Email Print Share

News Release 13-208

President Obama honors outstanding early-career scientists

19 National Science Foundation-supported researchers receive award

photo of the white house

Impressive early-career scientists receive award to continue their outstanding research.

December 23, 2013

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

President Barack Obama today named 102 researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports 19 of the award recipients.

The winners will receive their awards at a Washington, D.C., ceremony in the coming year.

"The impressive achievements of these early-stage scientists and engineers are promising indicators of even greater successes ahead," Obama said. "We are grateful for their commitment to generating the scientific and technical advancements that will ensure America's global leadership for many years to come."

The Presidential Early Career Awards embody the high priority the Obama administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the Nation's goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy. The recipients are employed or funded by the following departments and agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NSF, the Smithsonian Institution and the Intelligence Community.

The departments and agencies join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America's preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.

The awards, established by former President Bill Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

This year's NSF recipients are:

Theodor Agapie, California Institute of Technology

Javier Arce-Nazario, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey

Sarah Bergbreiter, University of Maryland, College Park

Moises Carreon, University of Louisville

Sigrid Close, Stanford University

Raffaella De Vita, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Abigail Doyle, Princeton University

Daniel Goldman, Georgia Institute of Technology

Joel Griffitts, Brigham Young University

Samantha Hansen, University of Alabama

Rouslan Krechetnikov, University of California, Santa Barbara

Tamara Moore, University of Minnesota

Daniela Oliveira, Bowdoin College

Jonathan Pillow, University of Texas at Austin

Benjamin Recht, University of Wisconsin-Madison

David Savitt, University of Arizona

Noah Snavely, Cornell University

Junqiao Wu, University of California, Berkeley

Ahmet Yildiz, University of California, Berkeley


Media Contacts
Deborah Wing, NSF, (703) 292-5344, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

mail icon Get News Updates by Email 

Connect with us online
NSF website:
NSF News:
For News Media:
Awards database:

Follow us on social