US Climate Variability and Predictability Program

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 three awards, each corresponding to the following 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 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 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. 


One awardee will be chosen from each of the three areas of interest. 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 (2020), 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. For the purposes of this award program, US CLIVAR is extending its standard definition of an early career scientist: a scientist within seven years of obtaining their PhD or equivalent 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, Interagency Group, and Project Office.


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.


The deadline for nominations is closed. 

To nominate:

  1. 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. 
  2. Upload a curriculum vitae of no more than two pages single spaced for the nominee. 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 2019 AGU Fall 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 at the end of November, with the announcement made at the US CLIVAR Town Hall at the 2019 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. Awardees and their nominators will be notified in advance so that they can make arrangements to attend and receive the award in person at the Town Hall. While preferred, in-person attendance is not required.
  3. The Project Office will notify all other nominators of the selection decisions following the 2019 AGU Fall Meeting.


November 8, 2019: Deadline for nominations
November 11-29, 2019: SSC review of nominees and selection of awardees
December 12, 2019: Announcement of awards during the US CLIVAR Town Hall on Thursday evening at the 2019 Fall AGU Meeting


In administering the US CLIVAR Early Career Scientist Leadership Awards, the US CLIVAR SSC and Project Office will 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 posted to a Q&A message board on the US CLIVAR website. Responses will be publicly posted to ensure all nominators receive consistent guidance.

US CLIVAR Scientific Steering Committee
Tony Lee, Chair
Carol Anne Clayson, Executive Committee
Gudrun Magnusdottir, Executive Committee
Victoria Coles
Kyla Drushka
Kevin Reed
Aneesh Subramanian
Zhuo Wang
Andy Wood

US CLIVAR Project Office
Mike Patterson, Director
Jennie Zhu