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Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science FAQs

  • Q: Are students eligible for this award?

A: No, we require that the candidate have completed their terminal degree (e.g. Ph.D., Sc.D., M.D, D.V.M., etc.) before the August 1 deadline. Post-doctoral fellows are eligible for this award. 

  • Q: I didn’t receive a confirmation email when I submitted my nomination.

A: The confirmation email comes from noreply@apps.aaas.org. Please be sure to check your spam folder. Reminder emails and password resets will also come from this email address.

  • Q: The candidate is around seven years past their terminal degree. Do you count from when nominations are due or when the award is given?

A: In general, we count from when nominations are due. However, we do consider candidates who are past seven years if there are circumstances which disrupted the traditional career path.  

  • Q: When are all materials due?

A: A complete nomination package is due June 30 at 11:59pm Eastern Time.  There are no extensions for required materials.

  • Q: Am I allowed to nominate myself?

A: Absolutely! You will still need to submit a letter of support from someone who can speak to the quality of your public engagement activities.

  • Q: What is the difference between the candidate’s qualification statement and a letter of support?

A: The candidate’s qualification statement should discuss their approach to public engagement and emphasize the candidate’s public engagement goal(s), intended audience(s), and message(s), as well as level of dialogue with audience, evaluation of public engagement work, and examples of how public engagement has affected the candidate’s scientific work.  An optional letter of support should provide insight into the candidate’s work from a colleague, supervisor, or participant’s perspective. 

  • Q: What if I want to keep my letter of support confidential from the candidate?

A: The best way to do this is to have a nominator submit the nomination who you can provide the letter to without the candidate reviewing it.

  • Q: What if I want to nominate someone but don’t want them to know?

A: That’s fine; but you will still need to prepare materials that meet the requirements of the nomination package including providing a CV. 

  • Q: Does the candidate have to be an AAAS member?

A: No. We do collect this information, but it will not affect the selection committee’s decisions.

  • Q: Are international nominations accepted?

A: Absolutely!  We have past winners from around the world.  However, all nomination materials must be submitted in English. 

  • Q: What type of public engagement are you looking for?

A:  This is a tough question! There are many different approaches to public engagement and no one approach is considered more effective than another. While formats for public engagement are constantly evolving, successful engagement builds on a foundation of clear, concise communication and mutual learning.  If you are even thinking about it, submit! 

  • Q: What am I being scored on?

A: A selection committee will discuss the candidates’ merits, using a scoring rubric provided by AAAS as a basis. We are looking for candidates who directly participate in public engagement, above and beyond the duties of their job.  Elements of high quality public engagement include a realistic goal, a clearly defined audience, and tailored messages.  Further, candidates should show how they encourage meaningful, interactive dialogue through their activities.   

Further inquiries may be directed to the Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology via email.