Frequently Asked Questions about Geochemical Society Awards

What is "geochemistry"?
"Geochemistry," broadly defined, is the study of the chemistries of and the processes in the solid Earth (and extraterrestrial bodies), atmospheres, hydrospheres, and biospheres. The development of new geochemical tools and instrumentation is also award-worthy.

Who can submit a nomination?
Any member of the geochemistry community, except for the current GS Board of Directors and people serving on the selection committee of the award, may submit a nomination. Membership in the society is not required.

Who can be nominated?
Any Earth scientist making major contributions to geochemistry can be nominated. Society membership is not required. Nominees should have a track record commensurate with continued adherence to the conduct expectations of the societies (please refer to Geochemical Society's code of ethics). In particular, there should be no documented violation of these codes on record.

How do I nominate someone?
Each award has its own requirements, but all require a letter from you (the principal nominator) describing how the nominee meets the award criteria. A short version of the nominee’s CV and a list of their publications is also needed. Some awards require a second letter, which can be signed by several people. These materials should be submitted electronically via the GS website by the annual nomination deadline. Start here to find the requirements for every award.

Does my nomination have a chance of success?
Yes! Most awards have about 5 nominations per year and we would like to increase this number. Each one is thoroughly reviewed by the selection committee. The Geochemistry Fellows honor receives the most nominations (more than 80 were considered last year). The unsuccessful nominations for many awards are carried over for three years and considered again in subsequent years.

Who selects the award winners?
Each award has a committee of 5-8 members, each of whom serves a three-year term. These committees are international and multidisciplinary. The award committee makes a recommendation to the GS board of directors, which makes the final determination of the recipient.

What factors does the committee use to determine who gets an award?
The full criteria for each award can be found on our website by selecting the particular award.

OK, I read the criteria on the website, but what other criteria are actually used?
There are no secret criteria! Committees are asked to make wholistic assessments of nominees’ contributions based on the criteria listed on the website.

What processes are in place to ensure fairness?
Each committee must follow a set of best practices in its deliberations. Award committees also submit reports after the selection process detailing the processes used to arrive at the final decisions. The Board of Directors has oversight and the final say on awards.

Are metrics like H-index important?
Single metrics such as H-factors have many drawbacks, including that they are not translatable between disciplines or even between sub-disciplines of geochemistry. Thus, committees are discouraged from placing too much weight on any given metric. A nominee’s publications are often an important component of the evaluation, but the content and significance of the person’s contributions are more heavily weighted than any single metric.

How is the society trying to recognize a more diverse range of scientists?
The Award Nomination Committee actively seeks a diverse pool of nominations by encouraging members of the community to submit nominations. Membership of the selection committees is diverse in terms of nationality, gender, field of expertise, and other factors. The committee best practices emphasize diversity as a goal of all awards. In the last few years, the society has rewritten the criteria for some awards to include contributions that create a dynamic environment essential for scientific progress, including building infrastructure and significant contributions toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the discipline.  The review of awards criteria is on-going with the aim of recognizing a more diverse range of scientists and contributions within geochemistry.

Will I receive specific feedback about my nomination?
We will notify you whether your nominee is selected or not. The selection committees cannot provide specific feedback about nominations. Nominations are considered active for three years, so those not selected are automatically rolled over to the next year (provided they still meet the criteria).

My question is not on this list.
Please send an email to awards@geochemsoc.org and we will be glad to answer it.