Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Outstanding Performance Awards


This email address is for questions only; nominations cannot be accepted by email.

The CIRES Outstanding Performance Awards are targeted at projects that are novel, high impact and show remarkable creativity or resourcefulness.

In the Science and Engineering category this may involve any work that is related to the scientific process (forming and testing hypotheses to further our understanding of the environmental sciences). Examples of such work and description of traits leading to exceptional work include:

  • Development of new scientific, engineering and/or software tools or models directly resulting in novel research valuable to CIRES and the wider scientific community.
  • Uncommon initiative, resourcefulness, and/or scientific creativity conducting research with potential to expand or change the direction of a particular field or discipline.
  • Participation in collaborative and/or multidisciplinary research that engages a broader cross-section than the nominee’s typical scientific or engineering community.

Projects in the Science and Engineering category are often associated with published or forthcoming results in the peer reviewed literature. Please include in the application any relevant scientific references or press coverage the work received.

In the Service category this may involve any work that facilitates, supports, enhances, or promotes work in the environmental sciences, such as:

  • Implementation of a creative or innovative idea, device, process, or system that aids in research, teaching, or outreach at CIRES.
  • Development or improvement of a service that increases the efficiency, quality or visibility of scientific research or outreach.
  • Providing a service that promotes or inspires excellence and dedication to research performed at CIRES or in the wider community.

Projects in the Service category are successful because of the utility they have within the community. Please include any letters of support or supplemental material that may aid the committee in appreciating the value of the service provided.

At the time of the nomination deadline, nominees must be active CIRES employees for both individual and team awards. In order to receive an OPA award, the nominee must also still be a CIRES employee at the time of the CIRES rendezvous.

We have many outstanding members in CIRES ... let's honor them!

CIRES annually solicits nominations, from any colleague or associate of a CIRES employee, for outstanding performance by an individual or team during the previous year. These nominations are reviewed by a sub-committee of the CIRES Member's Council (CMC), referred to as the CMC Awards Committee. The Science and Engineering Award recognizes a CIRES member or team for outstanding contributions to scientific research or engineering work , and the Service Award recognizes a CIRES member or team for outstanding service in support of science and engineering.

In evaluating the nominations, careful attention is given to each candidate's fulfillment and exceedance of the award criteria. Criteria for nominations in each category will be announced as the Outstanding Award Program nomination period is opened each year. The CMC Awards Committee presents their top recommendations to the CIRES Director and CMC for final approval. The CIRES Director makes the final determination of the number of awards to be given.

All renewable-term CIRES employees are eligible except CIRES Fellows, visiting scientists, senior management, undergraduate students, and graduate students who are not part of a larger team effort.

Awardees receive monetary awards, certificates and their names are engraved on CIRES Outstanding Performance Award plaques that hang in CIRES buildings.

Typical award amounts are $2,000 for each award, divided equally among team members. Under this award policy CIRES may vary the amount of the Outstanding Performance awards at its discretion, not to exceed $5,000 to any individual employee in any year.

Nominations must have been received by 5 p.m. MST, Feb. 17, 2020