The Outstanding Student Paper Awards (OSPAs) are awarded to promote, recognize and reward undergraduate, Master’s and PhD students for quality research in the geophysical sciences. It is a great honor for young scientists at the beginning of their careers and the process relies entirely on volunteer judges.  Typically the top 3-5% of presenters in each section/focus group are awarded an OSPA.

Student first authors give oral presentations or remain by their poster during a session in order to explain their research to passersby.   The student’s presentation of the work is the main focus and the learning opportunity:  In learning to present their science well at a young age, being critiqued and receiving constructive criticism, they will gain the presentation skills needed later in life- be it for a grant pitch or in the classroom.  The judging may or may not be anonymous, dependent upon the wishes of the judge or section/focus group.  Students should be prepared to give the same high-quality explanation to all those who inquire about their research.

Each section or focus group has an appointed Coordinator, who will arrange for each student to be judged three times.  This Coordinator will be responsible for helping to fill all judging slots and reviewing the scores in order to determine a winner.  During the abstract scheduling meeting, each session must designate an OSPA Liaison, who will be responsible for helping the Coordinator ensure that all students in their session will be judged.



NEW for this year!

  • Students who requested to be considered during the abstract submission stage will be contacted regarding a confirmation process.  Students will be required to sign into the online scheduling system, confirm that they wish to be considered, indicate compliance with the honor code and indicate a time they will be present at their poster (if presenting a poster).  This time will be visible to judges and must be adhered to.
  • Judges will find a new and improved online scheduling system that allows them to search by session, view the student’s abstract, view the times a student will be at their poster, and more!
  • The online scheduling system is compatible with smartphones, tablets, and laptops, as it is a web-based program.  Judges are encouraged to enter their scores via one of those devices.  Judges may also borrow a tablet from the OSPA Resource Center in order to enter their scores!

Information For: