AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize

Supported by The Fodor Family Trust



The Prize

The Association’s oldest award, the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, supported by The Fodor Family Trust, was established in 1923 with funds donated by Newcomb Cleveland of New York City and was originally called the AAAS Thousand Dollar Prize. It is now known as the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, and its value is $25,000. In addition to the prize funds, the winner receives a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration and reimbursement for reasonable travel and hotel expenses to attend the AAAS Annual Meeting in order to accept the prize at the Awards Ceremony.


The prize is awarded to the author or authors of an outstanding paper published in the Research Articles or Reports sections of Science. Each annual contest starts with the first issue of June and ends with the last issue of the following May.

An eligible paper is one that includes original research data, theory, or synthesis; is a fundamental contribution to basic knowledge or is a technical achievement of far-reaching consequence; and is a first-time publication of the author’s own work. Reference to pertinent earlier work by the author may be included to give perspective.

Nomination Procedures

Throughout the year, readers of Science are invited to nominate papers appearing in the Research Articles or Reports sections. Nominations must be submitted in our online form by June 30.

Please note: self-nominations will not be accepted for the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize. Final selection is determined by a panel of distinguished scientists appointed by the editor-in-chief of Science.

2014 Recipient

The 2014 Newcomb Cleveland Prize is awarded to Lulu Xie, Hongyi Kang,Qiwu Xu, Michael J. Chen, Yonghong Liao, Meenakshisundaram Thiyagarajan, John O’Donnell, Daniel J. Christensen, Charles Nicholson, Jeffrey J. Iliff ,Takahiro Takano, Rashid Deane, Maiken Nedergaard for their outstanding report “Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain” published in Science 18 October 2013, pp. 373-377.

The report addresses the age-old and profound question: “Why do we sleep?” The paper arrives at the equally remarkable conclusion: during sleep the space between brain cells increases by 60 percent, boosting the flow of cerebrospinal fluid that flushes waste products such as ß-amyloid (associated with Alzheimer’s disease) from the brain. The peer reviewers found the results of this paper startling, unexpected, and ranked it as one of the most influential papers in the neurosciences published all year.Technically, the experimental techniques used on laboratory mice to measure changes in brain status in vivo during sleep and waking hours were extremely challenging, novel, and cutting edge. Even to the members of the selection committee well outside of the field the paper was a pleasure to read and easily conveyed the importance of the question being posed and the significance of the finding. The implications of the results are far reaching: from treatment of sleep disorders to therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, this paper suggests new directions that are game changers.

Read a list of past recipients.