Nomination & Selection Guidelines

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Jump to: Nomination Guidelines | Nomination System | Lawrence Award Category Descriptions | Lawrence Award Assessment Criteria, Merit Review, and Selection | Preparation of Nomination Materials - Instructions & Guidance | Additional Information

NOTICE: The Department of Energy seeks nominations for the Lawrence Award now through 5:00 PM ET, Thursday, May 9, 2024.

2025 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award Nomination Guidelines

The Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award is bestowed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to mid-career scientists and engineers in recognition of exceptional scientific, technical, and engineering achievements related to the broad missions of DOE and its programs. The Lawrence Award, established in 1959 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Atomic Energy Commission, honors Ernest O. Lawrence, the 1939 Nobel Laureate in physics who helped establish the DOE laboratory system.

The objectives of the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award are to encourage excellence in energy science and technology; to inspire people to dedicate their lives and talents to scientific and technological effort, through the examples of Ernest O. Lawrence and the Lawrence Award laureates; and to highlight the accomplishments of the U.S. scientific and technological communities associated with DOE.

Lawrence Award Laureates receive a citation signed by the Secretary of Energy, a gold-plated medal bearing the likeness of Ernest O. Lawrence, and a $20,000 honorarium.

Nominations are solicited in each of the following nine categories, representing the broad research missions of DOE and its programs:

  • Atomic, Molecular, and Chemical Sciences
  • Biological and Environmental Sciences
  • Computer, Information, and Knowledge Sciences
  • Condensed Matter and Materials Sciences
  • Energy Science and Innovation
  • Fusion and Plasma Sciences
  • High Energy Physics
  • National Security and Nonproliferation
  • Nuclear Physics

Jump to: Lawrence Award Category Descriptions

The award shall ordinarily be bestowed to one person in a given category but may be shared if (i) the nominees sharing the award worked on the identical accomplishment and, (ii) the nominees sharing the award contributed equally to the accomplishment. If there are co-winners within a category, its honorarium is shared equally.

Jump to: Nomination System for additional details on co-nominations.

DOE encourages nominations of individuals from underrepresented groups and is committed to fostering safe, diverse, equitable, and inclusive work, research, and funding environments. Read the Office of Science’s Statement of Commitment for more information on this commitment.

Nomination packages prepared solely by the nominee are discouraged.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, nominees must:

  • Be in the middle of their careers, defined as within 20 years of earning their highest degree. For the present competition, nominees must have had their highest earned degree conferred in calendar year 2004 or later to be eligible.
  • Be citizens of the United States;
  • Be recognized for achievement(s) in research principally funded by the DOE; and
  • Be recognized primarily on the scientific impact and technical significance of their work relative to its discipline and/or related mission. (Business management and acumen, while valued, is not a significant factor used when evaluating a nominee’s worthiness.)

Nomination Materials

Nominations must include the following materials and be submitted online through the Ernest O. Lawrence Awards Nomination System.

  • Selection of an award category (Atomic, Molecular, and Chemical Sciences; Biological and Environmental Sciences; Computer, Information, and Knowledge Sciences; Condensed Matter and Materials Sciences; Energy Science and Innovation; Fusion and Plasma Sciences; High Energy Physics; National Security and Nonproliferation; or Nuclear Physics). Please note an individual’s nomination is limited to a single category.
  • Letter of justification. (Limit 2,000 words.)
  • A statement explaining the nominee’s connection to DOE support. (Limit 800 words.)
  • A suggested citation summarizing and highlighting the nominee’s achievement. The citation should make clear the specific reason for making this award to the nominee. (Limit 35 words.)
  • Letters of support (3 to 6) from individuals familiar with the nominee’s work. (Limit 1,200 words each.)
  • A bibliography of significant publications related to the achievement. Note, the bibliography is a separate component from the curriculum vitae. (Limit 10 entries; 80 words or less each.)
  • Curriculum vitae (CV). (Limit 2,000 words.)

Jump to: Preparation of Nomination Materials - Instructions & Guidance for additional requirements and guidance for nominators and letter of recommendation authors.

