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James Craig Watson Medal | NAS Awards 2020

James Craig Watson Medal | NAS Awards 2020

Country: USA
City: Washington DC
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The National Academy of Sciences NAS awards James Craig Watson Medal every two years for outstanding contributions to the science of astronomy. James Craig Watson, a member of NAS, established the Watson Medal. Moreover, Watson has credit for discovering twenty-two asteroids in his lifetime. Further, he published many articles and wrote A Popular Treatise on Comets (1861) and Theoretical Astronomy (1868).

Benjamin Apthorp Gould was the first to receive the Watson Medal in 1887 for his work promoting the progress of astronomical science. Gould was not only an astronomer but also active in securing the establishment of the National Academy of Sciences. Among other contributions to astronomy, Gould mapped the stars of the southern skies. This four-year-long endeavor involved the use of the recently developed photometric method, and upon the publication of its results in 1879, it was received as a significant contribution to science.

James Craig Watson Medal Award

NAS will award the winner of the James Craig Watson Medal with a gold-plated bronze medal. Further, the winner will receive a cash prize of an amount of $25,000. Also, they will receive $50,000 to support the recipient’s research.

Who is eligible for the James Craig Watson Medal?

  • A candidate may not Self-nominate himself/herself.
  • NAS discourages joint nominations. However, joint nominations are eligible when nominees have collaborated closely — usually in the same laboratory — on the work to be recognized by the award.
  • It is not necessary for the candidates to have NAS membership for nomination
  • International nominees are eligible for nomination unless explicitly stated otherwise.

How to apply for NAS Awards?

Candidates for the NAS awards can be nominated by completing and submitting the online application form. Further, the following documentation should be provided while nominating a candidate:

  1. A letter from the nominator describing the candidate’s work and why he or she should be selected for the award. No more than three (3) pages.
  2. Curriculum vitae. No more than two (2) pages (similar to CVs included with NSF proposals).
  3. Bibliography listing no more than twelve (12) of the nominee’s most significant publications.
  4. Suggested citation. A 50-word summary stating why the nominee should be considered for this award.
  5. Two letters of support. Support letters must be written by individuals from institutions outside both the nominator’s and the nominee’s institution.


NAS will accept nomination for the Watson Medal until October 7, 2019. Nominations arriving after the deadline are not eligible for award consideration.


Type of Opportunity Competitions and Awards
Deadline07 October,2019
CityWashington DC
Open toAll Nationalities
OrganizerNational Academy of Sciences



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