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Best practices for awards and medals

October 2017

Premise

Each medal bears the name of one relevant scientist who has shaped the discipline itself.

EGU awards the following awards and medals each year:

To increase diversity in the group of EGU awardees and medallists, we encourage the EGU membership to consider gender, geographical and cultural balance when nominating outstanding Earth, planetary and space scientists at various career stages.

Each medal and award has a medal/award committee, which works under the Union Awards Committee with the exception of the Outstanding Early Career Scientists Awards. Each Medal/Award Committee consists of several persons. The Council makes all final decisions about medals.

The EGU medals and awards

Union medals

Union awards

General Assembly awards

Division awards

Division medals

The EGU medals and awards committees

Medal and award committees discuss and vote on the forum (if available), and otherwise by email, by keeping the Chair of the Union Awards Committee in carbon copy. The vote of the chair prevails in case of parity. Medal and award committees must prevent conflicts of interest in the selection procedure.

Composition of the Union Awards Committee

The chair of the Union Awards Committee is appointed by the Council for a period of two years which is renewable once. Members of the Union Awards Committee are the chair, the president, vice-president, general secretary and treasurer of EGU.

Composition of the Union medal committees

One member of the committee is replaced every year. The role of the chair is, among others, to bring in the knowledge of the community and maintain continuity. The role of the division representatives is to bring in their knowledge of the community, important because different communities have different cultures and different needs. The role of the chair of the Union Awards Committee is to ensure contact with the Council. This setup ensures that at least one committee member changes every year and, additionally, that all members are changed every four years. If a new medal is established, a transitional committee needs to be formed.

Composition of the division medal committees

One member of the committee is replaced every year. The role of the chair of the medal committee and division president is, among others, to bring in their knowledge of the community. The role of the chair of the Union Awards Committee is to ensure contact with the Council. This setup ensures that at least one committee member changes every year. If a new medal is established, a transitional committee needs to be formed.

Composition of the Union Service Award Committee

The committee is formed by the Union Awards Committee and is chaired by the chair of the Union Awards Committee.

Composition of the Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists Committee

The committee is formed by the Union Awards Committee and is chaired by the chair of the Union Awards Committee.

Composition of the Division Outstanding Early Career Scientists Award Committee

The committee is formed by the division president (chair) and additional members that can be nominated by the relevant division. The term is one year and can be renewed three times.

Composition of the OSPP Award Committees

The OSPP Award Committees are nominated by the relevant division meeting. The division president is an ex-officio member. The Council nominates a Union coordinator to supervise the OSPP across the divisions.

Confidentiality

Medal committees chairs and members are expected to keep strict confidentiality on the discussion that leads to the selection of the winners. The outcome of the selection by the Medal Committee is to be kept strictly confidential until Council approves the whole list of winners and the decision has been communicated to the award winner.

Policy for conflict of interest

Medal committee members should declare at the beginning of the selection procedure if they had any personal and/or professional relationship with any candidate, including:

It is the responsibility of the chair of the medal committees to reveal any possible conflict of interest to the chair of the Union Awards Committee.

The chair of the Union Awards Committee, after consultation with the chair of the relevant medal committee, may decide to exclude a medal committee member from the consultation if the personal and/or professional relationship with any nominee is deemed to have a potential impact on the selection of candidates.

Members of award and medal committees and the chair of the Union Awards Committee may for other reasons determine that there are potential conflicts that require elimination from service in a committee.

Nomination procedures for Union and division awards and medals

Nomination guidelines

A person is eligible to receive one EGU/EUG/EGS medal only once in their lifetime except for the Union medals, which can be assigned only once to any person including previous division medal awardees. With regards to early career scientists, any person is eligible to receive one outstanding early career scientists award in their lifetime. This can be either the Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists or a Division Outstanding Early Career Scientists Award.

