergraduate, or graduate education level or (2) to an organization that, through its programming, has enabled a substantial number of students underrepresented in science, mathematics and engineering to successfully pursue and complete the relevant degree programs. It is anticipated that each award will be used to continue the recognized activity. The nominees must have served in such a mentoring role for at least five years.