Bylaws concerning Leonard Medal, Nier Prize and Fellows

Rules for operation and nominations of the committee

  1. Nominations for the Leonard Medal, Nier Prize, and Fellows
    1. Examples of "closely allied fields of research" eligible for consideration include experimental and theoretical studies of the following: lunar and planetary samples, meteors, meteoroids, interplanetary dust particles, asteroids, comets, tektites, and impact phenomena; origin and evolution of the solar system and its components.
    2. Members of Council and the Leonard Medal Committee are ineligible for consideration for the Leonard Medal, Nier Prize, and Fellows during their terms of office. Nominations pending or received during their tenure will be kept by the Secretary in suspended status, and will be reactivated only after the nominee has regained eligibility.
    3. The Secretary of the Society will call for nominations by announcements in the early autumn each year. Such nominations will normally be accepted up to February 15 of the next year for consideration in that year. All members of the Society are eligible to submit nominations. Non-members are also eligible but their nominations must be seconded by a member. During their term of office, members of the Council and of the Leonard Medal Committee are not allowed to nominate candidates.
    4. The minimum requirements for a nomination for the Leonard Medal are: a) A formal letter of nomination, b) A biographical sketch of the candidate, c) A list of publications covering the work to be considered for the award, d) Additional substantive information, such as statements as to the importance of the nominee's research to the field of meteoritics and/or to the research of others, e) One supporting letter; additional supporting letters are encouraged, but limited to a total of three (3) supporting letters. f) Hard copy will be accepted, but electronic copies are encouraged, sent to the Meteoritical Society Secretary ( and the Leonard Medal Committee Chair.
    5. The minimum requirements for a nomination for the Nier Prize are the same as for a nomination for the Leonard Medal. Given the early career status of the nominee, lead nominators are also encouraged to update the nomination package yearly to ensure it fully captures the nominee’s latest accomplishments. In addition, a nomination for the Nier Prize must include the candidate's birth date. If a substantial portion of a Nier Prize candidate's research was performed and published in collaboration with a research advisor (i.e., in a student or post-doctoral relationship) or under multiple authorship, then a statement which describes the nominee's leading role in the research is strongly encouraged. The recipient will be a scientist who has not yet reached his or her thirty-fifth birthday at the end of the calendar year in which he or she is selected by the Council, or whose doctorate was awarded no more than seven calendar years before the year of selection by the Council.
    6. Nominations for fellows should be signed by the nominator and include a summary of the candidate’s accomplishments (suggested length: ~150-200 words) together with a list of 5-10 of the candidate’s most significant publications, including titles. Nominations should be sent to the Meteoritical Society Secretary ( and to the chair of the Leonard Medal Committee.
    7. Nominations for the Leonard Medal and the Nier Prize will remain active for five selection cycles, with the appropriate age restriction for the Nier Prize. Nominations for Fellows will be considered for three selection cycles in total. However candidates who are deemed insufficiently qualified may be dropped after the second year by unanimous vote of the committee.
    8. Renominations require the same documentation as original nominations. For the Leonard Medal, renominations must be at least three years after the original nomination has expired. Renominations for the Nier Prize and for Fellows do not require this delay and can be considered immediately for the next available selection opportunity.
    9. If independent nominations of a candidate are received in the same year, the first received will be considered the nomination and the others will be treated as supporting letters.
  2. Committee procedures
    1. The Chair will review all nominations received and take such actions as may be necessary to complete the documentation of each candidate. He/She will acknowledge the receipt of any nominations or supporting letters that have been received other than through the Secretary of the Society and will so advise the Secretary. He/She will also consult with the Chair of the Barringer Award Committee, to determine whether any candidates have been nominated for both awards. In such a case, the two chairs shall remain in close communication throughout the selection process.
    2. The Committee shall critically examine each nomination for significant inaccuracies or exaggerations. If the Committee lacks expertise, then it shall, upon request of any member, seek confidential outside advice. Any such information, whether internal or external, shall become a permanent part of the nomination.
    3. The Committee will review the available pool of nominees. As needed, the Chair will obtain advocates for the strongest of these candidates (as determined by a straw poll) by soliciting volunteers within the Committee and assigning the remaining cases. Committee members are free to seek outside help in preparing advocacy materials and to supplement nominations with their own evaluations or other material.
    4. The Committee and Council shall observe strict confidentiality throughout the entire selection process. Documents, remarks, and criticisms regarding qualifications of nominees may not be communicated to anyone not a member of the Committee or Council. Persons providing nominations, documentation, or advice shall also be urged to maintain confidentiality.
    5. The Chair will ensure that Committee members have all available documents on every candidate under active consideration, and a copy of these rules.
    6. Voting should conform to recent practice. The Chair will call for rankings on which members rank each candidate in order of preference, with 1 for first choice, 2 for second, etc.
    7. The Committee shall discuss the results of the first ballot before proceeding to the second ballot. The Chair shall schedule the second ballot only after all members have had an opportunity to exchange views in person or by email. Members may offer comments or supplementary information on candidates who, in their opinion, ranked higher or lower than they deserve. After such discussion, the Chair will decide on the number of candidates to be included in the second ballot. Members of the Committee may call for further ballots until their first and second choices are defined.
    8. The Committee will advise the Council of its first and second choice for the Leonard Medal and for the Nier Prize, or if it considers that no worthy candidate has been nominated. The Committee shall prepare a slate of Fellow candidates, which may be of any length, but normally will be a length equal to one percent of the Society membership rounded up to the next highest integer. The Committee will also review the status of the remaining candidates and report the list to Council.
  3. Presentation of the Awards
    1. The recipient of the Leonard Medal shall receive a ceremonial medal as well as $1500 USD, awarded from the General Endowment Fund.
    2. The recipient of the Nier Prize shall receive a certificate as well as $1500 USD, awarded from the Nier Fund.
    3. Those selected as Fellows shall receive a certificate.