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Guide: How To Submit a Successful Nomination

Submit a successful nomination for an AGU honor or recognition

Most nominees for an AGU honor or award are truly deserving. Sometimes, however, their nomination packets do not highlight the person’s work in a way that makes his or her accomplishments clear to the selection committee. To help you write a more successful nomination package, AGU has compiled the following tips for nominators.

We’ve also compiled myths and realities about the nomination process to inspire you to get you started.

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  • 1
    Read the criteria for each honor carefully. Is your nominee right for the award? Criteria and required components for all AGU honors can be found on each honors’ page. You can also ask AGU Honors staff for clarification.
  • 2
    Ensure letters address the specific criteria for the honor. All nomination letters should explicitly explain the importance of the science and accomplishments relevant to the award. Include elements for service, teaching, mentoring, and outreach.
  • 3
    Give a complete overview of your nominee. Emphasize the unique elements of his/her accomplishments that makes your nomination stand out from others such as the achievements and accolades they have received and the impacts they have made.
  • 4
    Submit a concise, well-written nomination packet. Follow the nomination requirements for format and length. In your letter, avoid cliché generalities (“I know of no one else more deserving of this award”) in favor of specifics about the nominee.
  • 5
    Provide objective information. Supporters should be from different institutional affiliations, disciplines, or career stage. It should be clear that the nominee has had broad influence on his/her scientific community.
  • 6
    Solicit strong support from others that will strengthen the nomination. Present the supporting evidence in the letters in a way that educates or informs the committee members about the candidate.
  • 7
    If at first you don’t succeed, resubmit! The pool of nominations can be competitive. Solicit feedback from the selection committee. As long as your nominee meets the criteria, review and update the submission for the following cycle and resubmit.
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Tailoring your nomination

Tailoring your nomination to the specific goals of the award is one way to make your nominee stand out. Be sure to focus on the impact, novelty, creativity, depth and breadth of the nominee’s research rather than quantitative metrics and biographical facts that are listed in the nominee’s curriculum vitae.

You should mention other accolades such as National Academy membership or other forms of recognition and distinguish and highlight the role of the nominee as a motivator, leader or implementer. If the nominee has a large research group, highlight their intellectual contributions to the work, and if they have influenced the success of their coworkers.

Support each criterion with evidence and emphasize service to AGU and the science community and contribution to education, which can be important tie breakers.

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Honors Contacts

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Robert Rader

Director, Engagement and Membership

202-777-7418 | [email protected]

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Leah Bland

Program Manager, Honors

202-777-7389 | [email protected]

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Antonio Covington

Program Specialist, Section Awards and Lectures

202-777-7484 | [email protected]