Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Fellows' Prize Nominations

Prize details and nomination procedures.


  • Melissa Robinson
  • (505) 667-8152
  • Email

Fellows' Prize for Outstanding Research in Science or Engineering and in Leadership

Fellows Research Prize

The Purpose of the Fellows Research Prize is:

  • To commend individuals for outstanding unclassified or classified research performed at the Laboratory that was published or patented within the last 10 years and that has had a significant impact on its discipline and/or Laboratory mission, and
  • To recognize and stimulate high-quality investigations in science or engineering by Laboratory staff members and to encourage publication in appropriate journals, books, or reports (including publications in classified forums) and patenting of results from these investigations, and
  • To inspire technical excellence in the next generation of early-to-mid career researchers at the Laboratory by recognizing technical excellence, while not ruling out nominations of more senior researchers.


Fellows Leadership Prize

The Purpose of the Fellows Leadership Prize is:

  • To commend individuals for outstanding scientific and engineering leadership at the Laboratory within the last 10 years, and to recognize the value of such leadership, and
  • To stimulate the interest of talented young staff members in developing the skills and making the personal sacrifices necessary to become effective leaders, while not ruling out nominations of more senior researchers.

Both the Research and Leadership prizes are intended to recognize the full breadth of Laboratory accomplishment from basic research to applied mission deliverables. On occasion, the Fellows award special Prizes that fall outside the strict definition of the Research and Leadership Prizes, for example recognition of outstanding lifetime accomplishments. In such cases, please discuss the potential for nomination with Fellows Deputy Coordinator Manvendra K. Dubey (dubey@lanl.gov) in advance of submission.


Information and Deadline

Questions about the Prizes should be addressed to the Fellows Deputy Coordinator, Steve Elliott, elliotts@lanl.gov, 665-0068, and questions about the submission process should be directed to Melissa Robinson, mrobinson@lanl.gov, 667-8152.

The deadline for submission of nominations for this year's competition is 5:00 pm Mountain Time Friday, July 10, 2020.

View the full announcement here!  (FellowPrizeAnnouncement2020.pdf)>>


Nominees must be individuals who are full-time employees of the Laboratory at the time of nomination. All Laboratory employees are eligible except Lab Fellows and postdoctoral researchers and current managers at the Associate Director level or higher. The Fellows encourage the nomination of Laboratory staff who have contributed to national security missions via classified research or leadership of classified programs and initiatives.


Fellows Prizes are awarded for exceptional performance with respect to one or more of the following criteria:

Fellows Prize for Research

Fellows Prize for Research:

a) Research (basic or applied) that yielded a major intellectual advance and/or a fundamentally new approach to expanding our knowledge or understanding,

b) Research (basic or applied) that delivered a major impact to a discipline and/or Laboratory mission, with broad and important follow-ons.

We seek to recognize Science, Engineering, or technology of the highest quality compared to national and international peers. External recognition is key evidence that the nominated work meets the criteria above.


Except for special Prizes as noted above, neither Fellows Prize is a lifetime achievement award; instead, they are awarded in consideration of accomplishments in the last 10 years.

Fellows Prize for Leadership

Fellows Prize for Leadership:

a) Inspiring technical leadership that has resulted in either singular or sustained outstanding scientific or technical achievement by a research team.

b) Recruitment, mentoring, support, and encouragement that enabled an exceptionally outstanding scientific or technical achievement.

c) Enabling their colleagues to rise to an exceptional level of scientific or technical achievement that they would not have been able to do otherwise, as measured by publications, national and/or international technical recognition, and DOE or Laboratory technical awards.

d) Exceptional external service in roles such as technical advice to senior decision makers, leadership of prestigious technical advisory panels, and /or leadership of national and international professional organizations.

Except for special Prizes as noted above, neither Fellows Prize is a lifetime achievement award; instead, they are awarded in consideration of accomplishments in the last 10 years.


Fellows Prize Nomination Process

Nomination Package

Any Laboratory employee may sponsor any eligible employee. The nomination package should consist of the following:

  1. A two-page letter of nomination detailing the nominee's merit relative to the award criteria
  2. A CV of no more than two pages
  3. At least three but no more than five supporting letters from Laboratory managers, members of the technical staff, and distinguished scientists from outside the Laboratory, as appropriate.
  4. If the nomination is based on a key publication, a copy of or link to that publication.

Packages that do not comply with these criteria will not be reviewed. An advance draft may be submitted to Melissa Robinson to verify compliance with requirements.


Submission Process

Unclassified nomination materials should be e-mailed to the Science Resource Office Deputy Director, Melissa Robinson, at mrobinson@lanl.gov. All materials should be assembled into a single pdf file, unless there is need for a separate classified addendum. If classified materials are part of the nomination package, the nominator should contact Robinson at the address above or (505) 667-8152 to arrange for submission. Unclassified nomination materials should be reviewed by an ADC.

Award Review Procedure

A review committee of Lab Fellows will be appointed by the Fellows' Coordinator. This committee will submit a shortlist of most qualified candidates to the Laboratory Director, who will select the awardee(s). In most cases, no more than two Research prizes and two Leadership prizes will be awarded annually; in no case will a prize be awarded for less than exceptional accomplishment.

Granting the Prize

The Lab Director will present the prize at a formal colloquium, during which the nominators will speak on behalf of the prize winners, and Research Prize recipients will give a short talk on their research.