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

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Nomination Deadline: June 30 at 11:59pm ET

The AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, established in 2010, recognizes early-career scientists and engineers who demonstrate excellence in their contributions to public engagement with science activities. The recipient of the award receives a monetary prize of $5,000, a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration to the AAAS Annual Meeting, and reimbursement for reasonable hotel and travel expenses to attend the AAAS Annual Meeting to receive the prize.

For the purposes of this award, public engagement activities are defined as an individual’s active participation in efforts to engage with the public on science- and technology-related issues and promote meaningful dialogue between science and society.

Past recipients are profiled here: https://www.aaas.org/page/early-career-award-public-engagement-science-recipients.


  • Candidate must be an individual scientist. mathematician, or engineer. Groups or institutions will not be considered for this award. AAAS employees are ineligible. One candidate will be chosen to receive the award each year.
  • Candidate must represent a field of science, technology, engineering and/or math (STEM) and be actively conducting research in any scientific discipline (including social sciences, mathematics, engineering and medicine). They may be based in academia, government or industry. Public engagement activities must be above and beyond job responsibilities. 
  • Candidate must be “early career” which is defined as an individual who has completed their terminal degree within seven years of the deadline for nominations.
  • Candidate will have demonstrated excellence in their contributions to public engagement with science activities, with a focus on interactive dialogue between the individual and a non-scientific, public audience(s).
    • Types of public engagement activities might include: informal science education, public outreach, public policy, and/or science communication activities, such as mass media, public dialogue, radio, TV and film, science cafés, science fairs, and social and online media.


  • All nominations must be submitted and complete on or before 11:59pm ET on June 30.
  • Nominations may be made by individuals, universities, government agencies, media, research organizations, and AAAS affiliate organizations. One nominator can nominate multiple candidates.
  • Self-nominations are allowed.
  • Prior nomination or even being a named finalist does not exclude a candidate from consideration in subsequent years.
  • The selection committee will include distinguished scientists, engineers, mathematicians and science communicators named by AAAS. Decisions of the committee are final.
  • During the award year, AAAS expects the recipient will continue participating in public engagement with science activities and initiatives.

Required Materials

Nominations are accepted from April 15 - June 30. All nominations must be submitted through our online submission site during that time. Nominations will not be accepted by email or by post.

Materials must be in English

You will be asked to provide:

  • Name, position, institution, professional address, email, and phone of the candidate
  • Name, position, institution, professional address, email, and phone of the nominator (if different than the candidate)
  • Candidate qualifications statement of the public engagement activities that form the basis for the nomination
    • This statement of two pages maximum should discuss the candidate’s approach to public engagement. It should emphasize the candidate’s public engagement goal(s), intended audience(s), and message(s), as well as the level and type of dialogue achieved with their audiences, evaluation of public engagement work, and examples of how public engagement has affected the candidate’s scientific work. 
    • More information about AAAS’s approach to public engagement is available in the Center for Public Engagement's Communication Toolkit.
  • OPTIONAL: Letters of support from a person who can speak to the candidate’s public engagement efforts
    • This letter should provide more insight into the candidate’s work and discuss their accomplishments and can be written by a colleague, supervisor or participant.
  • At least two (up to three) representative material samples or other documentation which illustrate or describe the candidate’s public engagement contributions
    • Samples should exhibit the activities discussed in the statement and further contribute to the narrative of the nomination, showing different representations of the breadth of their public engagement.
  • If the candidate uses social media for their public engagement there will be a space to include all relevant accounts.
  • The candidate’s curriculum vitae
    • Limit CV to five pages, with a specific section highlighting public engagement activities distinct from work that is required as part of the candidate’s job.

​​​All materials submitted become the property of AAAS. Inquiries may be directed to the Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology via email.