STAC Level Award Information

The Scientific and Technological Activities Commission (STAC) helps to advance science and technology by promoting the open exchange of ideas, strengthening our disciplinary communities, enhancing collaboration and dialog among these communities, embracing diversity, celebrating and fostering excellence, and cultivating the next generation of scientists and leaders.  The Scientific and Technological Activities Commission Awards recognize individuals whose outstanding contributions further the goals of the STAC.

Each year, every STAC Committee/Board can select an individual in their discipline to receive one of the three awards, subject to final approval by the STAC Commissioners.  The three awards are:

  • Outstanding Early Career Award – an individual within 10 years of having earned their highest degree, or are under 40 years of age when nominated, who has made significant contributions to the discipline and is on a path to becoming a science leader in the community. Consideration will also be given, however, to those who are still in the early stage of their careers but have seen these interrupted for up to 5-10 years by military service, or family and career circumstances.
  • Distinguished Scientific/Technological Accomplishment Award – an individual who has made significant contributions to the discipline and is well recognized within the discipline as being a science/technological leader. This award could be for a mid-career or late-career individual.
  • Outstanding Service Award – an individual who has made significant contributions to the STAC Committee/Board or in service to the larger community in the Committee/Board discipline.

The STAC awards are Commission-level awards, rather than Society awards. Individuals who have received Society awards are not eligible for Commission awards for similar contributions. The Past STAC Commissioner will use the Committee/Board STAC-Level Award nominations to help identify candidates for Society-Level awards, and will encourage the Committee/Board to submit a nomination package for the more prestigious Society-Level award when warranted.

STAC Committees and Boards are not obligated to give an award each year, recognizing that these awards should only be presented to outstanding individuals in their discipline.

Nomination and Selection Process:

  1. Every January, the STAC Commissioner will announce to all the Committee/Board Chairs a Call for STAC Committee/Board Award nominations.
  2. STAC Committee/Board chairs will work with their Committee/Board members to identify individuals who have had a significant impact on their discipline and fit the description of one of the three award types. Nominations may also be solicited from the broader scientific community represented by the Committee/Board.
  3. The Committee/Board will discuss the nominations and select their nominee. Prior to review, the AMS Conflict of Interest Policy (shown below) will first be reviewed and any perceived conflicts discussed. 
  4. For the selected nominee, the Committee/Board will prepare the following for submission to the STAC Commissioner:
    1. Name of the awardee
    2. Award type
    3. One-page justification
    4. Citation (20 words or less). For citation examples, see the complete list of award winners.
    5. A current CV for the nominee
    6. A brief description of how the individual was nominated and vetted by the Committee or Board
    7. A proposal for when the award would be presented. It is expected that the award will be presented at the next AMS Annual Meeting, unless other arrangements are agreed upon between the Committee/Board and the STAC Commissioner.
  5. Submissions are done via a survey link provided to Committee/Board Chairs and must be submitted no later than 1 October during the same calendar year as the call for nominations was announced.
  6. The three STAC Commissioners will review the nominations and approve those that meet the criteria. The goal is for each nomination to be reviewed and a decision made within two months of the 1 October submission deadline.

AMS CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY: It is recognized that award committee members will often have had relationships of one form or another with at least some of those nominated for awards over the course of their career. It is important for the entire committee to be aware of the nature of those relationships so that it can address any real or perceived conflicts of interest or biases with respect to committee members and award nominees. On the first conference call or meeting at which the award committee reviews nominations, each member of the committee will describe for fellow committee members their current or past relationship to any award nominee. This should include any financial, personal, or professional relationship that might be perceived as representing a conflict of interest or bias on the part of the committee member. The committee as a whole will decide if any of these relationships are strong enough to warrant the committee member recusing him or herself from discussions on a particular nominee. In most cases, the open discussion of relationships will allow the entire committee to move forward with the review and discussion of nominations without anyone needing to recuse themselves.