General Lab Information

Augustus "Gus" Prince Award

The Augustus 'Gus' Prince Award for African American Scholars was established in memory of Gus Prince, a notable African American nuclear scientist who worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory from 1966 to 1993. This award is presented annually to an exceptional African American graduate student conducting research at the Lab in pursuit of their master's degree or Ph.D.

The Augustus Prince Award consists of a $3,000 honorarium, and the winner will give a presentation on their research during an award ceremony.

Award Eligibility and Nominations

  • Candidates must be of Black/African descent
  • Candidates must be enrolled in a master's or Ph.D. program and have conducted research relevant to their thesis at Brookhaven Lab.
  • Applications must contain a letter of nomination describing the candidate's research and potential; the candidate's name and educational institution; the nominator's name and contact information; a summary (two pages maximum) prepared by the student that includes a description of the thesis research; and the candidate's CV.

Candidates who have already completed their Ph.D. are ineligible for the award. This is a one-time award; previous awardees cannot apply again.

Completed application materials must be submitted electronically. If you have the ability to do so, it would be preferable to send your application as one PDF document. All materials must be sent by the deadline listed at the top of this page via email to

The applications will be evaluated by a committee comprised of current Brookhaven Lab employees.

Download Application Instructions

Applications for the current year are due by July 14, 2023

About Augustus "Gus" Prince

Gus Prince started his career in science as the first black radarman in the United States Navy during World War II. Despite being at the top of his class in radar school, Prince faced discrimination in the Navy. He was passed up for opportunities to serve on ships several times before finding a position on a Naval ship. During his time onboard, Prince taught his fellow crew members algebra and geometry, thus earning their respect and admiration. After his time in the Navy, Prince attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in physics. He then went on the University of Cincinnati where he earned his doctoral degree in physics. In 1966, he joined Brookhaven Laboratory as a nuclear scientist in the data evaluation management group. It was here that he developed the accepted method for the analysis of deformed nuclei.

Prince retired from the Lab in 1993. After his retirement, he was heavily involved in the recruitment of African-American postdocs and assistant scientists to Brookhaven. He would attend Black and other minority professional conferences to recruit postdoctoral, research students, and assistant scientists.

Gus Prince’s story is one of resilience, hard work, and triumph. We honor his legacy with this scholarship. Learn more.

photo of Gus Prince

Augustus "Gus" Prince