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The HEAD Innovation Prize

The HEAD Innovation Prize (instituted 2020)  is awarded approximately every 18 months to recognize development of innovative, foundational and/or revolutionary instrumentation or software tools that have led to groundbreaking results in high energy astrophysics. The prize may be awarded to individuals or teams.

 The prize is selected and administered by the AAS HEAD Executive Committee. The winner will give an invited talk at the Divisional Meeting in the award year.  The HEAD covers up to $1500 of the awardee’s travel expenses  (transportation and lodging) to attend the meeting. The prize carries a cash award of $1500. 

The 2023 Prize Winners: Gordon Garmire & Mark Bautz

Dr. Gordon Garmire and Dr. Mark Bautz have been awarded the 2023 HEAD Innovation Prize for their leadership in the conception, design, delivery, science analysis, and continued support of the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) on the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Please see the HEAD Press Release for more information.

The List of Awardees

The Nomination Process

The due date for nomination materials to be submitted to the HEAD Secretary will be approximately six months before the HEAD division meeting. Materials should be submitted via email to the HEAD Secretary at A nomination should include:

  • A cover letter
  • PDF copies of no more than 5 peer-reviewed publications made possible as a direct result of the nominated work.
  • A nomination statement, listing the specific instrumentation/software contribution.The statement should specifically address the relevance of this work to high energy astrophysics. The nomination statement should describe the contribution under consideration to the published results cited, and explain the importance of the published results to the field of high energy astrophysics. The nomination statement should describe the specific contributions of the nominee or team to the published work.
  • If a team is nominated, the nominator should suggest one member of the team to give the prize talk at the Divisional meeting.

Self nominations are allowed.

Please note that nominations are not held over; nominations need to be re-submitted  for consideration in the next award cycle, 


The current deadline for nominations is October 15, 2023.