The Water Research Foundation 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. The 2022 nomination deadline is June 1.
Recipients of the Award are recognized and rewarded 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 apply.
Nominations can be submitted starting January 1 and must be received by the Water Research Foundation no later than June 1. An unsuccessful candidate may resubmit that particular application one additional time.
Applications and materials will become the property of WRF and will not be returned.
WRF will accept application materials that are currently protected by patent or that are under consideration for patent protection. All applications and supplemental materials, whether patented or not, will be treated as confidential by WRF and the Endowment Award Committee. WRF and the Endowment Award Committee are not responsible or liable for the protection of materials submitted.
All applications 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 in 1 PDF file. (See application details below for page limits.)
Applications are limited to 10 pages. Letters of endorsement are not counted in the application page limit. No budget information is requested or desired. No supplemental information will be considered.
Applications must contain the following elements:
- Title Page (1 page) with the following information: 1) Project Title, 2) Name and Title of Applicant/Nominee, 3) Professional or Home Address, and 4) Contact Information (telephone, email (PLBaward@waterrf.org).
- Executive Summary of no more than two (2) pages written in a manner ensuring a lay-person’s reasonable understanding of 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/Application of no more than five (5) pages.
- Biographical Information on Proposer/Applicant of not more than two (2) pages. It is suggested that citing of publications be limited to those of immediate relevance with the remainder quantified.
- Two (2) letters of endorsement (not included in page count limit): 1) One letter addressing the qualifications of the proposer/applicant, and 2) One letter addressing the merits of the proposed research and its potential benefits to the water quality profession and the water environment.
Award Selection Committee & Process
An Award Selection Committee, appointed by the WRF Endowment Steering Committee, will be comprised of esteemed scientists and engineers representing a broad cross section of the water quality profession. The Award Selection Committee will review all applications and nominations and select the annual award recipient.
The Awards Committee will judge research applications and nominations on the basis of innovation, creativity, feasibility, and the potential beneficial effect on 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: The proposed research appears to be technically sound and scientifically defensible, and goals are well defined.
- Potentially Beneficial: The proposed research is likely to result in an innovation and a practical application that will ultimately improve water quality or dramatically improve 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: Proposed research and the potential principal investigator 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 work submitted by a nominator. The means of application 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.
Excluded from application and nomination: WRF employees, Board members, Research Council members, Award Selection Committee members, and members of immediate families of the above.
WRF staff will notify to all applicants/nominees verifying receipt of applications submitted for the Paul L. Busch Award competition. 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.
Publication of Award
WRF reserves the right to publicize the award recipient's name, photograph, and research content by disseminating information through newsletters, publications, and website. 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.
- 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 January 1 and must be received no later than June 1 to be considered.
- Applications received after June 1 will not be considered.
- An unsuccessful candidate may resubmit their application one additional time.
- Applications and materials will become the property of WRF and will not be returned.
- WRF will accept application materials that are currently protected by patent or that are under consideration for patent protection. All applications and supplemental materials, whether patented or not, will be treated as confidential by WRF and the Endowment Awards Committee. WRF and the Endowment Awards Committee are not responsible or liable for the protection of materials submitted.
- The Paul L. Busch Award is not recognition for lifetime achievement. Key criteria for this award include innovation and 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.