For this year's Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)—the highest honor the U.S. government bestows to outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers—President Barack Obama is honoring 102 accomplished early-career scientists from several different federal agencies, including 20 from the NIH.
According to the NIH, 17 of the 20 honorees are new investigators working at institutions around the nation; the other three hold positions in the NIH Intramural Programs.
PECASE was established in 1996 under President Clinton to honor scientists and engineers who are just getting started in their careers, but whose accomplishments so early on show great promise in assuring the nation's preeminence in science and engineering and also contribute to the awarding agencies' missions. Winners are selected for their innovative research and commitment to community service through scientific leadership, community outreach, or public education.
The NIH has funded 233 PECASE recipients since the award's establishment; they had 20 PECASE winners last year as well. Other departments who funded and/or employed many winners this year include the National Science Foundation with 19, the Department of Energy with 13, and the Department of Defense with 16.
"The impressive achievements of these early-stage scientists and engineers are promising indicators of even greater successes ahead," President Obama said in a statement. "We are grateful for their commitment to generating the scientific and technical advancements that will ensure America’s global leadership for many years to come."
A complete list of this year's winners can be found here.