AGU Michael H. Freilich Student Visualization Competition
Not Currently Accepting Applications. Check Back in July!
Career Stage
Award Type
Of Note
Application process
Submission Window

Supporting Students Working in Data Visualization

Named for Michael H. Freilich, former Director of the NASA Earth Science Division, and the support he provided students in the Earth and space science community, this program provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate creative ways to visualize data and present complex problems in the Earth, space and related scientific disciplines and advance their ability to communicate science with broad audiences.

The Freilich competition will be open for applications 10 July - 10 September 2024. 

Honor Benefits
Recipients receive the following:

Grand prize winners receive: 

  • A $3,000 grant to attend the AGU Annual Meeting online or in-person in the year that the award is made
  • Registration to AGU's annual meeting the year the winners are announced
    • In the event of a team win, registration will only be awarded to the team lead
  • An opportunity to present on the NASA Hyperwall at AGU's annual meeting
  • Up to $3,000 to participate in one additional professional development or community outreach opportunity in the current year or following year
  • Three years of professional development opportunities (divided by team lead in the case of a team win)


Runner-up winners receive:

  • A $1,000 grant to attend the AGU annual meeting online or in-person in the year that the award is made
  • Registration to the AGU annual meeting and Student and Early Career Scientist Conference the year the winner(s) are announced


All applicants have virtual opportunities for:

  • Workshops on storytelling using data/data visualization
  • Assistance with application process
  • Career exploration/job search webinars
  • Presentation feedback from science visualization professionals at NASA and elsewhere
  • Presenting research in early 2024

Criteria for a Successful Application

How is the contest judged?

Applications are reviewed by professionals in science data visualization and science communication as well as past competition grand prize winners. Applicants receive useful, constructive feedback from the evaluators. The competition is focused on innovation and creativity in presenting data in new ways, rather than the scientific problem or specific solution to the problem.

Submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • The creativity of the presentation and the applicant’s ability to present data and complex problems.
  • The perceived level of impact and engagement the planned presentation incites in audience.
  • The organization and conceivability of the proposed presentation of data.
  • For team submissions, contributing participants must demonstrate collaboration in data sharing.

Applicant Resources

Workshops & Events
Science Storytelling Workshop
11 June 2024, 2-3 p.m. Eastern  
One of the most compelling means of captivating an audience is to tell them a story—whether that audience is in a lecture hall, the halls of Congress, or a job interview. In this fast-paced, interactive workshop, you’ll learn more about the value of science storytelling, see examples of how to tell visual stories, and practice some techniques for identifying and telling the stories in your science.


Science Storyboarding Workshop
6 August 2024, 2-3 p.m. Eastern  

Science is more compelling when told as a story, and visual storytelling can be an especially captivating way of conveying information. To effectively tell a good visual story, it is critical to be able to storyboard—to develop and put together the pieces of the visual narrative. In this workshop, we will provide context, tips, and examples for how to storyboard your science into a clear and memorable set of visuals. 



NASA Hyperwall How-to Guide
A Guide for Preparing Hyperwall Content
Past Presentations
View presentations from previous winners


The competition is open to all applicants who meet the following criteria:
  • students enrolled full-time in a two- or four-year undergraduate or graduate institution in the U.S.
  • individual submissions in the Earth and space sciences or team submissions in convergent science
  • legal U.S. resident(s)
All Parties
Must be in compliance with AGU's conflict of interest and professional conduct policies.
Read AGU's Ethics Policies