Nomination Deadline

All nomination materials and support letters for the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award must be submitted through the online awards system by 5:00 PM ET, Thursday, May 9, 2024. No materials will be accepted after the deadline has passed.

Nomination System

Nominations are submitted online using the Lawrence Awards Nomination System.

A nomination system user account is required to create and submit nominations. Nominators are strongly encouraged to register and begin coordination of nominations well before the deadline. Key guidance based on common questions is provided below.

  • The nomination system guides nominators and letter of support authors regarding account creation and submission steps.
  • The nomination system requires all components of a nomination package to be entered via text input fields. Files, including images, may not be uploaded.
  • The nomination system requires lead and associate nominators to solicit and manage letters of support. Letter of support authors receive an email notification from the online system with instructions to access the system and submit a letter of support. Authors must submit letters in time for the lead nominator to submit the full nomination by the award deadline.
  • Lead nominators, associate nominators, and/or administrative support members are encouraged to create a user account early in the development of a nomination package to become familiar with system and submission requirements.
  • Co-nominations are submitted in one nomination package under one award category and use the same letter of justification, connection to DOE support statement, citation, and letters of support. However, separate eligibility information, curriculum vitae, and bibliographies must be entered for each individual comprising the co-nomination.
  • Past nominations remain active for 3 award cycles and will be considered during a current review cycle, provided that the nominee continues to meet all eligibility requirements. Past nominations may be updated while the nomination solicitation is open. Updates are encouraged, especially reporting changes in affiliations, titles, and awards.
  • Classified information should not be included in any nomination materials.

Jump to: Preparation of Nomination Materials - Instructions & Guidance for additional requirements and guidance.

Lawrence Award Category Descriptions

The Lawrence Award honors scientists and engineers for exceptional scientific, technical, and engineering achievements related to the broad missions of DOE and its programs in the following nine categories. The Lawrence Award category descriptions are provided to help guide nominators when submitting a nomination. The choice of category is made at the sole discretion of the nominator(s).

Atomic, Molecular, and Chemical Sciences

This award category recognizes transformative accomplishments related to the Department’s research investments advancing foundational understanding and control, at the level of atoms and electrons, of chemical transformations and energy flow in systems relevant to DOE missions. Advances in these areas provide a basis for development of new processes for generation, storage, and use of energy and for mitigation of environmental impacts of energy use. Appropriate research accomplishments broadly recognized under this category may include advances in understanding the: interactions of atoms, molecules, and ions with photons, x-rays, or electrons; making and breaking of chemical bonds in the gas phase, in solutions, at interfaces, and on surfaces; energy transfer processes within and between molecules; quantum nature of atomic and molecular systems and approaches to exploit advances in quantum information science for solutions to currently intractable problems; interfacial chemistry to advance next-generation microelectronics; chemical science theory and computational applications that exploit emerging leadership-class computing capabilities; and chemical conversions of increasingly complex chemical systems such as polymers. Other relevant topics under this category include: use of data analytics and machine learning for data-driven science; atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) sciences; chemical physics; radiation chemistry; organic and inorganic photochemistry including solar photochemistry; photo-induced electron and energy transfer; photoelectrochemistry; molecular assemblies for artificial photosynthesis; surface and interfacial chemistry; organometallic chemistry; mechanisms of heterogeneous, homogeneous, and bio- catalysis; separation science; heavy element chemistry; theory, modeling, and computational simulations of chemical properties and reactivity; and aspects of chemical engineering sciences.

Nominations based on relevant experimental, theoretical, and computational research and discoveries are encouraged.

Biological and Environmental Sciences

This award category recognizes transformative accomplishments related to the Department’s research investments to understand the biological, biogeochemical, and physical processes spanning from molecular and genomics-controlled scales to the regional and global scales to achieve a predictive understanding of complex biological, Earth, and environmental systems for clean energy and climate innovation. Nominations are encouraged that recognize significant accomplishments in the use of genomic information to elucidate principles guiding the translation of genetic code into organismal- or community-scale function, as well as characterization and visualization of biological processes underlying the systems biology of plants and microbes as they respond to and modify their environments. This foundational science builds the predictive understanding necessary for directed design and reengineering of microbes and plants, which underpins the Department’s clean energy, carbon management and bioeconomy efforts. Specific end targets of interest include improved biofuels and bioproducts, enhanced capabilities for carbon capture and storage, and controlled biological transformation of materials such as nutrients and contaminants in the environment. Nominations are encouraged that recognize advancements in fundamental understanding of dynamic, physical and biogeochemical processes. This knowledge is required to systematically develop integrated Earth system models across the atmosphere, land masses, oceans, sea ice, and subsurface. Example topics include atmospheric processes; terrestrial ecosystem processes, including nutrient cycling and water cycling; environmental and Earth system modeling; and analysis of impacts and interdependencies of energy production with, for example, the environment, clouds, aerosols, biogeochemistry, and the cryosphere. Additionally, nominations are encouraged recognizing research achievements that contribute understanding and solutions on the causes and impacts of climate and Earth system changes on energy systems, and feedbacks among drivers of Earth system changes.

Nominations based on relevant experimental, theoretical, and computational research and discoveries are encouraged.

Computer, Information, and Knowledge Sciences

This award category recognizes transformative accomplishments related to the Department’s research investments advancing the development of breakthrough mathematics, computer science, and underlying technologies required to extract information, knowledge, and insight from data. These investments support development of theoretical, algorithmic, mathematical, and computational tools to build solid foundations for computer, information, and knowledge sciences, including quantum information science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Advances in these areas underpin the ability to computationally model theoretical concepts, simulate physical systems and phenomena, and define the state-of-the-art in understanding how knowledge is most effectively represented, organized, retrieved, and utilized. Ultimately such tools will help enable new scientific and technological discovery linking across length and time scales, serve to robustly join experiment with theory and simulation, and provide pathways towards multi-scale, predictive understanding required to advance many missions of DOE supported research and development. Appropriate topical nominations may include, but are not limited to, data intensive computing including programming paradigms, advanced and novel architectures, visualization tools, software, codes, and algorithms to extract information from data and provide scientific insight; inference and prediction of large-scale, complex systems including data assimilation, uncertainty quantification, statistics, and machine learning; quantum information techniques and technology for computation and simulation including the design and implementation of quantum information processing architectures, devising and analyzing new quantum algorithms, or researching fundamental aspects of quantum computing and quantum communication; next-generation networking to support diverse types of distributed computational activities and to facilitate world-wide scientific collaboration; and computing in extreme environments including exascale computing and the associated issues of computing at scale, such as fault tolerance, resilience, system design, programming environments, methodologies for performance analysis and prediction, communications, storage, efficiency, and retrieval as well as highly complex system interactions that challenge computational capability in extreme environments.

Condensed Matter and Materials Sciences

This award category recognizes transformative accomplishments related to the Department’s research investments to probe, understand, and control properties and energy flow in materials over multiple time and length scales. It also recognizes research to advance fundamental atomistic understanding of macroscopic behavior to improve material properties and performance through innovative design, synthesis, and processing. DOE mission areas impacted through basic science achievement in these areas include the discovery, development, and implementation of materials that improve the efficiency, economy, environmental acceptability, and safety in energy generation, conversion, transmission, and utilization. Nominations may come from the condensed matter physics, materials sciences, or related engineering communities. This category includes topics in experimental, theoretical, and computational condensed matter and materials sciences focused on the control and discovery of materials properties through exploration of co-operative and quantum effects leading to emergent behavior, new phases of matter, or unexpected phenomena. It also includes fundamental research in the discovery, design, synthesis, and characterization of materials with novel functionalities, performance, and properties, including the following: nanomaterials and nanostructured assemblies; solid-state chemistry; polymers and polymer composites; next-generation microelectronics and quantum information science systems; and development of innovative synthesis and processing science (including biomimetic and bioinspired routes to functional materials and complex structures). The category also recognizes accomplishments in scattering and instrumentation sciences for materials exploration and characterization, including development and use of advanced electron, ion, neutron, and x-ray characterization capabilities to reveal atomic, electronic, and magnetic excitations and dynamics that lead to improved fundamental understanding of the physical properties of materials. This category recognizes advances resulting from investigations and techniques to resolve the evolution of structure, chemistry, and properties with time, under extreme environments, and for use in energy applications, as well as theoretical and computational research to advance predictive understanding of condensed matter and materials systems.

