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Union Medals, Awards and Prizes Innovations

Updates to the Union Medals, Awards and Prizes Program

AGU is excited to implement a series of innovative updates to the Union Medals, Awards and Prizes (UMAP) for the AGU Honors program in 2024.

The updates are part of a comprehensive effort to improve how we find, select and celebrate achievement in the Earth and space sciences, a culmination of nearly two years of hard work by the Honors & Recognition Committee and AGU staff.

The 2024 Honors cycle will be launched mid-January with the innovations listed below. AGU will collect real-time feedback from program stakeholders and assess the performance of each of the innovations along the way. This will allow AGU to experiment, learn, adapt and continue to strengthen the Honors program.

2024 Honors innovations:

  • Develop a standardized rubric to ensure Honors are reviewed in the context of AGU’s strategy and values. This rubric will…
  • Be publicly accessible with guidance for use
  • Offer built-in flexibility to reflect Honor-specific criteria
  • Include qualitative and quantitative elements
  • Embed alignment with AGU values as part of the evaluation
  • Update nomination and review processes that enhance the accessibility and equity of AGU Honors:
  • Allow for self‐nominations, in addition to the existing peer nomination process
  • Implement a two-step nomination and review process
  • Anonymize submissions in first round to promote fairer scoring and reduce bias in review
  • Transition from letters of support to form questions that support specific elements of the new standardized rubric
  • Assess alignment of Union Honors UMAP catalog with AGU's strategic goals and values

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information or reach out to the Honors team at [email protected].

Honors Innovations FAQs
No. The innovations will only be deployed for the Union Medals, Awards and Prizes program in 2024. The innovations will not apply to Fellows, Section Awards and Lectures, nor the Journalism Awards.
  • Implementation of a publicly available, standardized rubric for evaluation
  • Implementation of a two-step nomination and review process with anonymous submissions in round one
  • Both self-nominations and peer nominations will be allowed
  • Transition from letters of support to form questions in round two
  • An assessment of the alignment of Union Honors UMAP catalog with AGU's strategic goals and values
To enhance equitable and transparent practices around the nomination and review processes, reduce barriers to participation from nominators, nominees, and reviewers, and to ensure that the catalogue of Union Medals, Awards, and Prizes are aligned with AGU’s strategic goals and values.
To promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the Honors Program by removing barriers for individuals and groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences with the goal of growing and diversifying the candidate pool.
Yes. Member input has been collected throughout the course of the innovation process. In 2024, we will measure the impact and performance of the implemented innovations by continuing to gain input from members in real-time so we may be agile in making adjustments and improvements.
AGU will track submission metrics and solicit feedback on the efficacy of the new processes from nominators, reviewers and supporters. We are using an ‘experiment, learn, adapt’ model, measuring innovations throughout the 2024 cycle.
Yes. While the submission window will open on the typical schedule (in mid-January), the Union Medals, Awards and Prizes program timeline will change to accommodate the two-step submission and review processes. The timeline will be published on the AGU Honors website.
You may email [email protected].