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6-14 Employee Recognition Awards

July 2010

UCAR recognizes employees through a system of awards for noteworthy contributions to the organization beyond those acknowledged during the annual performance evaluation process. UCAR awards include awards for Distinguished Achievement, Outstanding Accomplishments, and Special Recognition. The President solicits nominations annually for the first two of these awards; NCAR Associate Director or UCAR/UCP Program Director make nominations for Special Recognition Awards at any time during the year. In addition, laboratories and programs may operate local award programs within certain guidelines.

See Employee Recognition Awards Procedures for additional information.

Contact the Director of Human Resources for interpretation of this policy.

Affiliated Procedure(s) or Guideline(s):

July 2013

Request for 2013 Nominations


The Distinguished Achievement Award
(see Distinguished Achievement Award Criteria Checklist)

A.
Criteria

The Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes distinct and extraordinary accomplishments with identifiable impacts that have provided a significant advance in enabling, understanding, or communicating key scientific issues during the past five-year period. The work should represent the very best of accomplishments that enhance UCAR's reputation by having a significant external impact. The award is for a body of work that may have been displayed through scientific publications, development of new technologies, education and outreach, or other leadership and support activities consistent with UCAR's mission. This award is not intended to recognize lifetime achievement or longevity.


B. Eligibility

All employees are eligible. Either an individual or a team may be nominated. UCAR visitors, former employees including deceased ones, are also eligible as long as the work being recognized was done at UCAR in the past five years. Non-UCAR employees, previous UCAR employees (including those now deceased), who are part of a team that includes nominated current UCAR employees, may be recognized as part of an award and receive a medal but are not eligible for a monetary award. UCAR staff must be employed as of the date of the awards ceremony in order to receive a monetary award.


C. Nomination

The President solicits nominations annually.  Nominations must be submitted through NCAR Associate Director or UCAR/UCP Program Director.  Each entity may submit up to one nomination covering activities over a period of approximately five years.  Nominations may be initiated by any UCAR employee but must be approved and submitted by the director of an appropriate entity (listed above). 

Each nomination must discuss the impact of the activity, noting its influence on scientific thought, on users, or other quantifiable benefits to the broadly defined UCAR community or society in general.  Team nominations should explicitly describe the individual contributions of each member of the team.  The director of one of the above listed entities should ensure adherence to the criteria above (also enumerated in the Criteria Checklist found at the beginning of these Procedures) and conformity with the format requirements below.  The same nomination may be submitted in one or more subsequent years following the first year of submission, either in the original form or with updated information. 

Nominations should be no more than a total of four single-sided or two double-sided pages and include the name of the nominee(s), an executive summary, description of activity, and justification for the nomination.  Supporting documents should not exceed four additional pages and may include up to six letters and/or emails in support of the nomination, photos, drawings, news articles, or other material.  Nominations should be prepared in no smaller than ten-point font, with margin sizes no smaller than .75 inches. 

Nominations are completely confidential; the names of the nominees are not made public if no award is given.

D. Review and Approval

The President annually appoints a jury of UCAR staff to review the merit of nominations for both this award and the Outstanding Accomplishments Awards.  Jury members serve three-year terms, with terms staggered to ensure continuity.  The jury process is confidential.

The jury makes a recommendation to the President.  The President typically makes a maximum of one award per year in this category; no award is made if no nomination meets the criteria.  No honorable mentions are awarded.

E. Amount and Type of Award

An individual winner receives $10,000; a team shares an award of no more than $25,000.  UCAR pays the personal income taxes on awards for recipients who are current UCAR employees.  Winners also receive an engraved plaque or medal.


F. Source of Funding

Distinguished Achievement Awards are paid for out of UCAR's General and Administrative funds.


G. Recognition

Award recipients are announced at the annual staff holiday party and to the UCAR Board of Trustees at a regular board meeting. A news release is sent to local newspapers. A listing of the award recipients also becomes part of a permanent public record displayed in the Mesa Laboratory. Recipients are also listed at: http://www2.ucar.edu/news/laurels/internal.


H. Reporting

An annual report is given to the Personnel Committee of the UCAR Board of Trustees on any Distinguished Achievement Awards given.

Outstanding Accomplishment Awards
(see Outstanding Accomplishment Award Crieria Checklist)

A. Criteria

Outstanding Accomplishment Awards recognize contributions and achievements in the following categories:

 

  1. Publication

    This award is given for the published results in the past five years of original research, review papers, or pedagogically oriented books that contribute to the atmospheric sciences. Publications are judged on four criteria: (a) importance of the subject to atmospheric science broadly defined, including work connecting atmospheric science with other disciplines or matters of public policy; (b) importance of the publication's contribution to its specific subject area; (c) evidence of creativity and originality; and (d) clarity of exposition.

