Frequently Asked Questions

 

IMPORTANT DATES

Event Date
Nominations Open 15 January 2015
Nominations Close 15 March 2015, 11:59PM (Eastern Time)
Union Awards, Medals, and Prizes Committees Start Reviewing Nominees 1 May 2015
Union Awards, Medals, and Prizes Committees Finish Reviewing Nominees 5 June 2015
Recommendations Reviewed by Council Leadership Team 7 July 2015
AGU Officially Announces 2015 Union Honorees 31 July 2015
Honorees Recognized at AGU’s Fall Meeting December 2015

 

NOMINATION PROCESS/Conflict of Interest Policy

For questions about nominator and nominee eligibility for an Honor, see the AGU Conflict of Interest Policy and the individual page for the Honor. AGU policy on the relationship to a nominee is applicable to committee members, nominators, and supporters.

How do I confirm when a candidate joined AGU or their member status?
To verify the year in which a candidate joined AGU and/or to determine their member status, please view the Membership Directory via AGU Member eWeb Portal; or contact the Member Services staff at: service@agu.org.

Can I nominate myself?
AGU only accepts self-nominators for the Sullivan and Perlman journalism awards. AGU accepts nominations and supporting letters only from colleagues of individuals who show that they have made outstanding contributions to the Earth and space sciences.

Does a nominator have to have received an honor from AGU to nominate a colleague?
You do not have to be a Union Awardee, Medalist, or Prize recipient in order to nominate a colleague.

I am an AGU elected officer or appointed committee member. Can I submit a Union Award, Medal or Prize nomination letter or supporting letter during my term?
Unless there are additional relationship conflicts that will cause disqualification (see the AGU conflict of policy), the following elected officers and appointed committee members may submit a Union Award, Medal or Prize nomination letter or supporting letter during their term of office:

For more details, please review the AGU conflict of interest policy.

How do I submit an AGU Union Award, Medal or Prize nomination?
With the exception of the Journalism Awards (Cowen, Perlman and Sullivan), Union Awards, Medals and Prizes nominations can be submitted (1) online or (2) by regular mail delivery.  However, to expedite the submission process, please use the online submission system. You do not need to send a print version if you submit the package online.

Please note that the nomination package must be complete at the time of submission. The online submission system allows nominators to make frequent updates during the submission process.  Please only hit the “submit” button once your nomination is complete.  Once the nomination is submitted, no additional information can be submitted online thereafter.

To submit online, the AGU Union Awards, Medals and Prizes online submission site will open on 15 January 2015. Once a nomination package is submitted online, it cannot be revised.  Please do not submit your nomination unless you are certain that all materials are complete and accurate.  If a nomination requires revising, then contact the Program SpecialistRevised documents must be submitted to AGU headquarters by the deadline.

All nominations submitted by post should include a completed nomination cover sheet along with other package components (i.e., nomination letter, curriculum vitae, selected bibliography, and three supporting letters). Please send the complete nomination cover sheet and package to:

AGU
Attn: Union Awards Selection Committee
2000 Florida Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20009, USA

All online submissions must have a date stamp that occurs before or on the deadline date.  Also, packages mailed by regular or courier delivery must be postmarked by the deadline date.

Please note that only complete packages will be forwarded to Union Awards, Medals, and Prizes committees for review.

I want to strengthen and resubmit my Union Award, Medal or Prize nomination package from the previous year. How do I obtain feedback regarding an unsuccessful Union Award, Medal or Prize nomination package?
Upon request, nominators will be provided with appropriate feedback from the respective Award Selection Committee (Union Award, Medal or Prize) that considered the nomination during deliberations. If your nominee was not selected, then please submit a request for feedback to the Program Specialist.

How is a final decision reached by the Union Awards, Medals and Prizes Selection Committees?
The Union Awards, Medals and Prizes committees dedicate several weeks to reviewing every nomination submitted. On the basis of their scientific backgrounds and knowledge, committee members hold confidential deliberations until an honoree is chosen. No one is selected without receiving a majority of the committee’s votes. Once an awardee, medalist or prize recipient is selected, the committee submits their recommendations to the AGU Council Leadership Team for final approval.

The Union Awards, Medals and Prizes Selection Committees recommendations to the Council Leadership Team must state the following: (1) number of candidates considered, (2) process used for reaching the decision, and (3) degree of unanimity on the decision.

In the event a committee is deadlocked, the chair will report such to the AGU Council Leadership Team. No medal, award, or prize will be given that year. Unless there are three viable nominations, the committee is not expected to make a recommendation for that year.

