TOS Early Career Award


The TOS Early Career Award is presented biennially to up to three TOS Early Career members for significant early-career research contributions and impact, and the potential for future achievements in the field of oceanography. Additionally, the Early Career Award seeks to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions toward educating and mentoring in the ocean sciences community and/or who have a record of outstanding outreach, and/or science communication, and/or collaborative work towards meaningful societal impact.


Outstanding contributions to the understanding of and/or advancement or application of oceanography and the potential for future achievements in the field of oceanography.

These contributions may be demonstrated by:

  • Outstanding contributions in educating and mentoring within the ocean science community
  • Outstanding outreach and/or science communication beyond the scientific community



  • Active membership in The Oceanography Society is not required at the time of nomination.
  • TOS officers and members of the Council are not eligible for selection during their terms of service.
  • Nomination is for an individual from any country. Nominations are sought of individuals that have not received similar awards in the past three years (from TOS or other societies). At the time of the nomination, the nominee must be within 12* years (using the last month of the year as the completion date) of receiving their PhD or the highest equivalent terminal degree. The number of years post-terminal degree will change to 10 years after the 2023 nomination cycle. Exceptions to this requirement may be granted by the committee for early career interruptions related to maternity/paternity or caregiver leave or other standard university tenure clock extensions. Nominators should describe the reasons for an exception in their nomination letter.
  • If selected, nominees must certify their compliance with all TOS policies, specifically the Professional Integrity, Ethics, and Conduct and Guidelines on Implementation.



  • Supporters are not required to be TOS members.


  • Nominations must include the elements described in the Nomination Package section below.
  • Nominations must be submitted using the online system. You will be prompted to login. If you don’t have an existing account, please create a New Users account in order to complete your submission.
  • Submissions are due by October 31, 2025.


Nominations are must include the following elements:


  • Please suggest text that may be edited to appear in news releases and on a certificate presented to the recipient. The text of this citation should be 200 characters or less.


  • Nominee’s curriculum vita or resume (five pages maximum) must be up to date and include the nominee’s name, mailing and email addresses.
  • A description of the nominee's outstanding contributions (two pages maximum). If in the form of a bibliography, include key publications or products and indicate when students or postdocs appear as first author. If in narrative form, please provide descriptions and include any links that may be available to reference material (website, projects, initiatives, etc.).


  • The nomination letter can be a maximum of two pages and must include the name, title, affiliation, and contact information for the nominator or co-nominators.
  • The letter should succinctly describe why the nominee is suited to receive the award, highlight their accomplishments, and elaborate on any information that is not specifically addressed in the nomination materials.


  • At least two but not more than three individuals may provide support for the nomination. These individuals are in addition to the nominator or co-nominators. Supporting letters are capped at one page in length and must include the supporter's name, title, and contact information, relationship to the nominee, and clear justification for the qualifications of the nominee.
  • A fillable PDF is available here. After completion, the form may be sent directly to the nominator for inclusion with other nomination materials.


2021 – April Abbott
For contributions to chemical oceanography, providing a new view of the marine REE cycle, and training the next generation of ocean scientists
> Learn More


2021 – Ryan Abernathey
For fundamental contributions on the role of turbulence in the ocean general circulation, and for providing our community with tools that accelerate the pace of scientific discovery
> Learn More
2021 – James Watson
For excellence in the use of diverse disciplines such as mathematics, economics, behavioral science, and oceanography to study coupled human-natural interactions in the ocean
> Learn More


If you have any questions about the the TOS Early Career Award, please contact Jenny Ramarui, TOS Executive Director.

Background photo credit: Single Fin Photo/Ocean Image Bank

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