  2. Scientific and/or Technical Advancement

    This award is given for efforts in the past five years leading to substantial improvements in scientific and/or technical capabilities, including advances in hardware or software engineering, computer science, and applied science that may or may not result in a publication.  Contributions are judged on three criteria:  a) innovation and creativity, b) impact on atmospheric and/or related science, and c) degree of difficulty.

  3. Administrative Achievement

    This award is given for outstanding leadership and professional excellence in the area of administrative support in the past five years.  Contributions that could be nominated are efforts resulting in substantial, innovative achievements in service to sponsors, constituents, and customers; accomplishments that help create a work environment that fosters excellent customer service, maximizes employee potential, and fosters high ethical standards; and achievements in administrative support demonstrated by substantial improvement in productivity or cost savings to the organization.  Contributions are judged on three criteria:  a) innovation and creativity, b) degree of difficulty, and c) magnitude of effort.

  4. Education and Outreach

    This award is given for efforts in the past five years having a significant impact on and leading to improvements in scientific, mathematical, or technical education or for other efforts that significantly enhance the public's understanding of scientific or technical issues  The work may involve postgraduate, graduate, undergraduate, K-12, or general public education.  Contributions are judged on three criteria:  a) innovation and creativity, b) degree of difficulty, and c) magnitude of effort.

  5. Mentoring Award

    This award is given for exemplary and sustained mentoring efforts that directly enhance one or more persons' career development. While there is no time limit on this award, mentoring activities must include the previous five years. This award is intended primarily for mentoring UCAR employees by an individual. This does not preclude nominations that recognize mentoring by one or more UCAR employees of outside individual(s), especially when these efforts lead to increased diversity in UCAR's workforce or the broad geosciences community. Examples of contributions that could be used to justify a nomination are exceptional mentoring of junior scientific, administrative, technical, or other staff that substantially benefits the mentees' career development and/or capacity for further professional growth.

    Contributions are judged on three criteria: (1) direct, long-term impact on mentees' career(s) or capacity; (2) magnitude of effort; and (3) innovation and creativity of the mentoring activity.

  6. Diversity Award

    This award is given for significant efforts in the past five years to increase or support diversity among populations that have been historically under-represented in the geosciences.This would include, for example: 1) reducing obstacles; 2) creating and enhancing opportunities; 3) addressing issues of access and bias based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age; and 4)inspiring members of historically under-represented groups to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) opportunities. Contributions are judged on three criteria: a) impact or potential future impact on diversity at UCAR or the geosciences community, measured by increases in recruiting, collaborations, education, advancement, and retention of under-represented populations; b) magnitude of effort; and c) degree of difficulty. For examples of possible areas of work and definitions, please refer to the UCAR Diversity Guidelines.

B. Eligibility

All employees are eligible. Either an individual or a team may be nominated. UCAR visitors, former employees including deceased ones, are also eligible as long as the work being recognized was done at UCAR in the past five years. Non-UCAR employees, previous UCAR employees (including those now deceased), who are part of a team that includes nominated current UCAR employees, may be recognized as part of an award and receive a medal but are not eligible for a monetary award. UCAR staff must be employed as of the date of the awards ceremony in order to receive a monetary award.

C. Nomination

The President solicits nominations annually. Nominations must be submitted through NCAR Associate Director or UCAR/UCP Program Director. Nominations may be initiated by any UCAR employee but must be approved and submitted by the director of an appropriate entity (listed above).  Submissions having nominees from multiple entities are strongly encouraged. Nominations in each category of the Outstanding Accomplishment Awards are limited to activities occurring in approximately the past five years. 

Each nomination must discuss the impact of the activity, noting its influence on scientific thought, on users, or other quantifiable benefits to the broadly defined UCAR community or society in general. Team nominations should explicitly describe the individual contributions of each member of the team.  The director of one of the above entities should ensure adherence to the criteria above (also enumerated in the Criteria Checklist) and in conformity with the format requirements below.  The same nomination may be submitted in one or more subsequent years following the first year of submission, either in the original form or with updated information. 

Nominations should be no more than a total of three single-sided pages (or one and one-half pages if the nomination is double-sided) and include the name of the nominee(s), an executive summary, description of activity, and justification for the nomination. Supporting documents should not exceed three additional pages and may include up to four letters and/or emails in support of the nomination, photos, drawings, news articles, or other material. Nominations should be prepared in no smaller than ten-point font, with margin sizes no smaller than .75 inches.

D. Review and Approval

The President annually appoints a jury of UCAR staff to review the merit of nominations for both these awards and the Distinguished Achievement Award.  Jury members serve three-year terms, with terms staggered to ensure continuity.  The jury process is confidential.

The jury makes a recommendation to the President.  The President makes a maximum of one award per category per year; no award is made if no nomination meets the criteria.  No honorable mentions are awarded.

E. Amount and Type of Award

Each winner receives a monetary prize and an engraved medal.

