Frequently Asked Questions

Nomination Process
Nomination Letter
Curriculum Vitae
Selected Bibliography
Letters of Support
Supporting Files

NOMINATION PROCESS

When will AGU begin to accept Union Awards, Medals and Prize nominations? What is the submission deadline?
We will open the nomination cycle on 31 January 2014.  The last day to submit an Union Award, Medal or Prize nomination will be 15 April 2014, 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time).

What, if any, eligibility requirements should be considered before submitting a Union Award, Medal or Prize nomination?

For Ambassador Award nominations, a nominee must have been an active AGU member for each of the 3 years immediately prior to the nomination. Active membership simply refers to the renewal of AGU membership for the past three consecutive years. For example, if a member joined AGU in 2011 and has renewed his or her AGU membership, each year, through 2014, he or she is eligible for consideration during the 2014 Ambassador Award nomination process.

For Spilhaus Award nominations, a nominee must have been an active AGU member for each of the 2 years immediately prior to the nomination. Active membership simply refers to the renewal of AGU membership for the past two consecutive years. For example, if a members joined AGU in 2012 and he renewed his or her AGU membership, each year, through 2014, he or she is eligible for consideration during the 2014 Spilhaus Award nomination process.

For Science for Solutions Award and Smith Award nominations, a nominee must have an active AGU membership status at the time of submission. Active membership simply refers to the renewal of AGU membership. *Please note that in addition, a nominee  must be a current student or postdoctoral scientist (who is within three years since receiving their Ph.D.).

For Falkenberg Award nominations, a nominee must be a scientist, less than 45 years of age on 1 January of the year of presentation. *Please note the nomination letter must include the birth date of the nominee.

For Education Award, Flinn Award, and International Award nominations are open to the public.

For AGU Medal nominations, candidates must have an active AGU membership status at the time of submission. Active membership simply refers to the renewal of AGU membership. *Please note that for the Macelwane Medal, the nominee must also be no more than 10 years beyond receiving their Ph.D. or highest equivalent terminal degree achieved on 1 January of the year of presentation. Exceptions to the 10 year requirement due to unusual circumstances can be considered on a case basis by the Macelwane Committee.

For Climate Prize nominations, a nominee must have an active AGU membership status at the time of submission. Active membership simply refers to the renewal of AGU membership.

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. With the exception of the Sullivan and Perlman awards, you cannot nominate yourself. 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.

Who can submit a Union Award, Medal or Prize  nomination?
With the exception of those listed below as well as in the AGU conflict of interest policy, please see below who may submit a nomination:

For the Education Award, Flinn Award and International Award, any active AGU member may submit a nomination.

For the Ambassador Award, Science for Solutions Award, Smith Award and Spilhaus Award, anyone may submit a nomination on behalf of active AGU members.

For the Falkenberg Award, anyone may submit a nomination.

For AGU Medals and the Climate Prize, anyone may submit a nomination on behalf of active AGU members.

You do not have to be an Union Awardee, Medalist, or Climate Prize recipient in order to nominate a colleague.  AGU policy on the relationship to a nominee is applicable to committee members, nominators, and supporters.

The following relationships need to be identified and communicated to selection committees, but do not disqualify from participating in the nomination or committee review process:
•    Current dean, departmental chair, supervisor, supervisee, laboratory director, an individual with whom one has a current business or financial relationship (e.g., business partner, employer, employee);
•    Research collaborator or co-author within the last three years; and/or
•    An individual working at the same institution or having accepted a position at the same institution.

The following individuals are disqualified from the nomination and/or committee review process:

•    A previous doctoral or graduate advisor, graduate student, or postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter, but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.  Termination of a relationship is defined as follows:
–    nominee no longer being paid by supporter
–    nominee no longer supported under the same grant or contract
•    Family member, spouse, or partner
•    President, President-elect, H&R Committee, CLT cannot nominate or support candidates.
•    Union Awards, Medals, and Prize Committees cannot nominate or support candidates for their respective Union Award, Medal or Prize.

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

Can I submit Union Award, Medal or Prize nominations on behalf of an AGU elected officer or appointed committee member?
The following individuals and/or groups are not eligible to be Union Award, Medal or Prize candidates during their terms of service:
•    AGU President;
•    AGU President-elect;
•    Council Leadership Team (CLT) members;
•    Honors and Recognition (H&R) Committee members;
•    Union Awards, Medals and Prize Committee members are ineligible to be candidates for consideration for their respective Union Award, Medal or Prize.

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

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:

•    Board of Directors;
•    Council members;
•    Union Fellows Committee members;
•    Union Awards, Medals, and Prize Committee members can submit nominations or write supporting letters except for their respective Union Award, Medal or Prize.

