Nomination and Selection Guidelines

Jump to: Nomination Guidelines | Merit Review | Selection | FAQs | Preparation of Nomination Materials


Nomination must be made online using PeerNet (see FAQsfor further guidance). Questions about the SC Distinguished Scientist Fellow Opportunity may be addressed to sc.fellows@science.doe.gov.

The Office of Science Distinguished Scientists Fellow Opportunity

The Office of Science (SC) Distinguished Scientist Fellows are expected to develop, sustain, and promote scientific and academic excellence in Office of Science research through collaborations between institutions of higher education and national laboratories.  One or more awards are made from among the six Office of Science programs: Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR), Basic Energy Sciences (BES), Biological and Environmental Research (BER), Fusion Energy Science (FES), High Energy Physics (HEP) and Nuclear Physics (NP).

Successful nominees will receive a total of $1,000,000 in funding over three years. The three-year funding term is contingent upon the awardee's continued employment at the National Laboratory at which they received the award. Fellows will be selected from among the Office of Science programs: ASCR, BES, BER, FES, HEP, and NP. Laboratories may nominate a maximum (total) of two (2) individuals.

Selected Fellows shall each submit a related prospective to Office of Science senior leadership within 90-days of their initial notification of funding defining their planned activities, shall submit an annual activity report at the end of each of the first two-years, and shall submit a final report at the end of the third year (reporting guidelines to be provided).


Nomination

  • Nominations must only be made by National Laboratory employees and must also be endorsed by the Laboratory Director, both of the nominee’s current institution. Nominations may be initiated by prospective nominees, by colleagues, by supervisors, or by laboratory management.
  • Applicant institutions are limited to no more than two (2) nominations.
  • No materials will be accepted after the submission deadline has passed.
  • The Office of Science encourages nominees from underrepresented and underserved groups.
  • See FAQs for additional guidance.

Eligibility Guidelines:

Eligibility requires that nominees must currently be full time employees of any DOE National Laboratory. Nominees must also have been permanent employees for a minimum of 10 (cumulative) years within the DOE National Laboratory system. Nominees must show sustained scientific excellence in research that is supported by DOE and is relevant to Office of Science programs. Nominees must be either Citizens of the United States or Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States.

Nomination Package Materials (also see Preparation of Nomination Materials below)

Nomination packages must include the following materials, submitted via PeerNet:

  • A letter of nomination/justification. (Limited to 1,200 words.)
  • A nomination endorsement statement from the nominee’s Laboratory Director. (Limited to 50 words.)
  • Selection of the program office award category for the nominee (Advanced Scientific Computing Research; Basic Energy Sciences; Biological and Environmental Research; Fusion Energy Sciences; High Energy Physics; Nuclear Physics). Nominees must designate a primary program category; a secondary category may be selected if appropriate.
  • A statement explaining the nominee’s connection to DOE support and its relevancy to Office of Science programs. (Limited to 800 words.)
  • Letters of recommendation (4 to 6) from individuals who are familiar with the nominee’s work. No more than two recommendations may be from the nominee’s current Laboratory. (Limited to 1,200 words each.)
  • A suggested citation, thirty-five words or less, summarizing and highlighting the nominee’s achievement. The citation should make clear the specific reason for making this award to the nominee. 
  • Biographical Sketch (curriculum vitae) of the nominee (limited to 2,000 words). The biographical sketch must include:
    • 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 chronological order, professional/academic positions with a brief description.
    • Publications: Provide a list of up to 10 high-impact publications. 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. Issued patents, copyrights, and software systems developed may be substituted for publications. (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.)
    • Synergistic Activities: List no more than 5 professional and scholarly activities that demonstrate the nominee’s service to the research community through agency, professional society, or advisory work.

Nomination Deadline

All nomination materials and letters of recommendation for the Office of Science Distinguished Scientists Fellow Opportunity must be uploaded into the PeerNet online nomination system by the deadline. No materials will be accepted after the submission deadline has passed.