Monetary prizes are awarded as follows: $3,500 to a single winner; $1,750 each to two winners sharing an award; $1500 each for three to six winners sharing an award; and a total of $10,000 split equally among seven or more winners sharing an award. UCAR pays the personal income taxes on these awards for recipients who are current UCAR employees.

F. Source of Funding

Outstanding Accomplishment Awards are paid for out of UCAR's General and Administrative funds.

G. Recognition

Award recipients are announced at the annual staff holiday party and can also be viewed at: http://www2.ucar.edu/news/laurels/internal.  Multiple nominees in categories in which an award is made are announced in appropriate UCAR publications in advance of the awards ceremony.  Nominees remain confidential in categories where no award is given.  No announcement of individual nominees is made at the ceremony.


H. Reporting

An annual report is given to the Personnel Committee of the UCAR Board of Trustees on all Outstanding Accomplishment Awards given.

Special Recognition Awards

A. Criteria

Special Recognition Awards are designed to recognize single instances of extraordinary work performed by employees.  Employees may qualify for a Special Recognition Award if one or more of the following criteria are met.  The employee has:

  1. Performed single-instance services that are of outstanding quality or of unusual importance to the execution of UCAR's programs;

  2. Displayed commitment to activities or demonstrated outstanding skill or effort above and beyond his or her prescribed duties and workload; 

  3. Saved significant time or money; and  

  4. Maintained an excellent level of performance during an organizational emergency or period of high stress, or shown great ingenuity or perseverance.

Special Recognition Awards are not for the purpose of recognizing sustained excellence in assigned duties; such service is rewarded through the regular salary administration system.  Nor are the awards intended to recognize sustained performance of duties not included in the employee's job description.  In those instances, a new job description should be generated and reclassification considered.

B. Eligibility

All employees are eligible.  Either an individual or a team may be nominated.  UCAR visitors and former staff are also eligible as long as the work being recognized was done at UCAR.  Non-UCAR employees are not eligible for Special Recognition Awards.

C. Nomination

UCAR/UCP Program Directors and NCAR Associate Directors make nominations within or across laboratories and programs, at any time.  Directors making a nomination outside their laboratory or program must coordinate the nomination with the employee's UCAR/UCP Program Director or NCAR Associate Director and must secure their consent for the nomination.  Nominations are sent to the Director of NCAR or UCP, the Vice-President for Finance and Administration, or the President, as appropriate.  Each nomination must describe how the work meets award criteria.  Team nominations should explicitly describe the individual contributions of each member of the team.

D. Review and Approval

The Director of NCAR or UCP, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, or the President, as appropriate, reviews Special Recognition Award nominations to determine whether they meet the criteria or not and, if they meet the criteria, approves the awards.

E. Amount and Type of Award

No individual award should be greater than $2,500 or less than $500. UCAR pays the personal income taxes on these awards for recipients.

F. Source of Funding

Special Recognition Awards are paid out of program funds by the laboratory or program making the nomination. 

G. Recognition

Directors are encouraged to provide laboratory or program-wide recognition and a copy of the letter of award for the employee's personnel file.  Announcements of UCAR staff receiving Special Recognition Awards are made regularly in UCAR publications.

H. Reporting

An annual report is given to the Personnel Committee of the UCAR Board of Trustees on all Special Recognition Awards given during the preceding 12 months.

Local Appreciation Awards

Labs, divisions, and programs may develop and operate local award programs to recognize notable accomplishments promptly upon completion of the work. Awards may be visible mementos or small gifts with a cash value of no more than $35 each. These expenses may be charged to program funds or discretionary funds. Gift certificates, gift cards, or gift credit cards may not be given to employees as gifts, rewards, or prizes. Per IRS Regulation 1.132-6(c), cash, gift certificates, charge or credit cards are considered an employee fringe benefit and therefore taxable as income to the employee.

Responsibilities

  1. The President is responsible for annually appointing a jury to review all nominations and recommend recipients, if any, for Distinguished Achievement and Outstanding Accomplishment Awards. The President is also responsible for reviewing and approving jury recommendations.

  2. The President, Vice-President for Finance and Administration, Director of NCAR, and Director of UCP are responsible for reviewing and approving their entity's Special Recognition Awards.

  3. UCAR/UCP Program Directors and NCAR Associate Directors are responsible for ensuring the fair and equitable application of this policy, including instituting a system for ensuring that outstanding work that might qualify for the awards described in this policy is not overlooked. They are also responsible for forwarding nominations to the appropriate President's Council member. Finally, they are responsible for submitting notification of approvals, names of awardees, amounts of awards, and account numbers to be charged to the Budget and Finance office.

  4. Supervisors are responsible for being alert to instances for which awards may be warranted and taking appropriate action in such instances.

  5. The Budget and Finance Office is responsible for preparing award checks based on the appropriate authorization.


Last updated on May 6, 2013 - 1:50pm.
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