To foster and recognize excellence in astronomy, the AAS awards, or jointly awards with other organizations, prizes for outstanding contributions to astronomical research, instrumentation, education, writing, and service. Only AAS members are eligible to submit nominations, either for themselves or for other AAS members, with one exception: the Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award is open for self-nomination by nonmembers.
Nominations must be submitted online using the AAS portal on the OpenWater Awards website.
The AAS specifically encourages nominations of, and self-nominations from, astronomers who are members of marginalized groups, including people of color, people with disabilities, and sexual and gender minorities.
All Society members are encouraged to nominate worthy colleagues or themselves for recognition by the AAS. It is not only the monetary prize but also the honor and distinction that can mean so much for an astronomer's career. A prize also adds luster to the recipient's department and/or institution in the eyes of the academic and scientific communities.
Nomination Deadline: 30 June
Honors, Prizes, and Awards
AAS honors, prizes, and awards for which nominations, including self-nominations, are due on 30 June:
- AAS Fellows — for extraordinary achievement and service by AAS members.
- Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy — for distinguished contributions by a woman.
- Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize — for outstanding research of an exceptionally creative or innovative character.
- Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award — for exemplary research by an amateur astronomer.
- Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award — for astronomy writing for an academic audience.
- Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics — awarded jointly with the American Institute of Physics (AIP) for outstanding mid-career work in astrophysics.
- Education Prize — for outstanding contributions to astronomy education.
- George Van Biesbroeck Prize — for long-term extraordinary or unselfish service to astronomy.
- Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy — for significant early-career observational or theoretical research.
- Henry Norris Russell Lectureship — for lifetime preeminence in astronomical research.
- Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation — for the design, invention, or improvement of instrumentation.
- Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy — for outstanding early-career achievement in observational research.
The following prizes and awards are decided by different processes with different deadlines and, in some cases, do not accept nominations: Lancelot M. Berkeley − New York Community Trust Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy, Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Awards, Rodger Doxsey Travel Prizes, Fred Kavli Plenary Lectureship, Priscilla and Bart Bok Award, and Award for Public Service to the Astronomical Sciences. See the individual prize pages for more information.
AAS Divisions give prizes as well, and these, too, are decided by different processes with different deadlines; see the individual Division websites for more information.
Prize nominations generally remain valid for a period of three years, including the original year in which the candidate was nominated. For example, a person's 2021 nomination package remains in effect for 2021, 2022, and 2023. Exception: The three-year validity period may not apply to the Cannon Award, Pierce Prize, and/or Warner Prize, for example, when a candidate becomes ineligible by exceeding the age and/or time-since-PhD limit(s). But note that suspensions of career progress due to causes such as a serious illness or caring for family members may be allowed as a factor in considering a person's eligibility for the Cannon or Pierce prizes. The nomination forms for these prizes include a field for a brief explanation of any such career interruption that the selection committee should take into account.
Questions? Comments? Please email the AAS Secretary.