AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science

The Award

Nominations are now closed 

Nomination Deadline: October 15

The AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, established in 2010, recognizes early-career scientists and engineers who demonstrate excellence in their contribution to public engagement with science activities. 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 are given to the recipient.

For the purposes of this award, public engagement activities are defined as the 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, as highlighted in this video.

The award will be given at the AAAS Annual Meeting.


  • Nominee must be an individual scientist or engineer. Groups or institutions will not be considered for this award. AAAS employees are ineligible. One scientist or engineer will be chosen to receive the award on an annual basis.
  • Nominee must be a scientist or engineer actively conducting research in any scientific discipline (including social sciences and medicine) in academia, government or industry.
  • Nominee must be “early career,” which is defined as an individual who has been in his/her current field for less than seven years and pre-tenure or job equivalent (typically within 7 years of receiving Ph.D.). Post-doctoral fellows are eligible for this award.
  • Nominee will have demonstrated excellence in his/her contribution 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 café, science exhibit, science fair, and social and online media.


All nominations must be submitted fully completed on or before midnight on October 15.

Nominations may be made by individuals, universities, government agencies, media, research organizations, and AAAS affiliate organizations.

Prior nomination does not exclude a candidate from consideration in subsequent years.

The selection committee will include distinguished scientists, engineers, science communicators, and science popularizers named by AAAS. The decisions of the committee will be final.

During the award year, AAAS will expect the recipient will continue participating in public engagement with science activities and initiatives.

Nomination Procedures

Nominations are now closed and are accepted from August until October 15. All nominations must be submitted electronically through our application form during that time. Nominations will not be accepted by email or by post.

You will be asked to provide:

  • name, position, institution, professional address, e-mail, professional phone, home address and home phone number of the candidate;
  • name, position, institution, and professional address, e-mail, and phone of the nominator;
  • a statement of the public engagement activities that form the basis for the nomination;
  • if a candidate submits their own application, a letter of support from their nominator is required
  • at least two representative material samples or other documentation which illustrate or describe the candidate’s contribution;
  • the candidate’s vitae;
  • and the name of at least 1 supporting person in addition to their nominator whom AAAS may contact for more information on the candidate and his/her contributions.

All materials submitted become the property of AAAS.

Inquiries may be directed to the Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology via email or by phone, (202) 326-6656.


All information must be submitted electronically through our application form by October 15.


2016 Recipient

Suzi Gage is a psychologist and epidemiologist at the University of Liverpool interested in understanding the associations between recreational substance use and mental health. Since the beginning of her PhD in 2010, Suzi has used her free time to challenge bad science in the media, promote evidence-based thinking, and more recently, has created a new resource providing evidence-based information about the effects of recreational drugs.

Please view the complete list of past recipients.

AAAS Award for Public Engagement with Science

Nominees no longer considered "early career" as defined by this award might be eligible for the AAAS Award for Public Engagement with Science.