What is the role of the Council Leadership Team with regards to the Union Awards, Medals and Prizes?
The role of the Council Leadership Team is to either accept or reject the recommendation of the Union Awards, Medals and Prizes Selection Committees on the basis of their evaluation of the process and knowledge of the candidates. The Council Leadership Team may not substitute for the committees’ choice; however, they can ask for further clarification or additional deliberation if they deem necessary.

What does it mean to be a conferred Fellow?
Any AGU medalist or Ambassador awardee who was not previously elected a Fellow is automatically accorded the honor as well.

Is there a historical list of selected AGU Union Awardees, Medalists and Prize recipient available? Where can I find the new group of Union Awardees, Medalists and Prize recipient listed?
Yes, you can search for AGU Union Awardees, Medalists and Prize recipients on the AGU website.

For information about AGU journalism award nomination requirements and deadlines, visit http://www.agu.org/about/honors/union/nominations/nomJournalism.shtml
 

NOMINATION PACKAGE/REQUIREMENTS

What font size is acceptable for nomination materials?
AGU prefers that use either (1) Calibri 11 pt. OR (2) Times New Roman 12 pt. font size for all nomination documents (i.e., selected bibliography, curriculum vitae, nominating and supporting letters).  If the font size used is too small, you will be asked to revise the document.

Is there a page limit on submitted documentation?
Yes, there is a two page limit for each required document (minimum of 11 pt. font) submitted in a Union Award, Medal, or Prize nomination package.

What will happen if any of my documents exceed the two-page limit?
If you exceed two pages for any item (i.e., nomination letter, curriculum vitae, selected bibliography, or supporting letter), the nomination package is considered incorrect. An e-mail notification will be sent directly to the nominator requesting that the revised document(s) be electronically submitted via the AGU Union Awards, Medals, and Prizes online submission site. Only complete packages will move forward to Union Awards, Medals and Prizes Committees for review. Revised documents must be received at AGU headquarters by the deadline.

Should a nomination letter or supporting letter contain the author’s signature?
Yes, both nomination letters and supporting letters should contain the author’s signature, full name, title, e-mail or telephone number, and institution affiliation. In addition, nominators and supporters are encouraged to submit letters using their institution’s letterhead. Electronic or official signatures and letterhead are acceptable. Please mail a signed copy of any letter that is submitted electronically without a signature to AGU headquarters.

Will AGU contact me if my nomination package is incomplete or requires revising?
Yes, the Executive Office will contact any nominator regarding incomplete or incorrect packages.

I plan to submit the nomination package using AGU’s online submission system. Which file formats can I use for uploading?
The AGU online submission system accepts .doc, .wpd, .pdf, and .jpeg formatted files. If you experience difficulty uploading a Union Award, Medal or Prize nomination, please contact the Program Specialist.
 

NOMINATION LETTER

What information should the nomination letter contain?
Nomination letters should be concise, clear, and no more than two pages in length, preferably on letterhead. The nomination should include a brief history of the candidate’s work and the publications that have resulted, and should also indicate which Union Award, Medal or Prize committee should review the package. It must include a short citation as the final sentence, which encapsulates the essence of the individual’s contributions.

What is a short citation? Can you share an example of a short citation?
A short citation is the final sentence in the nomination letter, which summarizes the essence of the individual’s contributions. Short citations should be no more than 150 characters – including punctuation and spacing.  The character count is strongly adhered.  Nominators will be asked to revise any short citation that exceeds the allotted character count.  If this request is not complied, AGU staff will remove any text beyond the 150 character count (no copyediting will be provided). Use the following format when writing a citation: “Dr. Smith should be elected a [specify the Union Award/Medal/Prize] for [state the essence of the scientific contributions].”An example of a citation provided for 2013 Horton Medalist, Soroosh Sorooshian, by Janne Blichert-Toft is as follows:

For outstanding contributions to the modeling, measurement, and analysis of surface hydrology systems and precipitation estimation.

Does my nomination letter also count as one of the three required letters of support for my nominee?
No, a nomination letter is submitted along with the three required supporting letters. A nominator cannot also submit a letter of support in the same nomination package—he or she must secure at least three individuals who support the nomination.

To determine if a potential supporter is eligible to participate in the Union Awards, Medals or Prize nomination process, please review the AGU conflict of interest policy.