Additional Information

Additional information about the SC Distinguished Scientist Fellow Opportunity may be addressed to sc.fellows@science.doe.gov


Merit Review

Eligible nominees will be evaluated by an independent peer-review panel of distinguished scientists. The peer review will comprise a thorough, consistent, and objective examination of eligible nominees based on pre-established criteria by persons, selected by Federal Officials, to serve as evaluators. These evaluators must be independent of the nominees and must comply with all applicable DOE rules or directives concerning the use of outside evaluators. The Office of Science’s senior leadership will make final selections from the candidates recommended by the peer review panel. The nomination materials uploaded and received through the electronic submission system will provide the sole basis for the review and selection of nominees. Only complete and compliant nomination packages will be considered.
The following criteria will be used to evaluate SC Distinguished Scientist Fellows nominees:

  • Evidence of scientific leadership and engagement with academic and university research community.
  • Evidence of sustained scientific excellence and significant scientific achievement.
  • Honors and awards.
  • Letters of recommendation (4 to 6) from individuals familiar with the nominee’s work.
  • Quality of peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals and number of publications.
  • Research relevance to programmatic goals in ASCR, BES, BER, FES, HEP, or NP.
  • Service to the research community through agency, professional society, or advisory work.
  • Significant mentoring of early career scientists or engineers.

Selection

Senior Office of Science Federal Officials will review the nomination packages and the peer reviewer’s final evaluations, and analyze each reviewer’s independent evaluation of, and recommendation regarding, the submitted nominations. Using this analysis, Federal Officials will prepare a Selection Statement identifying those nominees, if any, being recommended for the award. The Selection Statement will document the rationale supporting the recommendations. DOE employees must comply with regulations governing conduct of employees codified in 10 CFR Part 1010 and Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch at 5 CFR Part 2635.


Frequently Asked Questions

May all DOE National Laboratories participate in this opportunity?

Yes – All 17 DOE National Laboratories may participate, but each is limited to no than two nominations.

Why are nominations from institutions conducting DOE sponsored research, other than DOE labs, excluded from this opportunity?

This is an effort to strengthen support for the National Laboratory system and to provide National Laboratory scientists with access to an opportunity and honor similar to some that are available to scientists outside the National Laboratory structure.

When is the nomination submission deadline?

All nomination materials and letters of recommendation must be uploaded into the PeerNet online nomination system by the nomination deadline. No materials will be accepted after the submission deadline has passed.

How do I submit a nomination?

Nomination packages must be submitted using a designated PeerNet portal.

I want to nominate a DOE laboratory employee who also maintains a joint appointment at a university. Are they still eligible?

Yes. SC recognizes that many labs have co-appointed staff.

I understand that eligible nominees must have a minimum of 10 years of employment history at a DOE national laboratory. Does this have to be 10 years at the same DOE laboratory?

No. The 10-years employment history at a DOE lab eligibility requirement is cumulative, and the nominee could have acquired this employment history at one or more DOE national laboratories.

I have an employee who will reach 10 years of employment at my laboratory after the deadline but in its same year, can they still be nominated?

No. Nominees must meet all eligibility requirements at the time of application, which is no later than by the nomination solicitation deadline.

Is there a maximum number of years an employee at a DOE laboratory beyond which they are no longer eligible to be nominated?

No. However, it is recommended that nominators carefully consider the anticipated   lasting impact that their nominees will make during and after a Fellowship opportunity appointment.

How do I access the PeerNet nomination submission portal?

Access to this portal is via a limited distribution URL. This URL is available upon request made to sc.fellows@science.doe.gov. All requests must originate from a DOE laboratory email address.

How do I enter nomination information into the PeerNet system?

It is suggested that nominators first gather all required nomination package materials, including reference letters, prior to using PeerNet. These inputs, with their restrictions, are listed on this webpage. Once collected, these materials can be input to PeerNet by copying and pasting, say from MSWord. When pasting the copied input, it is highly recommended that one uses the paste tool within PeerNet, which should help preserve any special formatting or fonts.

How do I save my work in PeerNet?

If a nomination is started, then some placeholder input (e.g., as simple as TBD) needs to be in ALL Questions/Sections of Nomination 1’s input fields prior to exiting. Otherwise, nothing will be saved. Preview and Submit are disabled until you save all sections.  Once you save all sections, you are directed to generate a compiled pdf of your submission.  The system compiles all your responses into one pdf file.  Note each nomination is considered one section, therefore you need to enter required information in Nomination #1 at the same time in order to save it.  Nomination #2 is optional, but you must select it, scroll to the bottom of page, and save a blank nomination in order to preview and submit required nomination.

