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Alan T. Waterman Award Frequently Asked Questions

Call for Nominations

The call for nominations is currently closed.

Award Criteria

  1. If my candidate is 41, but got his or her doctoral degree 3 years ago, does he or she still qualify for the award?
  2. Yes. The criteria state that the nominee must be 40 years of age or younger by December of the year of nomination OR within 10 years of receiving his/her Ph.D. by December of the year of nomination.

    All nominees must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents.

Nomination Restrictions

  1. Is there a limit to the number of reference letters I can submit in support of a nomination?
  2. Yes. Please submit no more than the four required reference letters. NSF will not review more than four letters per nomination.

  3. Who can submit reference letters?
  4. Reference letters are welcome from colleagues outside the nominee's home institution. Colleagues at the nominee's institution may not submit reference letters.

  5. Can I nominate more than one qualified candidate from my institution?
  6. Yes. You may nominate as many qualified candidates from your institution as you would like.

  7. Can I nominate myself?
  8. No. Self-nominations are not accepted. 

Nomination Process Using FastLane

  1. I forgot my FastLane user ID.
  2. Please e-mail or call the Alan T. Waterman manager directly at 703-292-8040 for your user ID.

  3. I forgot my password.
  4. Please click the "Forgot password?" link on the Fastlane Honorary Awards nomination page ( If that does not work, please e-mail or call as directed in the previous question.

  5. I know people submitted references, but I cannot see them on the nomination status page.
  6. This usually occurs when the reference writer submits his/her reference under a slightly different name than was entered in FastLane by the nominator. If the names do not match exactly (i.e., middle initial, formal name vs. nickname), you cannot see the status of the references. However, this does not mean that the letters are not there. Please e-mail or call the Alan T. Waterman Award manager to confirm the status of the letters.

  7. When will I know if my nominee was selected?
  8. The Alan T. Waterman Award manager will contact all nominators the day the awardee is announced by the National Science Foundation. If your nominee is not selected but has been deemed a "Top Performer" by the Selection Committee, the nominee will stay in the system for another year. If your nominee was not a "Top Performer" but still meets the criteria, you will be invited to re-nominate. If your nominee was not a "Top Performer" and no longer meets the criteria, we thank you greatly for your interest in the Alan T. Waterman Award.


For further information, or to suggest other questions for this list, email