How to Prepare an Effective Award Nomination


SPE Awards: How to prepare an effective award nomination from Society of Petroleum Engineers


Why take the time?

  • Preparing an effective nomination is the key to presenting the accomplishments of a candidate to the award committee
  • SPE Awards are very competitive! Award committees review many excellent candidates.
  • International committees may not know your candidate.
  • You must communicate to the committee using the nomination. Writing is important.

Why is writing important?

  • Award committees rely on concise and complete nominations
  • Well written nominations allow committee members to use their time effectively
  • Poorly prepared nominations will not highlight the technical or service accomplishments of your candidate
  • You must communicate effectively to give your candidate a good chance

Keys to a Good Nomination

A best practices document is available to assist members in creating a good nomination. Key points are:

  • Start early - The call for nominations begins in November
  • Research the criteria and candidate
  • Write a well documented argument
  • Complete nomination form
  • Request endorsements (international only)
  • Submit by the deadline

Review Award Criteria

Awards fall into three categories:

  • Membership Designations
    • Honorary and Distinguished Membership
  • Professional & Service Awards
    • Service to SPE and to the public
  • Technical Awards
    • Based on SPE technical disciplines and sub disciplines

Select the Appropriate Award

  • Global or regional?
  • Technical or service?
  • Technical discipline and sub discipline?
  • Current professional member of SPE?
  • Age?

Who is Not Eligible?

  • You cannot nominate yourself
  • SPE Board of Directors
  • Award Committee Members (nominated award only)
    • Current and for 2 years after service
  • Honorary Members
  • Members ordinarily resident in countries sanctioned by the US and EU
  • Student Members

Complete a Nomination Form

  • Go to the to find links to the forms.
  • You must log in using your SPE email address and password.
    • Use the login help link or contact SPE Customer Service if you do not know your login information.
  • Find your candidate.
  • Search using candidate’s full name or email address.
  • Enter all required information on the form.
  • You must submit to complete the nomination.

Provide Justification

  • Write a concise, one-sentence statement explaining why the candidate should receive the award. (required)
  • Provide specific examples of the candidate’s work that support the award criteria(required)
    • Justification must include specific examples that support the award requirements.
    • This is your opportunity to communicate the best qualifications of your candidate to the judges.

Provide Documentation (For international awards only)

Professional history:

  • Education
  • Job experience
  • Company affiliations
  • Licenses and certifications
  • Organization membership

Optional Documentation (For international awards only)

  • Major Accomplishments
    • Worldwide
    • Local
    • Company
    • Academic
    • Public Service
  • A list of the five publications that represents the candidate’s best work

Solicit Support

  • Colleagues familiar with the candidate’s work can provide letters in support of the nomination.
  • Letters should contain specific examples that support the award requirements.
  • Letters are highly recommended, but not required.

Nominations are Confidential

  • All SPE Award nomination materials are confidential.
  • SPE staff can only provide the name of the candidate, the nominator, and the award.
  • Members cannot review nomination forms or support letters they did not provide.
  • Candidates cannot review the nomination.

Meet the Deadline

  • The call for nominations begins in September.
  • All SPE award nominations and letters of support must be received by 15 February.
  • All regional award nominations must be received by 1 March.

Regional Recipients

  • Regional technical and service award recipients become candidates for international awards in the following year.
  • Regional nominators should use the same level of documentation required for international awards.
  • Additional letters of recommendation may be submitted for international consideration.
  • International award selection committees may choose not to review incomplete or inadequate nominations.


SPE International Awards Program

Cynthia Thompson