How do I update a nomination in PeerNet?

If you choose to update a previously submitted nomination, your initial submission will be retracted and you must re-submit the updated nomination.

Why is PeerNet cutting off my input, even though I have not exceeded the word count limit?

PeerNet actually counts characters, and not words, in its input fields. There is an assumed average characters per word in the system. If your inputs are being cutoff, you will need to shorten it to the character count limits shown in PeerNet. As an aid, MSWord is able to determine character counts.

May I retract a nomination?

Yes – at any time prior to the submission deadline. When updating a nomination you will be asked to retract it. This functionality retracts all nomination materials, requiring a subsequent resubmission. Since Nomination 1 and Nomination 2 (optional) are common system wise, retract removes all nomination materials (1 and 2).

Who do I contact for technical assistance using PeerNet?

The PeerNet technical points-of-contact at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) are Tammy Click (Tammy.Click@orau.org) and Julie Webber (Julie.Webber@orau.org).

To whom should the reference letters be addressed to?

There is no need to include addressee information in any of the materials. Including the reference’s name, position, and institutional affiliation is required.

Must the nominee be, or have been, an Office of Science sponsored research investigator?

No – However, nominees must show sustained scientific excellence in research that is supported by DOE holding relevancy to Office of Science programs. To fulfill this requirement, nominators must select at least one, and up to two, SC program offices for their nominee(s), also making clear how and why there is relevancy. Available resources describing SC’s research mission include, but are not limited to, the archives of its budget narratives, its Funding Opportunity Announcements, and its program office descriptions.

When will the Fellows be announced?

Selections are announced following the peer review and concurrence by Office of Science leadership.

How may Fellows use their award?

These awards are intended to support activities that develop, sustain, and promote scientific and academic excellence in Office of Science research through collaborations between institutions of higher education and national laboratories. They cannot be used to augment current sponsored research projects. Further guidance will be forthcoming.


Preparation of Nomination Materials

When preparing a nomination, it is suggested that the requested materials, in the context of the assessment criteria, convey clear and factual evidence for worthiness. The submitted nomination materials will provide the sole basis for the reviews.

Nomination Letter

It is suggested that the Nomination Letter, in the context of the fellowship’s assessment criteria, highlight the nominee’s outstanding scientific, technological, management, and/or policy achievements underpinning this nomination, and fully describe where and how the achievements have provided leadership and impact related to the DOE/Office of Science and its components. Additional examples of information of interest include, but are not limited to, invited and/or public lectures, awards received, scientific program committees, conference or workshop organization, professional society activities, special international or industrial partnerships, reviewing or editorship activities, mentoring of early career researchers, or other scientific leadership experiences.

Letters of Recommendation

It is suggested that the recommendation letters, in the context of the fellowship’s assessment criteria, highlight the nominee’s outstanding scientific, technological, management, and/or policy achievement(s) underpinning this nomination, and fully describe where and how the achievements have provided leadership and impact related to the DOE/Office of Science and its components. Additional examples of information of interest include, but are not limited to, invited and/or public lectures, awards received, scientific program committees, conference or workshop organization, professional society activities, special international or industrial partnerships, reviewing or editorship activities, mentoring of early career researchers, or other scientific leadership experiences.  Briefly identifying how you are aware of the nominee and their work is also beneficial.  

Citation

The suggested citation (thirty-five words maximum) should summarize and highlight the nominee’s achievement(s), and should generally be based on the high-level research and synergistic accomplishments and impacts described in the Letter of Justification. 

Biographical Sketch

As part of the sketch, provide information that can be used by reviewers to evaluate the nominee’s potential for leadership within the scientific community. Examples of information of interest are invited and/or public lectures, awards received, scientific program committees, conference or workshop organization, professional society activities, special international or industrial partnerships, reviewing or editorship activities, or other scientific leadership experiences. Nominee activities that demonstrate significant mentoring of early career scientists or engineers, increase awareness of careers in science, mathematics, and engineering, add recognition to the scientific missions of SC and DOE, enhance connections between fundamental research and national goals, or highlight the importance of science and technology for the nation's future are also of interest. Please also ensure that the sketch does not contain any personally identifiable information (PII) such as date of birth, social security number, etc.