Search This Site

Office of the Vice President for Research

2020 Enrico Fermi Award

Granting Organization: 
United States Department of Energy
Submission Deadline: 
Thursday, April 9, 2020
Program Descripton: 

The Fermi Award is bestowed by the President of the United States to an individual or individuals of international stature in recognition of exceptional scientific, technical, policy, and/or management achievements related to the broad missions of the U.S. Department of Energy and its programs.  The award, established in 1954 by President Eisenhower and the Atomic Energy Commission, is given to inspire people of all ages, through the examples of Enrico Fermi, the 1938 Nobel Laureate in physics, and the Fermi Award laureates who followed in his footsteps, to explore and open new scientific and technological realms. The Fermi Award is administered on behalf of the White House by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. A Fermi Award laureate receives:

  • A citation signed by the President of the United States and the Secretary of Energy;
  • A gold-plated medal bearing the likeness of Enrico Fermi; and
  • A $100,000 honorarium (if there is more than one laureate named, the honorarium is shared equally).

The Fermi Award is given for distinguished achievement, leadership, and service related to all basic and applied research, science, and technology supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and its programs.

  • The achievements must be identifiable as lasting, impactful, and substantial.
  • Only living nominees will be considered.
  • The Fermi Award is not limited to U.S. citizens.
  • The Fermi Award is not limited to researchers whose work has been funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (or its predecessor agencies).
Application Process: 

Nomination is made online at The online nomination system will guide nominators, or letter of support writers, regarding submission of the required nomination materials, which are:

  • A letter of justification. (Limited to 2,000 words.)
  • Curriculum vitae. (Limited to 3,200 words.)
  • A bibliography of significant publications*. (Limited to 15 entries, 80 words or less each.)
  • At least three and not more than six Letters of Support from individuals familiar with the work. (Limited to 1,200 words each.)
  • A suggested citation, thirty-five words or less, summarizing and highlighting the nominee’s achievement.

*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.

A nomination system user account is required to create/update and submit nominations. Account creation providing access to the nomination system, and guidance on using this online system, is available at During an open nomination solicitation, the online system requires nominators to input all required elements comprising a nomination package as text input fields. Past nominations remain active and will be considered during a current review cycle, provided that the nominee continues to fulfill all eligibility requirements. Past nominations may be updated while the nomination solicitation is open. This system also includes capabilities to solicit and manage Letters of Support. Letter authors will receive an email notification from the online system to access text input fields, and following submission, these inputs become part of the nomination package as Letters of Support.



The Office of the Vice President of Research is pleased to provide support for the nomination process as well as assistance with the application materials. Requests for assistance can be sent to Dean Evasius.