woman pointing and explaining poster to audience

How to participate in OSPA

Participating as a student

The deadline to register to participate in OSPA has now passed. AGU cannot accept any additional OSPA presenters for the 2022 AGU Fall Meeting. 

If you are an OSPA presenter, please read on.

This year, all student presenters must log in to the online OSPA platform and complete the following requirements before the deadline: 1 December. In the online platform, you will be asked to:

  • Confirm if you are presenting in-person or virtually,

  • Complete your participation agreements, and

  • Confirm your abstract description (and make changes, if needed.)

Access the platform using the Student Login button on this webpage.

Please note: As part of AGU organizational efforts to track, measure and assure proper outreach and effective programming service to all sectors of our membership, and in line with our strategic goals and plans for an Inclusive scientific community, student presenters may be asked to provide some demographic information about themselves. This information is critical to help us improve the state of our science. Any demographic information will only be used in an aggregate form and will never be used in a fashion that allows individual identification. 

AGU student members pursuing an undergraduate, masters, or doctorate degree are eligible to participate. You must be the lead author of the abstract presented. Postdoctoral researchers are not eligible.

During the abstract acceptance process, students must click Accept on the OSPA confirmation question to participate.. Students will then receive additional instructions in late October on next steps for OSPA. You must confirm your participation by 18 October in the Participant's Corner by completing your Fall Meeting abstract acceptance process.

AGU recognizes that scores and judges’ comments are important for students to better their presentation skills for future sessions. Students will be contacted in February to sign back into the online system to view scores and to find out if you have won an OSPA.

  • Judges’ scores combine both presentation skills and the scientific content. The presentation visuals will also be evaluated.
  • The presentation itself is not judged without student commentary.

Presentations will be evaluated by up to three judges. Judges will be able to submit questions via a chat function in the OSPA online platform. You must submit answers to your judges’ questions via the chat function to be considered eligible for an OSPA.

This award is focused on recognizing presentation skills. Judges will assess you in the following areas on a scale of 1–5.

  • Presentation: Visuals, effective use of allotted time or space, diction (enunciation, volume, and clarity), general style, liveliness, and stage presence.
  • Content: Organization and logic, appropriate comprehension/knowledge of field, clear explanation/ability to answer questions, and significance and originality.
  • Overall Impression: Compared to other students’ presentations
  • Comments: Comments from judges are also encouraged in order to distinguish papers with similar scores.

OSPA judge information

Volunteer judges are an integral part of the Outstanding Student Presentation Awards. Many AGU students will remember their first OSPA experience fondly thanks to the help and generosity of the judges.

Volunteer to Judge at Fall Meeting 2022

AGU needs volunteers like you to evaluate student presentations at Fall Meeting! Judges are not allowed to evaluate students from their institution or students they are acquainted with. AGU student members can volunteer as judges if they opted out of participating in OSPA as a student presenter. 

Access the Judge Portal

When you're ready to get started, read the PDF instructions and/or watch the judge tutorial video. Then, sign in using the judge login link on the OSPA homepage

Once you enter the portal, you will be asked to agree to the Honor Code and participation agreements. Then you will be brought to your judge landing page. To add presentations to your schedule, click SHOWCASE at the top right corner of your screen. Please note: you are not able to un-assign presentations you've added to your judging list. Please contact [email protected] if you need a presentation removed from your portal. 

If you are attending in person, you can volunteer to evaluate both in-person and virtual presentations. Presentations can be viewed and evaluated virtually at any point during Fall Meeting after the session has occurred. Most in-person presentation content will also be available to access virtually.

Attending virtually? Interact virtually with student presenters by leaving a “comment” within the OSPA Platform to ask a student presenter questions. Students are required to respond by 16 December within the OSPA platform. Judges are welcome to attend the student’s sessions within the scientific program software and participate in live conversations if they desire – however, it is not required.

Judging process

Whether judging an oral, poster, or iPoster session, the judge must adhere to the following requirements.

  • Do not judge a presentation without student commentary. Q&A between judges and student presenters can occur in-person at Fall Meeting or through a chat feature within the OSPA online platform.
  • If you cannot judge one of your assigned presentations, please still complete an evaluation form and designate on the form why you were not able to judge the presentation.
  • Presentations will be judged by up to three judges in an effort to ensure impartiality.
  • Judges are encouraged to remain anonymous.

If you cannot judge one of your presentations, you are responsible for finding a substitute. Ask a colleague or friend.

woman explaining to woman her poster

Judging criteria

This award is focused on recognizing presentation skills. Judges will assess the students in the following areas and rate them on a scale of 1–5. A more detailed rubric will be available soon in the OSPA navigation menu of the OSPA website.
  • Presentation: Visuals, effective use of allotted time or space, diction (enunciation, volume, and clarity), general style, liveliness, and stage presence.
  • Content: Organization and logic, appropriate comprehension/knowledge of field, clear explanation/ability to answer questions, and significance and originality.
  • Overall Impression: Compared to other student’s presentations.
  • Comments: Comments from judges are also encouraged in order to distinguish papers with similar scores.
Woman explains poster to another woman attendee

Judge evaluation forms

All scores must be entered online by 9 January 2023. Judges can access the evaluation form online within the Judge Portal beginning 12 December and can edit scores until the evaluation submission deadline.

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OSPA Liaison Information

Liaisons are designated by the primary session convener. Liaisons are responsible for helping fill three judging slots for each confirmed OSPA student in their session and should leverage their professional network in order to recruit judges.

Liaison Responsibilities 

  • Secure judges for every student presentation within your session(s), by leveraging your network. AGU assists in recruiting, but your professional connections are integral in securing volunteers. 
    • Each presentation should be evaluated by three judges.
    • The deadline for judges to be assigned a presentation is 16 December.  
    • The deadline for judges to submit their evaluations is 9 January 2023.  
    • You can find the full judge requirements on the above judge tab
  • You may choose to judge students in your session yourself. This is acceptable if there is no conflict of interest.  

AGU 2022 Liaisons

  • Liaisons can see the students in their session, track judge recruitment progress, and ensure that they’ve fulfilled their responsibilities on the OSPA judging platform.
  • Access the site by selecting the Evaluator Login button on the OSPA homepage.
  • Learn how to use the online platform using the liaison tutorial video or the PDF instructions.
  • Eligibility: Only AGU members are eligible to serve as liaisons. It is not required to attend Fall Meeting, but attendance will be helpful. Student members are eligible to serve as liaisons if they are not participating in OSPA as a student presenter.
  • Responsibilities: Recruit three judges for every OSPA presentation in your Fall Meeting session(s) by leveraging your professional network, November – December.

    We assist in recruiting as well, but your professional connections are integral in recruiting volunteers.

section of Poster Hall

OSPA Coordinator Information

Section leaders designate at least two OSPA coordinators each year to encourage volunteers to participate as OSPA judges during Fall Meeting. In order to be eligible for this role, volunteers must be AGU non-student members, but they do not have to attend Fall Meeting. The coordinator role requires a minimal time commitment (about 1-2 hours per week through mid-January).


  • Manage the effort to secure judges for students within section
  • Encourage judges to sign up via direct email, section newsletters, websites, or other communications
  • Assist OSPA liaisons in recruiting judges
  • Encourage judges to enter their scores by the deadline
  • Participate in the selection of OSPA winners within section
  • Commit about 1-2 hours per week, starting in November through mid-January

Eligibility: Only non-student AGU members are eligible to serve as coordinators. It is not required to attend Fall Meeting, but attendance will be helpful. If you are interested in participating as an OSPA coordinator, contact your Section leadership.

AGU 2022 Coordinators