US Climate Variability and Predictability Program

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2021 US CLIVAR Early Career Scientist Leadership Awards


The US CLIVAR Early Career Scientist Leadership Awards seek to recognize early career members of the US Earth system science community for their contributions to leading community activities to advance science on the role of the ocean in climate variability and predictability. Examples of relevant community activities include organizing a community training program, workshop, conference, or outreach event; coordinating a multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary, and/or multi-institutional collaborative research project; leading a state of the science review, synthesis, or assessment. These examples are intended to be illustrative, not prescriptive. Leadership can take many forms, and this award opportunity allows for highlighting such diversity in making impactful contributions to community activities.

Nominees are sought for six awards, two from each corresponding US CLIVAR areas of interest:

  1. Phenomena, observations, and synthesis: Efforts to coordinate plans and/or undertake activities to define observing system needs, design and build observing systems to address those needs, and/or advocate and leverage long-term climate monitoring, data assimilation, and synthesis strategies to better document, understand, model, and predict climate variability
  2. Process studies and model improvement: Efforts to coordinate plans and/or undertake activities to advance understanding of the processes that drive climate variability and/or that address deficiencies in general circulation models used for climate prediction through improved understanding and representation of physical processes governing climate
  3. Predictability, predictions, and applications interface: Efforts to coordinate plans and/or undertake activities to understand the predictability of the oceans and climate across time scales, advance climate predictions and projections, and/or quantify/communicate skill and uncertainty

Note that highlighting individual research contributions of science investigators is not the target for this award program. Rather the intent is to acknowledge substantial contributions to leading demonstrably impactful collaborative activities in the broader scientific community. Nominees are expected to have behaved with the highest standards of professional integrity in their careers (e.g.,


Each awardee will receive a certificate and a $1,000 travel allowance to apply toward a conference of his or her choice in the following year (2022), administered through the US CLIVAR Project Office.


The US CLIVAR Early Career Scientist Leadership Awards are open to early career scientists within the Earth system science community who have an appointment at a US research or academic institution. The US CLIVAR standard definition of an early career scientist is a scientist within seven years of obtaining their most recent academic degree.

Nominations may come from colleagues, peers, and mentors. Self nominations are not sought for this award program.

Ineligible nominators/nominees include current members of the:

  • US CLIVAR Scientific Steering Committee
  • US CLIVAR Interagency Group
  • US CLIVAR Project Office
  • Past recipients of the US CLIVAR Early Career Scientist Leadership Award (not eligible as nominees but may nominate)


Nominations will be reviewed and judged on the following three criteria:

  1. Role of the nominee in leading the effort
  2. Importance of effort to advancing one of the US CLIVAR areas of interests identified above
  3. Reach of the effort to engage and impact the broader US CLIVAR research community

Given the focus on leadership relevant to US CLIVAR goals, consideration of research contributions, including publications, by the nominee is not a priority criterion in the review and selection for this award.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion, as core values of the US CLIVAR Program, will be reflected throughout the selection process.


A nomination must be submitted electronically via the online nomination page. The deadline for nominations has passed and US CLIVAR is no longer accepting nominations.

To nominate:

  • Complete the online nomination form outlining how the nominee meets the selection criteria. It should include details about contributions in the climate and broader Earth system science community in leadership in one of the three areas of interests. A clear, concise statement of the impact of the activity led by the nominee on advancing community collaborations and addressing specific US CLIVAR goals and research challenges as identified in the US CLIVAR Science Plan is essential. If the nominator and/or nominee has an existing relationship with the US CLIVAR Project Office and/or the SSC, a one to two sentence summary should be provided to highlight the connection as well as to avoid any conflict of interest.
  • Email a curriculum vitae of no more than two pages single spaced for the nominee to Date of most recent degree must be provided to confirm eligibility. Prior and current institutional affiliations, positions, and dates of appointment should be included. Because the award is to recognize leadership/service merit, rather than publications, please limit the publications list to no more than five recent publications.

Nominators are encouraged to inform nominees of their nomination and the award process, including the opportunity to be present at the 2021 AGU Fall Meeting, the 2022 AMS Meeting, or the 2022 Ocean Sciences Meeting to accept the award.


  1. All nominations will be initially reviewed for eligibility by the US CLIVAR Project Office. Lack of eligibility will be conveyed by the Project Office to the nominator.
  2. Eligible nominations will be sent to the US CLIVAR Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) for review. Final selection of awardees will be determined by early November, with notifications sent to awardees and their nominators by mid-November.
  3. The Project Office will notify all other nominators of the selection decisions by late November.


September 1, 2021: Nominations open
October 15, 2021: Deadline for nominations
November 2021: SSC review and selection of nominees; notifications of nominators and awardees
December 2021-February 2022: Announcement of awards during US CLIVAR Town Halls at the Fall AGU Meeting, AMS Annual Meeting, and Ocean Sciences Meeting. Dates of Town Halls are TBD.


In administering the US CLIVAR Early Career Scientist Leadership Awards, the US CLIVAR SSC and Project Office seeks to avoid biases and conflicts in the nomination, judging, and selection processes. Nominations are encouraged from across the broad climate and Earth system science communities. That some nominations will come from scientists who actively participate in US CLIVAR bodies and activities does not constitute a conflict nor should it influence the selection process. Existing relationships between the nominators/nominees and the US CLIVAR Project Office and SSC should be provided in the nomination letter. Nominators should avoid contacting the SSC or taking any actions to influence decisions during the selection process.


Clarifying questions regarding the purpose, procedures, and eligibility requirements for this newly established Awards Program can be addressed to Responses will be publicly posted on the Questions and Answers page to ensure all nominators receive consistent guidance.

US CLIVAR Scientific Steering Committee
Gudrun Magnusdottir, Chair
Gokhan Danabasoglu, Executive Member
Chidong Zhang, Executive Member
Charlotte DeMott
Shane Elipot
Michelle Gierach
John Nielsen-Gammon
Patrick Taylor
Haiyan Teng

US CLIVAR Project Office
Mike Patterson, Director
Jennie Zhu, Program Specialist