Outstanding Student Paper Award Information for Students



Presentations given by AGU members pursuing an undergraduate, masters, or doctorate degree are eligible.  The student must be the lead author of the abstract presented.  High school students and postdoctoral researchers are not eligible.


During the abstract submission process, students must check a box to request to be considered for an OSPA.

Judging Process

Judges’ scores not only reflect the science behind the oral or poster session but also heavily favor presentation skills.  Whether an oral session or a poster session, the presentation must be orally presented and explained by the student.  The poster itself is not judged without student commentary, just as an oral session’s slides are not judged independently.

Presentations will be judged by several judges; thus, students should commit to remaining by their posters for the entire session.  If students are unable to be in attendance for the entire session, they should leave a sign by their poster at the beginning of the session indicating the hours they will be available.  Please be advised that your schedule may not align with that of the judges assigned to assess your poster, so if students are not able to be present for the entirety of the session, they may not be judged.

Judging Criteria

The presentation of the poster/oral session is as important as the science itself.  The award encourages preparation and the clear, concise presentation of a student’s work.

Judges will assess the students in the following areas and rate them on a scale of 0–5.  Comments from judges are also encouraged in order to distinguish papers with similar scores.

Presentation: Visuals, effective use of allotted time or space, diction (enunciation, volume, and clarity), general style, liveliness, and stage presence

Content: Organization and logic, appropriate comprehension/knowledge of field, clear explanation/ability to answer questions, and significance and originality

Overall Impression Compared to Other Papers Judged


AGU recognizes that scores and judges’ comments are important for students to better their presentation skills for future sessions.   This feedback will be shared with all students in the spring of 2012.

Timeline for Process

5–9 December 2011                         Fall Meeting:  Judging of student presentations

January 2012                                     Evaluation by section/focus group coordinators

March 2012                                         OSPA winners notified

Questions?  Please contact Student Member Specialist Kara Smedley at 202-462-6910 ext. 622.