Review Process & Timeline

2019 Union Fellows Nomination Timeline

15 January Nomination submission period opens.
15 March Nomination submission period closes.
18 March – 12 April AGU staff review nomination packages for eligibility and completeness to prepare nominations for Section Fellows Committee review.
1 April AGU staff and Union Fellows Committee Chair host a webinar with section committee members to discuss deliberation process.
15 April Nomination materials are directed to Section Fellows Committees based on 1) the nominee’s primary affiliation and 2) up to three additional section affiliation committees identified in the nomination package by the nominator.
15 April – 17 May Section Fellows Committees review the nominees. Each section committee is allocated a number of nominees that can move forward to the Union Fellows Committee. The number of candidates allocated to each Section Fellows Committee is based on the percentage of AGU members with primary affiliations to their group. Section committees submit their recommendation reports for consideration by the Union Fellows Committee.
3 – 28 June Union Fellows Committee reviews and considers nominees through a series of evaluations.
1 – 2 July Union Fellows Committee meet in person to elect the 2019 Class of AGU Fellows.
1 August AGU officially announces the 2019 Class of AGU Fellows.
December 2019 AGU formally recognizes the 2019 Union medalists, awardees, and prize recipients during the Honors Tribute, held at the Fall Meeting.

Union Fellows Review Process

The 2019 Union Fellows nomination submission period is now open.

This year the nomination cycle began 15 January 2019. The last day to submit a Fellows nomination is 15 March 2019, 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). Newly elected Fellows and their nominators will be notified in late-July. Additionally, newly elected Fellows will be announced in Eos in August 2019. Newly elected Fellows will be honored during the upcoming AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

AGU policy states that “the number of Fellows elected each year shall not exceed 0.1% of the total membership.” Thus, one Fellow is elected for every 1000 AGU members. The number of Fellows elected is based on the total membership at the end of the previous year. In addition, approximately three to five AGU members are conferred as Fellows annually.

After a nomination is submitted, it is reviewed by AGU staff for eligibility and completeness. If the submission period is still open and AGU staff finds a nomination package is incomplete, AGU staff will contact the nominator(s) to request revision. Once the submission period closes, nomination revisions are not permitted and any incomplete nominations will not be considered for review.

Once all nominations have been deemed eligible and complete, they are assigned to the Section Fellows Committee(s). Section Fellows Committees are discipline- and problem-oriented groups, representing all 25 AGU Sections. All nominations are automatically reviewed by the Section Fellows Committee which the nominee is primarily affiliated. Nominators may select up to three (3) additional Section Fellows Committees to review the nomination package. Carefully consider the strengths of your nominee, and select additional Section Fellows Committees only if the nominee has made substantive contributions in that research area. Make sure that the nomination packet clearly addresses the nominee’s strengths, based on the evidence of the nomination letter, selected bibliography, C.V., and letters of support, in any additional section you may wish to consider for this nomination package.

Up to three (3) other Section Fellows Committees can review the nomination, if the nominator has identified additional Section Fellows Committees when submitting their nomination. Section Fellows Committees review all the nominations assigned to them over the course of several weeks and numerous deliberations.

Each Section Fellows Committees is allotted a finite number of nominations, which they can move forward to the Union Fellows Committee for review. This allotted amount is based on 0.2 percent of the given section’s total affiliation. Once Section Fellows Committees have reviewed all assigned nominations, they submit a Recommendation Report to the Union Fellows Committee. Thus, the Union Fellows Selection Committee receives twice the number to be elected to review. Recommendation Reports list detailed information about each nominee, in ranked order, who in the committee’s judgment, are the best candidates from all the nominations they reviewed.

After the Section Fellows Committee review period, AGU staff compiles all Recommendation Reports and advancing nominations in preparation for the Union Fellows Committee review period. During this time the Section Fellows Committees begin providing detailed and personalized feedback on all nominations which they did not recommend for Union Fellows Committee review. Feedback is provided to unsuccessful nominators when notification letters are sent to all nominators; thus successful and unsuccessful nominators are informed of their nomination’s final status at the same time.

The Union Fellows Committee is supplied with the all the Section Fellows Committees’ Recommendation Reports and the final stage of review begins. The Union Fellows Committee dedicates months of its time reviewing every nomination forwarded from the Section Fellows Committees. Once all Union Fellows Committee members have reviewed all nominations, each member is assigned nominations based on their qualifying scientific backgrounds and knowledge. The committee members are then responsible for presenting on their assigned nominations to their fellow committee members at the Union Fellows Committee Meeting, held in July at AGU headquarters. During this face to face meeting members present on their assigned nominations, thoroughly discuss then anonymously vote on whether or not the nominations will be elected Union Fellows. No one is elected without receiving a majority of the committee’s votes.

Once the newly elected Fellows are decided, AGU staff begin the notification process which includes finalizing and distributing, all unsuccessful feedback letters to nominators; congratulatory letters to nominees and nominators; preparing the official announcement in Eos, and preliminary celebration logistics for the Honors Tribute and Banquet at Fall Meeting.


Chelsea Fuller
Program Coordinator, Union Fellows
Phone: +1 202 777 7480