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Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award Rules

The Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Awards are given to recognize exemplary research by undergraduate and graduate students who present posters at meetings of the AAS. Awardees are honored with a Chambliss medal or, in the case of honorable mention, a certificate.


  1. Only poster presentations submitted by the on-time abstract deadline are eligible for judging. Late abstracts are ineligible.
  2. Participants must indicate during the abstract-submission process that they want their poster considered for the Chambliss student award.
  3. Student presenters must be members of the AAS (if you're not already a member, you may join the Society between submitting your abstract and registering for the meeting — and you must do so by the last day of regular registration). Note: SPS students submit their meeting abstracts as nonmembers and thus are not eligible to enter the Chambliss competition without first becoming junior members of the AAS.
  4. To be eligible for an award, work featured on a poster must have been done within the past year and while the presenter was an undergraduate or graduate student; high-school students are ineligible.
  5. Undergraduate and graduate-student posters will be judged separately; winners will be chosen in each category.
  6. Participants must be present at their posters at the scheduled judging times; if not, they will be automatically disqualified.
  7. Students who have won Chambliss medals in a given category, i.e., undergraduate or graduate, are not eligible to enter the Chambliss competition again in that same category. Runners-up, i.e., students who have been cited with honorable mentions, remain eligible to compete in the same category again.


  1. Eligible submissions will be assigned to poster sessions on the first, second, or third day of the meeting. Like all AAS presenters, students will be informed in advance when their posters are scheduled.
  2. Advanced graduate students who have finished their coursework and/or who have passed their qualifying exams and/or who are working on their dissertation research are eligible (and encouraged!) to judge undergraduate entries — but not if they have also entered a poster into the graduate-student Chambliss competition.
  3. Judges will be drawn from the broad AAS membership, not just those who work in a matching subject area; students should not expect judges to be experts on their topic.
  4. Judges may view student posters whenever they wish throughout the day, and students are encouraged to spend as much time at their posters as possible. Students must be at their posters during the morning break (usually 9:30 to 10:00 am) and again during the afternoon poster session (usually 5:30 to 6:30 pm), as those are the times when judges will be looking to speak with students about their research.
  5. Judges may choose whether to identify themselves as such when evaluating posters (i.e., they may choose to remain anonymous). Judges may also choose whether to contact the students whose posters they are judging to schedule appointments to meet at their posters.
  6. Judges' score sheets will not be shared with other judges or with students. AAS staff will tally judges' scores and choose student winners in both the undergraduate and graduate student categories.
  7. Judging criteria: Content knowledge as demonstrated orally and on the poster is weighted two-thirds, and other aspects of the oral presentation and poster are weighted one-third. See the judging forms linked under RESOURCES below for details.


The deadline for entering a poster in the Chambliss student-award competition is the same as the meeting's on-time abstract deadline, which is usually around 1 October for winter meetings and around 1 March for summer meetings (check the appropriate meeting page); late papers are not eligible.


The award winners will be announced shortly after the meeting on the AAS website and on the AAS Facebook page.

Awardees are honored with a gold-plated brass Chambliss medal (76 mm, 240 g); runners-up, if any, receive a certificate of honorable mention.

The Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Awards do not come with a monetary prize.