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Notice of Intent To Seek Approval To Continue an Information Collection

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National Science Foundation.


Notice and request for comments.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is announcing plans to request renewal of this collection. In accordance with the requirement of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13), we are providing an opportunity for public comment on this action. After obtaining and considering public comment, NSF will prepare the submission requesting that OMB approve clearance of this collection for no longer than 3 years.


Written comments on this notice must be received by April 15, 2008 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.


Written comments regarding the information collection and requests for copies of the proposed information collection request should be addressed to Suzanne Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Rm. 295, Arlington, VA 22230, or by e-mail to

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Contact Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 295, Arlington, Virginia 22230; telephone 703-292-7556; or send e-mail to Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

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Title of Collection: National Science Foundation Science Honorary Awards.

OMB Approval Number: 3145-0035.

Expiration Date of Approval: July 31, 2008.

Type of Request: Intent to seek approval to continue an information collection for three years.

Abstract: The National Science Foundation (NSF) administers several honorary awards, among them the President's National Medal of Science, the Alan T. Waterman Award, the NSB Vannevar Bush Award, and the NSB Public Service Award.

In 2003, to comply with E-government requirements, the nomination processes were converted to electronic submission through the National Science Foundation's (NSF) FastLane system. Individuals can now prepare nominations and references through​honawards. First-time users must register on the Fastlane Web site using the link found in the upper right-hand corner above the “Log In” box before accessing any of the honorary award categories.

Use of the Information: The Foundation has the following honorary award programs:

  • President's National Medal of Science. Statutory authority for the President's National Medal of Science is contained in 42 U.S.C. 1881 (Pub. L. 86-209), which established the award and stated that

“(t)he President shall * * * award the Medal on the recommendations received from the National Academy of Sciences or on the basis of such other information and evidence as * * * appropriate.”

Subsequently, Executive Order 10961 specified procedures for the Award by establishing a National Medal of Science Committee which would “receive recommendations made by any other nationally representative scientific or engineering organization.” On the basis of these recommendations, the Committee was directed to select its candidates and to forward its recommendations to the President.

In 1962, to comply with these directives, the Committee initiated a solicitation form letter to invite these nominations. In 1979, the Committee initiated a nomination form as an attachment to the solicitation letter. A slightly modified version of the nomination form was used in 1980.

The Committee established the following guidelines for selection of candidates:

1. Principal criterion: The total impact of an individual's work on the current state of physical, biological, mathematical, engineering or social and behavioral sciences.

2. Achievements of an unusually significant nature in relation to the potential effects on the development of scientific thought.

3. Unusually distinguished service in the general advancement of science and engineering, especially when accompanied by substantial contributions to the content of science. Recognition by peers within the scientific community.

4. Contributions to innovation and industry.

5. Influence on education through publications, teaching activities, outreach, mentoring, etc.

6. Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who has applied for citizenship.

In 2003, the Committee changed the active period of eligibility to three years, including the year of nomination. After that time, candidates must be renominated with a new nomination package for them to be considered by the Committee. Start Printed Page 8908

Narratives are now restricted to two pages of text, as stipulated in the guidelines at​honawards/​nms.

  • Alan T. Waterman Award. Congress established the Alan T. Waterman Award in August 1975 (42 U.S.C. 1881a (Pub. L. 94-86) and authorized NSF to “establish the Alan T. Waterman Award for research or advanced study in any of the sciences or engineering” to mark the 25th anniversary of the National Science Foundation and to honor its first Director. The annual award recognizes an outstanding young researcher in any field of science or engineering supported by NSF. In addition to a medal, the awardee receives a grant of $500,000 over a three-year period for scientific research or advanced study in the mathematical, physical, medical, biological, engineering, social, or other sciences at the institution of the recipient's choice.

The Alan T. Waterman Award Committee was established by NSF to comply with the directive contained in Public Law 94-86. The Committee solicits nominations from members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, scientific and technical organizations, and any other source, public or private, as appropriate.

In 1976, the Committee initiated a form letter to solicit these nominations. In 1980, a nomination form was used which standardized the nomination procedures, allowed for more effective Committee review, and permitted better staff work in a short period of time. On the basis of its review, the Committee forwards its recommendation to the Director, NSF, and the National Science Board (NSB).

Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and must be 35 years of age or younger or not more than seven years beyond receipt of the Ph.D. degree by December 31 of the year in which they are nominated. Candidates should have demonstrated exceptional individual achievements in scientific or engineering research of sufficient quality to place them at the forefront of their peers. Criteria include originality, innovation, and significant impact on the field.

  • Vannevar Bush Award. The NSB established the Vannevar Bush Award in 1980 to honor Dr. Bush's unique contributions to public service. The award recognizes an individual who, through public service activities in science and technology, has made an outstanding “contribution toward the welfare of mankind and the Nation.”

The NSB ad hoc Vannevar Bush Award Committee annually solicits nominations from selected scientific engineering and educational societies. Candidates must be a senior stateperson who is an American citizen and meets two or more of the following criteria:

1. Distinguished himself/herself through public service activities in science and technology.

2. Pioneered the exploration, charting, and settlement of new frontiers in science, technology, education, and public service.

3. Demonstrated leadership and creativity that have inspired others to distinguished careers in science and technology.

4. Contributed to the welfare of the Nation and mankind through activities in science and technology.

5. Demonstrated leadership and creativity that have helped mold the history of advancements in the Nation's science, technology, and education.

Nominations must include a narrative description about the nominee, a curriculum vitae (without publications), and a brief citation summarizing the nominee's scientific or technological contributions to our national welfare in promotion of the progress of science. Nominations must also include two reference letters, submitted separate from the nomination through​honawards/​ Nominations remain active for three years, including the year of nomination. After that time, candidates must be renominated with a new nomination for them to be considered by the selection committee.

  • NSB Public Service Award. The NSB Public Service Award Committee was established in November 1996. This annual award recognizes people and organizations that have increased the public understanding of science or engineering. The award is given to an individual and to a group (company, corporation, or organization), but not to members of the U.S. Government.

Eligibility includes any individual or group (company, corporation, or organization) that has increased the public understanding of science or engineering. Members of the U.S. Government are not eligible for consideration.

Candidates for the individual and group (company, corporation, or organization) award must have made contributions to public service in areas other than research, and should meet one or more of the following criteria:

1. Increased the public's understanding of the processes of science and engineering through scientific discovery, innovation and its communication to the public.

2. Encouraged others to help raise the public understanding of science and technology.

3. Promoted the engagement of scientists and engineers in public outreach and scientific literacy.

4. Contributed to the development of broad science and engineering policy and its support.

5. Influenced and encouraged the next generation of scientists and engineers.

6. Achieved broad recognition outside the nominee's area of specialization.

7. Fostered awareness of science and technology among broad segments of the population.

Nominations must include a summary of the candidate's activities as they relate to the selection criteria; the nominator's name, address and telephone number; the name, address, and telephone number of the nominee; and the candidate's vita, if appropriate (no more than three pages).

The selection committee recommends the most outstanding candidate(s) for each category to the NSB, which approves the awardees.

Nominations remain active for a period of three years, including the year of nomination. After that time, candidates must be renominated with a new nomination for them to be considered by the selection committee.

Estimate of Burden: These are annual award programs with application deadlines varying according to the program. Public burden also may vary according to program; however, it is estimated that each submission is averaged to be 15 hours per respondent for each program. If the nominator is thoroughly familiar with the scientific background of the nominee, time spent to complete the nomination may be considerably reduced.

Respondents: Individuals, businesses or other for-profit organizations, universities, non-profit institutions, and Federal and State governments.

Estimated Number of Responses per Award: 137 responses, broken down as follows: For the President's National Medal of Science, 55; for the Alan T. Waterman Award, 50; for the Vannevar Bush Award, 12; for the Public Service Award, 20.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 2,580 hours, broken down by 1,100 hours for the President's National Medal of Science (20 hours per 55 respondents); 1,000 hours for the Alan T. Waterman Award (20 hours per 50 respondents); 180 hours for the Vannevar Bush Award (15 hours per 12 respondents); and 300 hours for the Public Service Award (15 hours per 20 respondents).

Frequency of Responses: Annually. Start Printed Page 8909

Comments: Comments are invited on (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; or (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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Dated: February 12, 2008.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

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[FR Doc. E8-2872 Filed 2-14-08; 8:45 am]