Nominations based on relevant experimental, theoretical, and computational research and discoveries are encouraged.

Energy Science and Innovation

This award category recognizes transformative accomplishments related to the Department’s investments in “use inspired” scientific research to develop new understanding, methodologies, and materials required to advance, promote, and enable energy innovation. In general, research achievements in this category should be innovations that transcend any narrowly defined technological application. Moreover, the discoveries underpinning nominations in this category must demonstrate scientific leadership, will typically be disruptive advances, and likely be a result of high risk – high reward research. Nominations may come from a variety of scientific and engineering research disciplines, with broad topical examples including, but not limited to, use inspired research discovery for renewable, clean, and low-carbon energy (e.g., biofuels, wind, solar fuels, photovoltaics, hydrogen and fuel cells, water, carbon capture/removal and sequestration, carbon neutral fuel cycles, fission and fusion technology, radiation damage resistant materials, advanced nuclear fuel cycles, nuclear reactor modeling and simulation, etc.); energy efficiency (e.g., advanced manufacturing, combustion and reacting flows, transportation, high temperature superconductivity, photonics, solid-state lighting, etc.); and cross-cutting topics (e.g., environmental technology research, nanoscience and technology, energy storage, accelerator R&D, cybersecurity, etc.).

Nominations based on relevant experimental, theoretical, and computational research and discoveries are encouraged.

Fusion and Plasma Sciences

This award category recognizes transformative accomplishments related to the Department’s research investments to expand the fundamental understanding of matter at very high temperatures and densities and to build the scientific foundations needed to develop a fusion energy source. These foundations are provided through fundamental research exploring the nature of fusion plasmas and the means for confining plasma to yield energy, and includes developing the scientific basis and computational tools to predict the behavior of magnetically and inertially confined plasmas; using the advances in tokamak research to enhance the initiation of the burning plasma; exploring innovative confinement options that offer the potential of more attractive fusion energy sources in the long term; developing the cutting edge technologies that enable fusion facilities to achieve their scientific goals; carrying out research on innovative materials to enable the future generations of fusion reactors, as well as to establish the economic feasibility and environmental quality of fusion energy; and performing research focused on closing the fusion fuel cycle. Achievements related to the study of plasmas under a wide range of temperature and density conditions, to the development of advanced diagnostics to make detailed measurements of plasma properties, and to the creation of theoretical/computational models to resolve the essential physics, can also support nominations in this category. This category also includes research achievements that explore basic issues in plasma science, including low-temperature plasmas including applications in microelectronics; magnetic fields in plasma; micro-plasma behavior; atomic processes in plasma; plasma astrophysics; laser-produced plasma and high-energy-density laboratory plasmas (HEDLP) including non-weapons physics aspects of inertial confinement fusion and related research to develop laboratory capabilities to create and measure extreme conditions of temperature, pressure, and radiation, including thermonuclear burn; warm dense matter; ultra-cold plasma; complex and single-component plasma; nonlinear plasma dynamics; and plasma effects in solids; as well as developing the scientific basis and computational tools to predict the behavior of confined and astrophysical plasmas.

Nominations based on relevant experimental, theoretical, and computational research and discoveries are encouraged.