I still am unsure of what to include in a nomination letter or supporting letter. What should I consider when writing a nomination letter?
The nomination and supporting letters must clearly state how the candidate’s research over a sustained period of time has made a significant impact on his or her field. The letters must explain the contributions and their importance so that they can be understood by their peers and scientists in other fields of research.

Consider answering the following questions as you make your case for Fellowship in the nominating letter and supporting letters:

  • The first paragraph of each nomination and supporting letter should include the name of the candidate and a few sentences giving the overall reasons for nominating or supporting the candidate. The body of the nominating letter, which could be a few paragraphs, should give a brief and concise history of the candidate’s work and publications that have resulted. Both the nomination and supporting letters should state how the work has contributed to the field overall and/or to the growth of the field, as well as what insights have been gained and what impacts the work will have on current and future research.
  • The last paragraph of the nomination and supporting letters should summarize the work, state who has benefited, and highlight some of the candidate’s recognitions and notable service to his/her field.
  •  If possible, the nominator might want to provide his/her nomination letter and other nomination materials to the persons asked to write supporting letters to help ensure the best possible coverage of the nominee’s accomplishments and contributions. It is important that supporting letters augment the letter of nomination through substantive material, establishing the nominee’s international reputation in his/her field as important.

 

CURRICULUM VITAE

What information should the nominee’s curriculum vitae (CV) contain, and what is the page limit?
The curriculum vitae should list the candidate’s (1) name, (2) mailing and e-mail address, (3) history of employment, (4) degrees, (5) research experience, (6) honors, (7) memberships, and (8) service to the community through committee work, advisory boards, etc.

The CV should not exceed two pages in length. All incomplete or incorrect CVs will be returned to the nominator for revising.
 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

My nominee has written for countless publications. Can the selected bibliography exceed the maximum two-page limit?
AGU requests that nominators submit a “selected bibliography” that encompasses the candidate’s overall research and scientific contributions. Rather than selecting the most recent publications, nominators are encouraged to choose those that best support the argument for an AGU Union Award, Medal or Prize.

Each selected bibliography should begin by briefly stating the candidate’s total number and types of publications and specifying the number published in AGU publications. For example:

Jane Doe is the author of 92 publications, 86 in peer-reviewed scientific journals, 14 of which have been published in AGU journals and books. The following selected list best supports Jane’s nomination for the Bowie Medal.

The selected bibliography should not exceed two pages in length. All incomplete or incorrect documents will be returned to the nominator for revising. Please note that the Education, International and Spilhaus awards do not require a selected bibliography as part of the nomination process.
 

LETTERS OF SUPPORT

Should supporters send their letters directly to AGU or to the nominator?
AGU strongly recommends and prefers that all documents are submitted to headquarters by the nominator.  Supporters should allow adequate time to forward their letter directly to the nominator, who is responsible for submitting the complete nomination package.

I have received notification from AGU Executive Office staff that a supporter is ineligible.  What should I do?
If one of three supporters is ineligible to participate in the Union Awards, Medals or Prizes nomination process, then the nominator must find an alternate supporter to write a letter of support.  If no alternate supporter is located, then the nomination is considered incomplete and will not be assigned to the respective Union Award, Medal or Prizes Committee for review.

All nomination documents must be received at AGU headquarters by the deadline.

To determine if a potential supporter is eligible to participate in the Union Awards, Medals or Prizes nomination process, please review the AGU conflict of interest policy.

There are several reputable and esteemed scientists who have agreed to write supporting letters for my nominee. I simply cannot choose three supporters from this list of highly regarded individuals. Can there be an exception to the rule?
Although it may be difficult to choose, nominators cannot exceed three letters of support in a Union Award, Medal or Prize nomination package. If more than three supporting letters are submitted, then an e-mail will be sent to the nominator requesting the names of their three supporters. If no response is received, then Executive office staff will randomly select three of the supporters provided in order to move the nomination package forward.

Supporting letters should not exceed two pages in length. All incorrect letters of support will be returned to the nominator for revising.
 

AGU CONTACT INFORMATION

I was elected an AGU Union Awardee, Medalists or Prize recipient but my name does not appear on the historical list. Whom should I contact?
Please contact Program Specialist Leah Bland at +1-202-777-7389 or +1-202-777-7389 or agu_unionhonors@agu.org.

I have a unique question that is not answered here. Whom should I contact?
Please contact Program Specialist Leah Bland at +1-202-777-7389 or +1-202-777-7389 or agu_unionhonors@agu.org.