Vannevar Bush Award

Honoring Exceptional Service to the Nation in Science and Technology

The National Science Board is no longer accepting nominations for its 2021 Honorary Awards. Please return for information on 2022 nominations in summer 2021.

Vannevar Bush Award The Vannevar Bush Award honors truly exceptional lifelong leaders in science and technology who have made substantial contributions to the welfare of the Nation through public service activities in science, technology, and public policy. The award was established in 1980 in the memory of Vannevar Bush, who served as a science advisor to President Franklin Roosevelt during World War II, helped to establish federal funding for science and engineering as a national priority during peacetime, and was behind the creation of the National Science Foundation.

To view previous recipients of the award, visit: Past Recipients of the Vannevar Bush Award



Candidates for the Vannevar Bush Award should have demonstrated outstanding leadership and accomplishment in meeting at least two of the following selection criteria:

  1. Candidates must be United States citizens.
  2. Distinguished himself/herself through public service activities in science and technology.
  3. Pioneered the exploration, charting, and settlement of new frontiers in science, technology, education, and public service.
  4. Demonstrated leadership and creativity that have inspired others to distinguished careers in science and technology.
  5. Contributed to the welfare of the Nation and mankind through activities in science and technology.
  6. Demonstrated leadership and creativity that has helped mold the history of advancements in the Nation's science, technology, and education.



Nominations must include:

  1. A current curriculum vita without publications (no more than 5 pages).
  2. A narrative statement (no more than 8 pages) addressing the candidate's activities and contributions related to the selection criteria.
  3. A proposed award citation addressing the candidate's activities in and contributions to national public service activities in science, technology, and public policy.
  4. Contact information of candidate and nominator – mailing address, email address, and phone number.
  5. Two reference letters (no more than 2 pages each) from individuals familiar with the candidate’s accomplishments, and not affiliated with the candidate's home institution.



Please save all nomination documents as PDF or Word files and email them as attachments to:



For questions concerning the awards, please contact Kyscha Slater-Williams at, (703) 292-7889.