The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research is accepting nominations through June 1 for the 2007 Paul L. Busch Award. The award, which carries with it a $100,000 research grant, is presented each year to an individual or team performing scientific research or engineering work that breaks new ground to deliver products of vital importance to the water environment.

As one of the largest awards in the water quality industry, WERF says the Paul L. Busch Award enables researchers and engineers on the verge of making significant breakthroughs to continue their work, deliver products essential to the preservation of the environment, and share their knowledge with the next generation of water quality researchers. The WERF Endowment was created to honor Paul L. Busch, Ph.D., a leader in the water quality community who challenged engineers and scientists to devise new technologies and solutions for addressing ongoing water quality issues.

Unlike traditional grants, all award monies go directly to the researcher, freeing them of any overhead obligations to their university or employer, as well as stipulations regarding use. This significantly increases the spending power of the award and allows researchers to put funding where they need it most.

"For me, the Paul L. Busch award is a validation of taking risks," says Nancy Love, Ph.D., inaugural recipient of the award. "The work that I proposed had never been funded by an outside agency. But with aid from the award and the validation that it provided to my work, I felt like I had permission to push the boundaries, to seek out answers to questions that the water quality community was just beginning to ask. And thats what Paul Busch was all about."

Since 2000, the Endowment has awarded $600,000 to further research on such groundbreaking issues as the fate of commercial nanomaterials, energy creation through microbial fuel cells, and biosensors in complex environments such as wastewater treatment plants.

Utilities, universities, environmental firms, and others conducting water quality research or engineering work are encouraged to apply. Applicants may self-nominate or be nominated by a third party. Applications must be received by June 1, 2007. All submissions should be sent to the Water Environment Research Foundation, Paul L. Busch Award, 635 Slaters Lane, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314. More information on the Paul L. Busch Award is available online at