High Energy Physics

This award category recognizes transformative accomplishments related to the Department’s research investments to advance understanding of how the universe works at its most fundamental level by discovering the elementary constituents of matter and energy, probing the interactions between them, and exploring the basic nature of space and time. Broadly, the goals of the field are to decipher the quantum realm with detailed studies of neutrinos and the Higgs boson, illuminate the hidden universe of dark matter and dark energy, and explore for new particles and phenomena. Nominations for paradigm-shifting achievements in particle physics, particle accelerators, advanced instrumentation, and relevant scientific computation are encouraged. Appropriate nominations may include, but are not limited to major experimental achievements in the study of fundamental particles and their interactions; theoretical research achievements that provide the vision and mathematical framework to significantly advance understanding of particles, forces, space-time, and the universe; and transformative research achievements related to advancing the next generation of accelerators, instrumentation, and computing technologies used by High Energy Physics and related fields. These general topics include, for example, experimental and theoretical studies of particle interactions using collisions at the highest possible energies; properties of neutrinos produced by accelerators and nuclear reactors; rare processes using high intensity beams on fixed targets; searches for proton decay; the properties of dark energy; searches for primordial antimatter; and detection of the particles constituting dark matter. Theoretical advances can also include analytical and numerical computational techniques for related studies; and discovery of theoretical frameworks for understanding fundamental particles and forces at the deepest level possible. Relevant advanced technologies include those that support research in the physics of photon (x-ray), heavy-ion, neutron, electron, proton and particle beams and accelerators; experimental, analytic and computational modeling techniques advancing the science and technology underpinning the development and implementation of high-energy, high-intensity and high-brightness beams; beam dynamics, optimization and controls; the science of compact and high gradient accelerating cavities; high-efficiency power sources and transmission; and cutting-edge beam diagnostic techniques. Topics in instrumentation include, for example, fundamental advances in the physics of particle and radiation detection in extreme radiation, temperature, or background environments; significantly enhanced particle detection sensitivity, including via quantum detectors, materials, and engineering; device physics and fabrication technologies; and advanced electronics and real-time data acquisition systems capable of ultra-fast readout and/or massive data rates.

Nominations based on relevant experimental, theoretical, and computational research and discoveries are encouraged.

National Security and Nonproliferation

This award category recognizes transformative accomplishments related to the Department’s research investments supporting portions of its National Security and Nonproliferation missions:

National Security – This subcategory recognizes transformative scientific achievement and discovery that primarily underpins the stockpile stewardship mission, and its goal to achieve a fundamental first-principles understanding of nuclear performance beyond empirical models presently used to maintain tested stockpile weapons. Nominations are encouraged based upon transformative research in relevant topics leading to predictive understanding regarding the properties of materials under extreme conditions including the static and dynamic (i.e., shock-compressed) properties of materials under conditions of high-pressure, high-temperature, high-strain, and high-strain-rate to reveal their thermodynamic properties (equation-of-state, high-pressure phase diagram, pressure-induced phase transformation, etc.) or to reveal their mechanical constitutive properties (plasticity and strength, failure, fracture, etc.). This category also recognizes achievements in topics that include, but are limited to, weapons physics related work in laser-produced plasma and high-energy-density laboratory plasmas (HEDLP) including inertial confinement fusion, and development of laboratory capabilities to create and measure extreme conditions of temperature, pressure, and radiation - including thermonuclear burn; weapons physics relevant hydrodynamic experiments, theory, and simulation; development of novel advanced diagnostics and measurement techniques to observe relevant physical phenomena at appropriate length and time scales; and the development and experimental validation of physics-based multi-scale models to understand the dynamic response of materials. Nominations based upon stockpile stewardship related basic research discoveries in actinide or high-explosives sciences are also encouraged. This category also includes weapons relevant low-energy nuclear scientific discovery leading to greater accuracy in the knowledge of low energy cross sections of stable and unstable nuclei and corresponding reaction rates for neutron-, gamma- and ion-induced reactions for both simulation and radiochemistry diagnosis; development of advanced simulations and measurement techniques leading to improved radiation and particle detection (energy and spatial resolution) methods; physics of the fission process, including division of mass and charge as a function of excitation, production of energy, and the reaction properties of prompt fission products; investigations of particle production and techniques advancing high-energy proton radiography and x-ray radiography; and development of experimental diagnostic techniques for laser or pulsed power implosion systems.

Nominations based on relevant experimental, theoretical, and computational research and discoveries are encouraged.

