The IAPSO Early Career Scientist Medal

ECS Medal-2019The IAPSO Early Career Scientist Medal honours Early Career Scientists for their outstanding research in the physical or chemical sciences of the oceans, and for their cooperation in international research.

The IAPSO Early Career Scientist Medals, one for Physical Ocean Science and one for Chemical Ocean Science, are presented by the IAPSO President, every two years, at the biannual IAPSO Assembly, where the Awardees will be expected to give a talk on a scientific topic of their choice. Financial assistance to attend the Assembly will be available.

The Call for nominations for the IAPSO Early Career Scientist Medals for the year 2023 was distributed on 3 October 2022. Read the call

Timeline for 2023 awards

  • 3 October, 2022

Call for nominations

  • 10 January, 2023

Deadline for nominations

  • 1 March, 2023

Announcement of Awards

  • July 2023

Presentation of the medals and ECS talks during the IUGG 2023 General Assembly in Berlin, Germany


Procedure and requirements for Nomination

Nominations for the IAPSO Early Career Scientist Medals for physical ocean science and chemical ocean science must be submitted to the IAPSO Secretary General, by the deadline stated in the call. Late submissions will not be considered.

Nominators should themselves be well qualified in the physical or chemical sciences of the oceans and be thus capable of judging the merits of the work in these areas.

Members of the IAPSO Early Career Scientist Award Committee cannot be a nominator or a nominee, nor write a letter of support for a nominee.

Self nomination is not possible; nominations solicited by a nominee are considered as self nomination.

The Medal shall be awarded only once to the same scientist.

Eligibility of nominee

The Nominee should meet the following criteria:

  • They should hold a PhD (or equivalent) degree which must have been awarded no more than 10 years prior to the deadline for the submission of the nominations. Career breaks may be taken into consideration and we particularly encourage people who fulfill the rest of the criteria but have taken time out to have a family to consider applying.
  • Be an active scientist with a track record at the cutting-edge of physical or chemical ocean sciences.
  • Demonstrate, where possible, international cooperation in the physical or chemical sciences of the oceans.

Nomination package

The nomination package should include

  • a nomination letter (not exceed 2 single-spaced pages of A4 format), which includes which medal the nominee is running for (physical ocean science or chemical ocean science);
  • a one sentence citation (citation should be 200 characters or less including space);
  • 3 supporting letters (each letter should not exceed 2 single-spaced pages of A4 format) and be from scientists who co-operated with the nominee or are acquainted with the nominee's works through publications and their citations. At least 2 letters should be from outside the nominee's own organization;
  • the nominee's CV (not exceed 3 single-spaced pages of A4 format) with an emphasis on their scientific work in oceanography and, if possible, their contribution to international scientific cooperation;
  • a list (not exceed 2 single-spaced pages of A4 format) of the most important published scientific works.

Call for nominations

The deadline for nominations will be six months prior to the opening of the IAPSO assembly. The nomination must be signed by the nominator, giving details of their full name and title, affiliation, present (or if retired last) position held. Electronic signatures are acceptable.

Any unsuccessful nomination in a given competition may be re-considered for the medal in a subsequent competition. Any such re-nomination may or may not be made by the same nominator, and should be treated as a new nomination with updated material, including updated/new letters of support.

IAPSO Early Career Scientist Award Committee

The IAPSO Early Career Scientist Award Committee is appointed by the IAPSO President. It consists of 4 members plus the chair of the IAPSO Early Career Working Group. Together they will agree that the nominations conform to the criteria of the award, and rank the awards. If needed the Committee can request an independent expert reviewer to give an outside opinion on any nomination. The Award Committee will then make a recommendation to the IAPSO Executive Committee for ratification.

Additional notes

Nomination and supporting letters should be concise, clear, and preferably on letterhead. They must clearly state how the nominee's research has made significant impact on their field, written in terms that can be understood by their peers and those outside their research.

  • The first paragraph of each nomination and supporting letter should include the name of the nominee and a few sentences giving the overall reasons for nominating or supporting the nominee. The body of the nominating letter, which could be a few paragraphs, should give a brief and concise history of the nominee's work and publications. Both the nomination and supporting letters should state how the work has contributed to the field overall and/or to the growth of the field, as well as what insights have been gained and what impacts the work will have on current and future research.
  • The last paragraph of the nomination and supporting letters should summarize the work, state who has benefited, and highlight some of the nominee's recognitions and notable service to their field.
  • It is important that supporting letters augment the letter of nomination. The nominator might wish to provide their nomination letter to the persons asked to write supporting letters.
  • The curriculum vitae should list the nominee's (1) name, (2) address, (3) history of employment, (4) degrees, (5) research experience, (6) honours, (7) memberships, and (8) service to IAPSO and/or international communities through leadership, committee work, advisory boards, etc. It is important to explain the reasons for the honours, which have been received by the candidate.
  • A list of major published scientific works should begin by briefly stating the candidate's total number and types of publications. For example: ' the author of 40 publications, 30 in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The following selection best supports the nomination.'


Previous Recipients of the IAPSO Early Career Scientist Medal have been: 

Year Physical ocean science Chemical ocean science
2019 Dr Gerard McCarthy Dr Mar Benavides
2021 Dr Thomas Wahl Dr Jessica Fitzsimmons

IAPSO Early Career Scientist Medal 2021 - Citations

Physical ocean science
Thomas Wahl

Dr. Thomas Wahl, University of Central Florida, USA, is the recipient of the 2021 IAPSO Early Career Scientist medal in physical ocean science. This is awarded in recognition of his fundamental contributions to the research on changes in mean sea level, tides, storm surges, waves, and their interactions.
Dr. Wahl's research has had a high impact with significant involvement in practical outcomes, and with immediate relevance to humankind. He has also written key publications in an accessible manner to multi-disciplinary audiences.

Bigger ships or less flooding? How tidal changes affect flooding along the U.S. coast (recording of the presentation, VACO-21)

Chemical ocean science
Jessica Fitzsimmons 2

Dr. Jessica Fitzsimmons, Texas A&M University, USA, is the recipient of the 2021 IAPSO Early Career Scientist medal in chemical ocean science. This is awarded in recognition of her contributions to advances in the analysis, distribution and cycling of trace elements in the oceans, particularly iron.
Dr. Fitzsimmons has a strong publication record, and she has made an important impact on the community studying trace metals in the ocean. In addition, she has extensive editorial experience and has frequently led seagoing research expeditions.

Micronutrient trace metal dynamics in the Arctic Ocean (recording of the presentation, VACO-21)

IAPSO Early Career Scientist Medal 2019 - Citations

ECS Medalists Montreal 2019 zoom

Physical ocean science

Dr Gerard McCarthy, Lecturer at the Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, Maynooth University, Ireland is the recipient of the 2019 IAPSO Early Career Scientist medal in physical ocean science. This is awarded in recognition of his outstanding contribution to research on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and its role in Earth's climate system.

 pdf Presentation by Dr Gerard McCarthy in Montreal 2019 1.7MB

Chemical ocean science

Dr Mar Benavides, Scientific Researcher at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, Marseille, France is the recipient of the 2019 IAPSO Early Career Scientist medal in chemical ocean science. This is awarded in recognition of her development of original strategies, integrating disciplines, to introduce a novel and comprehensive oceanographic approach to nitrogen cycling research.

pdfPresentation by Dr Mar Benavides in Montreal 2019 2.6MB



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