The Water Research Foundation's Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research recognizes outstanding achievement and creative vision through the Paul L. Busch Award. Each year, the award seeks to distinguish individuals poised for greater recognition of their innovative, ongoing contributions to water quality advancements.
Recipients of the award are presented with a grant of $100,000 to continue their work, take risks, and explore new directions. Individuals from all segments of the water quality community are encouraged to submit nominations. Individuals may self-nominate or have their work submitted by a nominator.
Nominations are no longer being accepted.
Nominations can be submitted starting in early January and must be received by The Water Research Foundation (WRF) no later than June 1. Individuals may self-nominate or have their work submitted by a nominator.
Nomination materials will become the property of WRF and will not be returned.
WRF will accept nomination materials that are currently protected by patent or that are under consideration for patent protection. All nomination materials, whether patented or not, will be treated as confidential by WRF and the Paul L. Busch Award Steering Committee. WRF and the Paul L. Busch Award Steering Committee are not responsible or liable for the protection of materials submitted.
All nominations must be submitted in English, double-spaced, in 12-point font, with margins of at least .75 inch on 8-1/2 x 11-inch paper. Nomination materials should be combined and submitted as one PDF file.
Nomination materials are limited to 10 pages (see details on page limits below). Letters of endorsement are not counted in the page limit. No budget information is requested or desired. No supplemental information will be considered.
Nominations must contain the following elements:
- Title Page (one page) with the following information: (1) Project Title, (2) Name and Title of Nominee, (3) Professional or Home Address, and (4) Contact Information (telephone, email).
- Executive Summary (up to two pages)written in a manner ensuring a lay person can understand the underlying research, the new thinking or innovation being proposed, the potential for practical application, and the manner in which the award would make a difference to the research and how it might be leveraged.
- The proposal/nomination (up to five pages).
- Biographical information on proposer/nominee (up to two pages). Citing of publications should be limited to those of immediate relevance to the proposed project, with the remainder quantified.
- Two letters of endorsement (not included in page limit): (1) one addressing the qualifications of the proposer/nominee, and (2) one addressing the merits of the proposed research and its potential benefits to the water quality profession and the water environment.
Award Selection Committee & Process
A Paul L. Busch Award Selection Committee, appointed by the Paul L. Busch Award Steering Committee, will be comprised of esteemed scientists and engineers representing a broad cross section of the water quality profession. The Paul L. Busch Award Selection Committee will review all nominations and select the award recipient.
The Paul L. Busch Award Selection Committee will judge nominations on the basis of innovation, creativity, feasibility, and the potential benefits to the water environment. The Paul L. Busch Award will be given to further a scientist’s or engineer’s body of applied research that demonstrates the following:
- Innovative idea.
- Practical potential for improving the water environment.
Specific criteria used to evaluate the submitted proposals and to select the award recipient are:
- Innovation: The proposed research is highly innovative and addresses either an original concept or identifies technology that can be adapted and transferred from another field.
- Scientific/Engineering Merit: Goals are well-defined, and the proposed research appears to be technically sound and scientifically defensible.
- Benefits: The proposed research is likely to result in an innovation and a practical application that will ultimately improve water quality or dramatically enhance the methods and processes employed by water quality professionals to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
- Feasibility: The researcher has demonstrated capability and is likely to meet the stated goals for the proposed research.
- New Thinking: The proposed research and the researcher convey new thinking on problem solving. Because the proposed research or research direction represents new concepts, it may be unlikely that traditional funding sources would be available.
Individuals are eligible to receive the Paul L. Busch Award. Applicants may self-nominate or have their work submitted by a nominator. The means of nomination will not be a factor in the selection process.
There are no restrictions based on race, gender, citizenship, or nationality. The awardee shall perform work in conjunction with a U.S.-based firm, university, or organization.
WRF employees, Board members, Research Advisory Council members, Paul L. Busch Award Selection Committee members, volunteers serving on other WRF committees, and members of their immediate families are not eligible to apply or be nominated.
WRF staff will contact all proposers/nominees verifying receipt of nominations. No other correspondence will be sent.
WRF staff will notify the Paul L. Busch Award recipient(s) by phone or by e-mail. Recipient(s) are required to attend the annual WRF luncheon at WEFTEC (held each year in October) to receive the award. WRF staff will make travel arrangements and reimburse the winner for reasonable travel and accommodation expenses.
Promotion of Award
WRF reserves the right to publicize the award recipient's name, photograph, and research content by disseminating information through newsletters, publications, websites, and other communications channels. The award recipient(s) will be asked to give a lecture or presentation on their body of research and its practical application for improving water quality.
Rules & Regulations
- Award funds must be spent to continue the body of research for which they were awarded and/or its practical application.
- Funds are intended to further the body of research for which they were awarded and are not intended for overhead costs or other costs not directly related to the research.
- The award winner must submit to WRF a white paper or other suitable documentation summarizing the research achievements for which the funds were awarded that can be published and distributed by WRF and to which WRF owns suitable copyright.
- The monetary value of the Paul L. Busch Award may be subject to taxation under rules and regulations of the United States Code of the Internal Revenue Service. The award recipient is responsible for any/all taxes related to the award.
- Nominations can be submitted starting in early January and must be received no later than June 1.
- Nominations received after June 1 will not be considered.
- An unsuccessful candidate may resubmit their nomination one additional time.
- Nomination materials will become the property of WRF and will not be returned.
- WRF will accept nomination materials that are currently protected by patent or that are under consideration for patent protection. All nomination materials, whether patented or not, will be treated as confidential by WRF and the Paul L. Busch Award Steering Committee. WRF and the Paul L. Busch Award Steering Committee are not responsible or liable for the protection of materials submitted.
- The Paul L. Busch Award is not a recognition of lifetime achievement. Key criteria for this award include innovation and making the bridge between research and its practical application.
- The body of research for which a nomination is submitted should not substantially duplicate existing or ongoing research.