Moreover, the following individuals are not eligible to be candidates for medal and/or awards during their terms of service and one year after the term is finished (meaning that the nomination for these individuals cannot be accepted during their term, but can be accepted the subsequent year after the term ended):

Recipients of EGU (including EUG and EGS) awards cannot subsequently receive a lower level recognition from the EGU itself (e.g. a recipient of a Union medal cannot receive a division medal). It is possible to award recognition shared between individuals: in this case the relevant recognition will not subsequently be awarded for as many years as the number of recipients exceeds one. Members of the medal and award committees are not eligible for that medal / award in the two years after stepping down as committee members. Moreover, with respect to the awards and medals reserved for the early career and more recently established scientists we refer to the Union definition of early career scientist.

Any person can be a candidate for only one EGU division medal and/or only one EGU Union medal each year. An early career scientist can be a candidate for the Division Outstanding Early Career Scientists Award for one division only each year.

Medal committee members cannot submit nominations or write support letters for the medals they are serving for.

Nominations for all the medals and awards are to be submitted online by 15 June midnight (CEST) of each year (absolute deadline). Only EGU members can submit nominations for all EGU medals and awards. Then, proposals will be forwarded to the chair of the relevant medal committee. Nominations for EGU medals and awards are not automatically renewed for the subsequent year. A person can receive one EGU medal or award only each year, and self-nominations are not accepted.

Nominations should include the following items in PDF format:

For the division and Union medals

For the Union Service Award

For the outstanding early career scientists awards

The whole nomination package for the award must not exceed two pages, otherwise the nomination will not be accepted.

To increase diversity in the group of EGU awardees and medallists, we encourage the EGU membership to consider gender, geographical and cultural balance when nominating outstanding Earth, planetary and space scientists at various career stages.

Selection of candidates

Any EGU medal or award is selected through a rigorous assessment of the candidates and their merits. The EGU Council, the medal and award committees members and the Union and division officers are committed to soliciting the nomination of deserving individuals by avoiding conflicts of interest. Medals and awards may not be conferred in a given year if high-quality nominations are not received.

Candidates for the Union and division medals are evaluated by the respective Union and division medal committees (with the exception of the outstanding early career scientists awards) before final approval by the Council.

If only one nomination is received for a Union or division medal, the Union Awards Committee will assess the merits of the candidate and may seek the help of external peers to ensure that the candidate is high profile and deserving. The EGU reserves the right to not confer the medal when there is only one nomination.

The assessment made by the Union Awards Committee is approved by the Council before medals are conferred.

Candidates for the Union Service Award are evaluated by the Union Awards Committee and finally approved by the Council.

Candidates for the Division Outstanding Early Career Scientists Award are first evaluated by the relevant division presidents who forward the best candidate to the chair of the Union Awards Committee. Four candidates are then selected by the Council and awarded at the Union level (Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists). The remaining best candidates are awarded by the relevant division.

The president will then inform the awardees and medallists appropriately and will invite them to the next EGU General Assembly, where the awards and medals will be presented. The president of the division is then asked to take all necessary actions for inviting the division medallist to give a medal lecture at the General Assembly.

In parallel, the Programme Committee of the next EGU General Assembly incorporates the corresponding potential medal lectures into the overall programme of the meeting, either as stand-alone talks or as invited contributions in selected sessions.

The Union awards and medals are presented by the president during the EGU Award Ceremony at the General Assembly, while the division medals are presented by the respective division presidents at the beginning of the award and medal lectures in question. The division medallists are introduced during the Award Ceremony.

Time schedule the Union and division awards and medals

1 January – 15 June Open for submissions
15 June – 31 August Survey of all suggestions by the respective award and medal committees. With respect to the Division Outstanding Early Career Scientists Award / Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists, the presidents of the divisions will evaluate their proposals between 15 June–30 June midnight (CEST), while the Council will select max. four candidates from all suggested by the Divisions.
1 – 30 September Peer assessment of the nominated candidates by the Union Awards Committee.
October Final approval of the candidates by the Union Council at its fall meeting.
October/November Awardees and medallists are informed that they will receive their award/medal at the next General Assembly of the Union.