Nonproliferation – This subcategory recognizes transformative scientific achievement and discovery in areas related to deterring and detecting illicit use of weapons-usable nuclear and radiological materials and equipment. Nominations based upon discovery leading to improvements in nuclear detection and characterization, nuclear detonation detection, and advancing the technical base for national and homeland security agencies to meet their nonproliferation, counterproliferation, and counterterrorism objectives, are encouraged. The topical areas are widespread, and include, but are not limited to, predictive capabilities derived through advances in fundamental understanding of the evolution and alteration of forensic or isotopic signatures; new or improved detection approaches enabling analysis of physical and chemical signatures more rapidly and with better precision and accuracy; transformative advances to detect post-nuclear detonation; the discovery and identification of new signatures of nuclear materials production and use; understanding and measuring variations intended to mask materials diversion; new techniques for multidimensional imaging of nuclear material; new approaches for explosive device detection; and new modalities to acquire, analyze, and apply ubiquitous sensing data.

Nominations based on relevant experimental, theoretical, and computational research and discoveries are encouraged.

Nuclear Physics

This award category recognizes transformative accomplishments related to the Department’s research investments advancing discovery, exploration, and understanding of all forms of nuclear matter. This award category encourages nominations supported by transformative discovery in experimental and theoretical research to create, detect, and describe the different forms and complexities of nuclear matter that can exist, or are no longer found naturally, in the universe. Appropriate topical submissions include, but are not limited to, nominations based upon investigations of the high temperature frontier of quantum chromodynamics (QCD) to recreate and characterize new predicted forms of matter and phenomena that might occur in extremely hot, dense nuclear matter and which have not existed since the Big Bang. This category also includes nominations based upon discovery in the low temperature frontier of QCD to understand how the properties of existing matter arise from the properties of QCD, as well as accomplishments in the frontiers of nuclear structure, fundamental symmetry, and the properties of neutrinos including their masses. Additional appropriate topics include those related to nuclear astrophysics, such as nuclear and astrophysics at extremes including the properties of nuclei far from stability; gamma-ray bursts; supernovae explosions; black holes; neutron stars; the radiation environments surrounding these objects; and the nuclear reactions that occur within these environments to form the observed elements. Nominations based upon accomplishments in nuclear theory that support the interpretation of data and that advance new ideas and hypotheses that have impacted experimental investigations, nominations recognizing fundamental research discoveries advancing the production of radioactive and stable isotopes that are in short supply for research and applications, and nominations recognizing research and development accomplishments related to the science, engineering, and technology for accelerators of electrons, protons and heavy ions, are also encouraged.

Nominations based on relevant experimental, theoretical, and computational research and discoveries are encouraged.

Lawrence Award Assessment Criteria, Merit Review, and Selection

Assessment Criteria

The award is given for an outstanding contribution of an exceptionally creative or innovative character. Such achievements (i) must demonstrate significant innovation and discovery; (ii) must be identifiable as transformative; (iii) must show promise for prominent scientific or technical leadership; and (iv) must be distinguishable from an evolutionary collection of steady, longer-term, integrated contributions.

Eligible nominees will be assessed primarily on the scientific impact and/or technical significance, and leadership potential, of their work relative to its discipline and/or related mission*, using the following criteria:

1) Scientific and/or technical merit and impact of the discovery or innovation:

Consider, for example, the influence the nominee’s achievement has had on the direction, progress, and thinking in relevant scientific, technological, and/or engineering fields of research and DOE mission areas. For example, is the achievement considered transformative? How does the scientific/technical innovation and originality rank with respect to its field? To what extent has the nominee’s work generated and fostered new valuable results or helped to solve an outstanding or critical problem? To what extent do accomplishments show leadership and broad benefit? What impact has the discovery had on DOE mission areas? How are achievements(s) identifiable with DOE and its components? In the case of a co-nomination, is the co-nomination adequately justified?

2) Performance metrics supporting the significance and quality of the nominee’s achievement, and their potential for exceptional leadership at the frontiers of scientific or technological knowledge::

Consider, for example, the impact, quantity, and quality of the body of cited work, patents, or widespread application that directly resulted from the nominee’s achievement. Has the achievement been recognized by peers through other notable awards received by the nominee or others working in the same or related discipline? How does the nominee show potential for exceptional leadership at the frontiers of scientific or technological knowledge? To what extent are the stated impacts of the achievement(s) adequately supported with evidence and/or examples?

*Business management and acumen, while valued, is not a significant assessment factor used when evaluating a nominee’s worthiness.

