Presidential Young Investigator Award

The Presidential Young Investigator Award (PYI) was awarded by the National Science Foundation of the United States Federal Government. The program operated from 1984 to 1991, and was replaced by the NSF Young Investigator (NYI) Awards and Presidential Faculty Fellows Program (PFF).[1]

Applicants could not directly apply for the award, but were nominated by others including their own institutions based on their previous record of scientific achievement. The award, a certificate from the White House signed by the President of the United States, included a minimum grant of $25,000 a year for five years from NSF to be used for any scientific research project the awardee wished to pursue, with the possibility of additional funding up to $100,000 annually if the PYI obtained matching funds from industry. Considered to be one of the highest honors granted by the National Science Foundation, the award program was criticized in 1990 as not being the best use of NSF funds in an era of tight budgets.[2][3]

The NSF Presidential Faculty Fellowship (PFF) program was launched by President George H.W. Bush to honor 30 young engineering and science professors. The awards were up to $100,000 per year for 5 years.[33]