Guidelines for a Successful Medals and Awards Nomination

Nomination and Supporting Letters

The nomination and supporting letters must clearly articulate how the candidate’s research over a sustained period of time has made significant impact on his/her field. The letters must explain the contributions and their importance so that they can be understood by their peers and those outside their research.

  • 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 in 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 benefitted, 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 minimum of 3 but no more than 6 supporting letters should be submitted. At least 2 supporting letters should be from individuals not currently or recently associated with the candidate’s institution of graduate education or employment.

Curriculum Vitae

This should list the candidate’s name, address, history of employment, degrees, research experience, honors, memberships, and service to the community through committee work, advisory boards, etc. It is important to explain the reason for the honors which have been received by the candidate.


The bibliography should have a brief paragraph stating the candidate’s total number of publications, specifying the number published in AGU journals. An example is “Sam Smith has 150 peer reviewed papers, invited book chapters, review articles (state subject), abstracts and 50 non-referred reports and articles. One hundred of these have appeared in AGU journals.” The balance of the two pages should list selected publications which have impacted the candidate’s science.