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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 June 30 deadline. Post-doctoral fellows are eligible for this award. 

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! We accept self-nominations as well as nominations of another and the type of nomination has no affect on how the nomination is reviewed. 

Q: What is the difference between the nomination statement and a letter of support?

  • A: The nomination statement should discuss their approach to public engagement and emphasize the nominee’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 nominee’s scientific work.  An optional letter of support should provide insight into the nominee’s work from a colleague, supervisor, or participant’s perspective. 

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

  • 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: ​​​The award selection committee will evaluate nominations through the questions below.  Nominees will possibly excel in one category more than others. 
  1. Does the nominee demonstrate active participation in public engagement activities?
  2. Does the nominee demonstrate high quality public engagement activities?
  3. Does the nominee demonstrate a focus on interactive dialogue between the nominee and a non-scientific public?