Nomination procedures for General Assembly awards

In relation with its General Assemblies, the Union presents a number of special awards, such as the Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Awards to further improve the overall quality of poster and PICO presentations and most importantly, to foster the excitement of younger colleagues in presenting their work in form of a poster and/or PICO.

Criteria for application

Eligible for the Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Awards are students who:

  1. are first author and personally present the poster or PICO at the conference;
  2. satisfy one of the following criteria:
    • are a current undergraduate (e.g., BSc) or postgraduate (e.g., MSc, PhD) student;
    • are a recent undergraduate or postgraduate student (conferral of degree after 1 January of the year preceding the conference) who are presenting their thesis work.

Please note that each first author can register only one abstract (poster or PICO) for the OSPP contest at the General Assembly.

Procedure of application

Authors may express their interest in participating in the OSPP contest when submitting their abstract. With the letter of schedule, authors are informed about the final form of their presentation: oral, poster or PICO. In case of poster or PICO, students fulfilling the above criteria can register for OSPP by selecting the respective link in the letter of schedule. In case of more than one poster and/or PICO presentation as a first author, students are asked to decide which presentation should participate in the OSPP contest. The student names are then forwarded to the OSPP coordinators of the respective programme group. Authors receive a confirmation email after the OSPP registration deadline (which is about two weeks after the letter of schedule).

Procedure of selection

If you participate in OSPP, please attach the OSPP label (blue SVG, blue PNG, yellow SVG, yellow PNG) to your poster board. Alternatively, you might include the label in the poster itself. If you participate with a PICO, you are kindly asked to add the OSPP label to your PICO presentation header.

The OSPP coordinator of each programme group sends out emails to all (co-)conveners with the list of OSPP abstracts to be judged in their session and asking them to nominate three judges for each presentation before the meeting. The (co-)conveners obtain prior consent from the judges and may choose to do part of the judging themselves. To avoid conflicts of interest, judges should not be involved in the work or supervision of the student. The OSPP coordinator checks before the meeting that enough judges have been assigned to each participating poster or PICO presentation and may nominate additional judges if necessary.

Evaluation forms for each OSPP presentation will then be made available to all judges via a personal link to the OSPP online system. These forms include a number of criteria to be evaluated by the judges. Criteria include the scientific quality of the presentation, the design, and the student’s ability to answer questions, with marks given from 0 to 10.

The judges evaluate the presentations at the General Assembly during the poster session or the PICO viewing time, respectively. Note, that the two-minute presentation of PICOs is not part of the award evaluation. Each judge is expected to speak to the student during the poster/PICO session because this guarantees some extra attendance for the student, and because the student’s ability to describe and defend their work is part of the OSPP evaluation criteria. The judges are asked to work confidentially. The judges then fill in the evaluation forms online.

After the General Assembly, the OSPP programme group coordinator proposes a ranking among all the participating posters and PICOs (one combined list) in the programme group based on average marks that are automatically compiled from all evaluation forms. The top presentations of this ranking will get the award. The number of awards in each programme group should depend on the quality and the number of participating presentations in that year. In general, the number of awards should be small to keep the contest competitive and the award a special distinction. The programme group chair / division president ultimately decides on the awards based on the ranking, no later than two months after the General Assembly.

Award presentation

Each awardee is notified by the EGU OSPP coordinator. Awardees are asked to submit a short statement on affiliation and research interests (two to three sentences), a portrait photo and their PICO presentation or a PDF of their poster to the EGU Executive Office. The information is published on the EGU OSPP award website. The awardees receive a conference fee waiver for the next EGU General Assembly and are invited to submit a paper (where the awardee is first author) free of publication costs to one of the EGU journals. At the respective division meeting held at the next General Assembly, each awardee receives an award certificate.