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

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 Prize online submission site. Only complete packages will move forward to Union Awards, Medals and Prize 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.

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.

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. Only complete packages will move forward to their respective Union Award, Medal or Prize Committee for review. Revised documents must be received at AGU headquarters by the deadline.

How do I submit an AGU Union Awards, Medals or Prize nomination?
With the exception of the Journalism Awards (Cowen, Perlman and Sullivan), Union Awards, Medals and Prize nominations can be submitted (1) online (2) or 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 Prize online submission site will open on 31 January.

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 at least three but no more than five 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 Prize committees for review.

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 an Union Awards, Medals or Prize nomination, please contact the Program Specialist.

I have successfully submitted the nomination package but would like to revise one of the documents. What should I do?
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.

What is a “holdover” nomination?
During the deliberation process, Union Awards, Medals, and Prize Committees may recommend that a nominee who was not selected is held over for reconsideration during the following year. This may occur when more than one candidate is considered a strong contender by the majority of the Award/Medal/Prize Committee. Nominations can be held over for no more than 2 years after the original date of submission. Nominators are encouraged to update documentation in held-over packages (i.e., nomination letter, curriculum vitae, bibliography, and supporting letters).

I nominated a candidate who, unfortunately, was not selected or can no longer be held over. Can a nomination be submitted for review again?
Yes. If your candidate is not selected, you can nominate him or her again. However, it is recommended that updated documents be submitted for review.

I want to strengthen and resubmit my Union Awards, Medals or Prize nomination package from the previous year. How do I obtain feedback regarding an unsuccessful Union Awards, Medals 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 Prize Selection Committees?
The Union Awards, Medals and Prize committees dedicates several weeks to reviewing ever 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 Prize Selection Committees recommendations to the Council Leadership Team must state the following: (1) number of candidates considered, (2) number of candidates that are new and “holdovers”, (3) process used for reaching the decision, and (4) 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 Prize?
The role of the Council Leadership Team is to either accept or reject the recommendation of the Union Awards, Medals and Prize 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.

How many Union Awardees, Medalists and Prize recipients are selected?

Ambassador Award is presented to one or up to five awardees.

Falkenberg Award, Spilhaus Award, Science for Solutions Award and Smith Award are presented to one awardee.

Education Award and International Award are presented to one awardee (individual, group, or team).

Flinn Award is presented to one awardee (individual or team).

AGU Medals, except for the Macelwane, are presented to one medalists per medal.

Macelwane Medal is presented to three or up to five medalists.

Climate Prize is presented to one recipient.

What does it mean to be a conferred Fellows?
Any AGU medalist or Ambassador awardee who was not previously elected a Fellow is automatically accorded the honor as well. This usually occurs with Macelwane medalists, who are typically early career scientists; however, it is not limited to them.

When are newly selected Union Awardees, Medalists and Prize recipient and their nominators notified?
Newly selected Union Awardees, Medalists and Prize recipient, and their nominators will be notified in early July.

When are newly selected Union Awardees, Medalists and Prize recipient announced?
Newly selected Union Awardees, Medalists and Prize recipient will be announced in Eos in mid-July 2014.

When are newly selected Union Awardees, Medalists and Prize recipient honored?
Newly selected Union Awardees, Medalists and Prize recipient will be honored during the upcoming AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California.

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.

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+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+1-202-777-7389 or agu_unionhonors@agu.org.

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

 

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 Awards, 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.

Is a short citation required?
Yes, a short citation is required for Union Awards, Medals and Prize nominations.

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. 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 in 150 characters or less].” An example of a citation provided for 2013 Horton Medalist, Soroosh Sorooshian Janne Blichert-Toft is as follows:

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

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).

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 a requirement of three 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. Thus a total of at least four different individuals are involved in an Union Award, Medal or Prize nomination (i.e., one nominator plus three supporters).

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.
•    A requirement of three supporting letters should be submitted. At least two supporting letters should be from individuals not currently or recently associated with the candidate’s institution of graduate education or employment.

CURRICULUM VITAE (CV)

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

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 Prize 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 Prize 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 Prize 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 an Union Awards, Medals 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.

SUPPORTING FILES

What Union Awards, Medals, and Prize accept supporting files?
The International and Spilhaus awards accept supporting files as part of the nomination.

What information can be provided in a supporting file?
Supporting files can include any activities that illustrates the significance of the candidate’s achievements as it pertain to the award. Examples of supporting files may include articles, speeches, books, essays, films, interviews, etc…

Please visit the International or Spilhaus awards pages for more information regarding supporting files.