Outstanding Student Presentation Awards (OSPA)

Competition overview

The OSPA program provides student presenters (poster, oral and eLightning) at AGU meetings the opportunity to receive valuable feedback about their research and presentation skills that will help them advance their careers. Presentations are reviewed and scored entirely by volunteer judges.

OSPAs are awarded to promote, recognize, and reward undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD students for quality research in Earth and space science and the ability to effectively communicate it. AGU Sections recruit judges to assess and score the presentations of students who have opted to participate in the program. Watch the OSPA judge tutorial video for more information.

How to evaluate student presentations: 

  • Click “Volunteer to Judge" on the OSPA homepage to log into the OSPA Judge Showcase. 
  • Use the email address and password associated with your AGU membership to log in.
  • Read through the Rules of Contest and click “Agree.” Click “Next” and repeat with the Conflict of Interest and Agreement to Participate pages to enter the Judge Showcase.
  • Inside the Showcase, view all available presentations or filter by Section, Session Title, and Abstract Keyword to search for specific presentations. 
  • Add presentations to your list by selecting “Read More” under the presentation. Once the entire abstract loads, click “Add to my List.” 
  • To view your selected presentations, or to evaluate them, click on the Judge Portal link in the upper right of the Showcase. Note: Evaluation forms will not appear until 1 December. Evaluation forms must be submitted by 30 December for all assigned presentations.

Are you participating in OSPA?

Log in here to volunteer as an OSPA judge and to evaluate student presentations.


How it works

If a meeting is hosting Outstanding Student Presentation Awards, students presenting their research at that meeting are eligible to participate. Specific deadlines will vary by meeting. The general timeline and steps are:

  • 1
    Students MUST indicate their interest in participating in OSPA when submitting their abstract.
  • 2
    Students confirm participation by about six weeks prior to the meeting (an email with a link will be provided to student presenters).
  • 3
    Liaisons are assigned to each session by the session convener to help secure judges.
  • 4
    AGU members sign up to judge student presentations in the online system around two to four weeks before the meeting.
  • 5
    At the meeting, students give presentations and anonymous judges assess their presentation skills.
  • 6
    Judges submit scores and feedback via the OSPA judge portal roughly one week after the meeting.
  • 7
    All participating students are provided feedback  and winners announced about four weeks after the meeting.
  • 8
    Recognition certificates and, in some cases, prizes are awarded.

Information on OSPA participation

OSPA participation

OSPA Winners

Each year, the top 2-5 percent of student presenters in each section are awarded an OSPA.

View Winners


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General questions

| [email protected]

Leslie Marasco

Leslie Marasco

Student and Diversity Program Manager

202.777.7357 | [email protected]

Staff headshot of  Carissa Lundquist

Carissa Lundquist

Student Grants and Scholarship Coordinator

202.777.7442 | [email protected]