Merit Review

To be considered, a nominee must meet all eligibility criteria and have a nomination package comprising all required materials. To assess eligibility, and prior to the comprehensive merit evaluation, an initial review of all nomination packages will be conducted by the Office of Science, Lawrence Award Program Manager (or designee) to determine that: (1) the applicant is eligible for the award; (2) the information required by the call for nominations has been submitted; (3) all mandatory requirements are satisfied; (4) the nomination is responsive to the objectives of the award program. Nominations that fail to pass the initial review will not be forwarded for merit review and will be eliminated from further consideration.

The nomination materials uploaded and received through the electronic submission process will provide the sole basis for the merit review. The merit review will comprise a thorough, consistent, and objective examination of eligible applicants based on pre-established criteria by persons, selected by Federal Officials, to serve as evaluators (merit reviewers).

Merit reviewers will be established leaders in the scientific, technical, and engineering communities relevant to each award category. Reviewers must be independent of the nominees and must comply with all applicable DOE rules or directives concerning the use of outside evaluators. Reviewers are expected to provide independent reviews for each nominee under evaluation. Reviewers are not empaneled as a Federal Advisory Committee and therefore are not asked to form formal consensus opinions regarding nominees under review. Recommendations from reviewers are not binding. Reviewers with a conflict of interest may not participate in the merit review of a nominee. The identity of all reviewers shall remain anonymous, and all nomination and review materials shall remain confidential. 

Each nominee will be evaluated by no fewer than three merit reviewers. Based upon the assessment criteria, each merit reviewer will document each nominee’s strengths and weaknesses. As part of their evaluation, reviewers will be asked to provide their overall individual assessment of the nominees in the form of a rank ordering. Numerical scores, such as rank ordering, are only one component of evaluations used to inform selection officials and will be interpreted within the context of full reviewer evaluations.


Federal Officials will review the nomination packages and the reviewer’s final evaluations and analyze each reviewer’s independent evaluation of, and recommendation regarding, the nominations submitted. Selection officials may apply program policy factors at the time of award selection. The purpose of program policy factors is to maximize the effectiveness of available Government funding and to best achieve DOE program objectives when all other factors are reasonably equal among highly qualified candidates based on merit review. Selection Officials may consider any of the following program policy factors in making the selection, listed in no order of significance: (a) Availability of funds; (b) Relevance to DOE priorities; (c) Promoting the diversity of institutions receiving awards; (d) Promoting the diversity of individuals receiving awards; and (e) Promoting recognition for individuals not recently selected for other DOE honorary awards. Using this analysis, Federal Officials will prepare a Selection Statement identifying those nominees, if any, are being recommended for the award. The Selection Statement will document the rationale supporting the recommendations. The final selection and conferment of an award is at the discretion of the Secretary of Energy.

Preparation of Nomination Materials - Instructions & Guidance

Nomination materials should convey clear and factual evidence for worthiness in the context of all the assessment criteria. Nominators are strongly encouraged to consider the interdisciplinary nature of the merit review panel, and to include a succinct description of the nature, impact and importance of the nominee’s achievement that is readily understandable to an expert panel of scientific and engineering leaders from the relevant nomination category. The submitted nomination materials will provide the sole basis for the reviews.

Selection of Award Category

Select one out of the possible nine award categories that is most relevant to the nomination. Selections should be justified in the Connection to DOE Support statement. Eligibility requires nominees to be recognized for achievement(s) in research principally funded by the DOE. Read category descriptions here (Selection made by dropdown menu; no word limit.)

Letter of Justification

It is recommended that the letter of justification, in the context of the award’s assessment criteria, highlight the nominee’s outstanding scientific, technological, and/or engineering achievement(s) underpinning the nomination, and fully describe where and how the achievements have provided leadership and impact related to the DOE and its components. The letter of justification should clearly identify the impacts and relevance of achievement(s) on DOE missions and relevant research, technical, and/or engineering communities. As applicable, the letter should also make clear the nominee’s individual contributions, impact, and role to distinguish individual achievement(s) from works that may be part of larger collaborations. (Limit 2,000 words.)

