Award Committee Guidelines

These guidelines are recommended for all society award committees.
More information about nomination requirements for each award can be found here.

Committee Objectives

  • To examine, discuss and evaluate nominations
  • To vote and recommend a candidate for approval by the EAG Council (Geochemistry Fellows and R. Berner Lecturers must also be approved by the GS Board)


  • Award committee members are prohibited from submitting nominations or writing supporting letters for an award they will be reviewing (although they are not prohibited from submitting nominations for other awards)
  • EAG Council members are prohibited from submitting nominations or writing supporting letters for an EAG award (H.C. Urey, Science Innovation and F.G. Houtermans Award) or a joint EAG-GS award (Geochemistry Fellows and R. Berner Lecture)
  • Award committee members are prohibited from receiving an award they will be reviewing
  • EAG Council members are prohibited from receiving an award (H.C. Urey, Science Innovation, F.G. Houtermans Award, Geochemistry Fellows and R. Berner Lecture) while they are serving
  • GS Board members are prohibited from receiving the Geochemistry Fellows honor or the R. Berner Lecture while they are serving

Conflicts of Interest Policy

(a) What constitutes a conflict of interest for members of award committees:

  • Have close family ties or personal relationship with the nominee (spouse, domestic or non-domestic partner, child, sibling, parent, etc.);
  • Are employed, or were employed within the previous three years, by the nominee themselves or at the same academic institution/university as the nominee;
  • Have, or have had in previous three years, a significant collaborative relationship with the nominee (the definition of ‘significant’ will be determined by the committee chair — see below);
  • Have had a mentor-mentee relationship with the nominee (e.g., supervisor-student, post-doctoral employer-employee relationship).

Note that we do not exclude nomination and support letters (as opposed to participation in an award committee) from mentors or mentees, or from collaborators or members of the same institution. However, if these relationships have occurred in the past 3 years, we regard them as a conflict of interest, to be reported in making the nomination.

It is important that we recognize that our community is small and that, for example, co-authored papers with 10-15 authors may not represent a serious conflict of interest. When in doubt committee members should declare such potential conflicts to the chair, but the chair should take account of how serious the conflict of interest really is.

(b) What action to take if any of the above apply:

If a committee member has a conflict of interest with regard to any candidate, it should be brought to the attention of the Chair. There is often an initial ranking of candidates conducted by e-mail. We ask that all committee members take part in this ranking, but that the Chair should share the rankings by each committee member with the entire committee in advance of the panel discussion. The more important part of all award committees is the panel discussion, usually by Zoom etc. If the conflict of interest involves someone on the final shortlist for the award, that conflicted committee member should not take part in the final discussion of that nominee. An assessment of whether the conflict of interest is serious enough that the committee member should leave the room will be made by the Chair. In the event that conflicts of interest make a discussion difficult (due to the number of recused committee members), the Chair is asked to seek further members of the committee.

Chairperson’s Responsibilities

The Chairperson should follow these guidelines as well as the EAG-GS Best Practice Guidelines.

The Chairperson is responsible for making certain that no restrictions have been or will be violated. Further, the Chair is responsible for distributing the nominations to the committee and for leading discussion, calling for committee vote and for submitting an annual report with the recommended candidate’s information to the EAG Council for examination and approval.

The report should:

  • List the committee members, and their current institutions;
  • List the nominees, in alphabetical order, giving the nominator and date nominated;
  • Give the result of the initial ranking, and confirm that this ranking was shared with all committee members in advance of the discussion meeting;
  • Summarize the discussion, paying particular attention to the reasons for the final decision.


The Chairperson should work with the EAG business office to arrange at least one meeting of the committee by videoconference, at the society’s expense. All committee deliberations should remain confidential.

Milestone Dates


The Award Nominations Committee begins soliciting nominations.

31 October

Nominations for Geochemistry Fellows must be submitted to the EAG or the GS office by this date. Immediately following the deadline, the EAG or GS office will provide each award committee with the nomination files.

15 November

Nominations for the H.C. Urey Award, Science Innovation Award and F.G. Houtermans Award must be submitted to the EAG office by this date. Immediately following the deadline, the EAG office will provide each award committee with the nomination files.

10 December

Award committees evaluate the nominations following the guidelines procedures set forth here and in the EAG-GS Best Practice Guidelines. While initial discussion may take place by email, each committee must meet at least once by teleconference or videoconference.

15 December

The Chairperson provides the committee’s report to the EAG Council.

31 December

The EAG Council determines the recipient of the awards based upon the committee’s report.

15 January

Award recipients are contacted.


Award recipients are announced via the EAG website and newsletter.


The EAG Vice-President nominates members to fill open seats on the next year’s H.C. Urey Award Committee.

The EAG Past-President nominates members to fill open seats on the next year’s F.G. Houtermans Award Committee.

The EAG Council nominates and approves a Chair for the Science Innovation Award Committee. The Chair then forms their committee.

For the Geochemistry Fellows Committee, the Goldschmidt Forum nominates and approves the committee chairperson and two committee members.

Goldschmidt Conference

At the conference, the EAG awards are presented and medallists receive their medal and certificate. See logistical information.

The Geochemistry Fellows are presented and receive their certificate.