Skip to main content
Email Print Share

Alan T. Waterman Award

Call for Nominations - 2016 Alan T. Waterman Award

The National Science Foundation is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Alan T. Waterman award. Please review the eligibility and selection criteria below and submit your nominations through FastLane. October 23, 2015 is the deadline for submitting nominations.

View the "call for nominations" flyer (PDF format).

2015 Alan T. Waterman Awardee

The National Science Foundation is pleased to announce that Andrea Alù, an engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin, is the winner of the 2015 Alan T. Waterman Award.

Dr. Alù is a leading innovator in metamaterials, or artificial materials with properties and wave interactions not found in nature, and plasmonics, the study of how light interacts with the surface of nanoscale objects. He is best known for his pioneering research in metamaterial theory and applications.

For more information, please see the press release at


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 Waterman Award fact sheet, prepared by the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, is available at

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  1. A candidate must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. He or she must be 35 years of age or younger, or not more than 7 years beyond receipt of the Ph.D. degree, by December 31st of the year in which they are nominated.

  2. 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 him or her as a leader among peers.

Nomination Requirements

  • Nomination packages consist of a nomination and four letters of reference submitted via FastLane NOTE: Reference letters should not exceed two pages.

  • 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.

  • Nominations will not be reviewed by the Committee unless all the requirements are met.

  • Institutions may nominate an unlimited number of individuals.


Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page for specific questions about the award criteria or the nomination process.

For any other questions, or for additional information, please send e-mail to or call the NSF Office of International and Integrative Activities at 703-292-8040.