Connection to DOE Support

In this section, make clear the connection between DOE support and the nominee’s outstanding scientific and/or technological achievement(s) underpinning the nomination. Eligibility requires nominees to be recognized for achievement(s) principally funded by DOE. To fulfill this requirement, nominators must make clear how and why there is substantial relevancy to the selected award category and provide evidence of DOE funding for the achievement(s) underpinning the nomination. (Limit 800 words.)

Letters of Support

It is recommended that the letter of support, in the context of the award’s assessment criteria, highlight the nominee’s outstanding scientific, technological, and/or engineering achievement(s) underpinning the nomination, and fully describe where and how the achievements have provided leadership and impact related to the DOE and its components. Letters of support should provide additional detail, and/or add perspective to the letter of justification and connection to DOE support statements. Examples of information of interest include, but are not limited to, impacts (realized and potential) of the accomplishment(s), mentoring, or other scientific leadership or service experiences. Briefly identifying how you are aware of the nominee and their work is also beneficial. At least three and not more than six letters of support are required. (Limit 1,200 words each.)

To submit a letter of support: each letter of support author obtains access to the nomination via an electronic (email) invitation process that is initiated by lead nominator(s). Letter authors will receive a Letter of Support Request from the online award system ( with instructions to access the system and submit a letter of support. Letter authors must submit letters before the lead nominator will be able to finalize and submit a nomination. Letter authors should work with lead nominator(s) to ensure letters are submitted before the deadline. Formatting: Your name, affiliation(s), title(s), contact information, and letter are entered via separate text input fields. No files or images (including headers or signature blocks) may be uploaded.

Jump to: Nomination System for additional information on submitting a letter of support.


The suggested citation should summarize and highlight the nominee’s achievement(s) and should generally be based on the high-level research accomplishments and impacts described in the letter of justification. (Limit 35 words.)

Bibliography of Significant Publications

Provide a bibliography of significant publications related to the achievement. Please omit any secondary publications and non-archival materials from the nominee’s bibliography and do not include complete articles as part of the nomination. (Limit 10 entries; 80 words or less each. Inclusion of DOIs is encouraged.)

Curriculum Vitae

Provide information that can be used by the interdisciplinary award category panel to evaluate the nominee’s worthiness in the context of all the assessment criteria. The CV must include the following elements, but is not limited to these elements:

  • Academic Education and Training: Undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral training. Provide institution, major/area, degree, and year.
  • Research and Professional Experience: Beginning with the current position list, in reverse chronological order, professional/academic positions with a brief description.
  • Professional Honors: Awards, honors, and prizes recognizing the achievement(s) underlying the nomination, as well as recognition for leadership, scholarship, mentoring, or similar. Include awards and honors from professional affiliations, including professional societies and employers.
  • Record of DOE Support: Record of research awards supported by DOE; may also include awards from other federal agencies or entities. Include the sponsoring office, award amount, award duration (years), and nominee’s role if known.
  • Publications: Record of principal publications not already included in the bibliography. For each publication, identify the names of all authors (in the same sequence in which they appear in the publication), the article title, book or journal title, volume number, page numbers, year of publication, and website address if available electronically. Inclusion of DOIs is encouraged. Issued patents, copyrights, and software systems developed may be substituted for publications. Brief explanation(s) of authorship practice(s) or contributions to the published work by the nominee are encouraged. Duplicate entries (overlap) with the bibliography are acceptable only when summaries or descriptions of significance are included.
  • Synergistic Activities: Record of professional, government, and/or service activities including roles and responsibilities. Include professional and scholarly activities that demonstrate the nominee’s service to the research community through agency, professional society, or advisory work.
  • Additional Items: Additional significant and relevant contributions of interest include, but are not limited to: invited talks, policy initiatives, testimony, scientific and technological management, patents, copyrights, software or hardware systems development, evidence of technological innovations in areas applicable to the nomination, professional or scholarly activities that demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity and/or inclusion (DEI) (activities should have a clear DEI link or relevance), and any other substantial professional leadership or service experiences.
  • Do not include personally identifiable information (PII) such as date of birth, social security number, etc. in the CV.
  • Limit 2,000 words.

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Additional Information

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The Lawrence Award is administered by the Department of Energy's Office of Science.

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