NCAR seeks to honor prominent scientists and research engineers with truly outstanding and long-term records of achievement with the highest honors that can be accorded to a member of the NCAR scientist or research engineer community who has retired or is in phased retirement with a Distinguished Scholar appointment.
The criteria for this appointment is based on the
NCAR Scientific and Research Engineering Appointment Criteria with an emphasis on the sustained quality, significance, and productivity of the scientific and service achievements of the nominee. This program recognizes the outstanding quality, extraordinary influence, international recognition, and significance of a nominee’s contributions to the atmospheric and related sciences and the scientific community as a senior scientist or equivalent based on their sustained career achievements.
The appointment criteria also include responses to the following questions:
- How has the nominee’s research fundamentally advanced or changed the field?
- How has the nominee’s research served NCAR and the center/laboratory/observatory mission?
- How has it served the broader research community?
The NCAR Distinguished Scholar recognizes a long-standing and exceptional career that is rich in sustained service and research. For example, honorees may be the recipients of the UCAR Distinguished Achievement Award, AGU Bowie, Fleming or Revelle Medals, AMS Rossby or Charney Medals, or similar professional accolades. For this reason, few extraordinary individuals will qualify. The appointment should be as much an honor for NCAR as it is for the individual.
- To be eligible for a Distinguished Scholar appointment, a nominee must be a retired staff member or a part-time staff member in phased retirement with a Senior Scientist, Project Scientist IV or Senior Research Engineer appointment. An NCAR Emeritus/Emerita may concurrently hold a Distinguished Scholar appointment. In rare instances, preeminent scientists from other institutions who retired from equivalent NCAR Senior Scientist, Project Scientist IV or Senior Research Engineer positions may be nominated for this appointment.
Nominations may be submitted at any time to the NCAR Director and the Director of the Advanced Study Program (ASP). ASP will manage the Distinguished Scholar program funds and coordinate with laboratories to support the Distinguished Scholar honorees.
Distinguished Scholar appointments are made by the NCAR Director, after review and recommendation by the UCAR President, and approval by the UCAR Board of Trustees.
A nomination should include:
- A nomination letter from an NCAR Associate Director or the NCAR Deputy Director (1-2 pages)
- A full curriculum vitae
- A statement by the nominee of his/hers plan for future projects for the next four years (1-2 pages)
Celebration of the Appointment:
The naming of a Distinguished Scholar celebrates the work and career of the individual. To mark the occasion of the appointment, the appointee is expected to present an inaugural lecture hosted by the NCAR Director.
Distinguished Scholar honorees will meet annually with the NCAR Director and the Director of the Advanced Study Program to discuss their research and plans.
- The Distinguished Scholar appointment is for a term of 4 years with the possibility for renewal. Participation in this program does not constitute employment, however Distinguished Scholars may have casual employee or emeritus appointments in addition to the Distinguished Scholar appointment. Scholars may also concurrently hold an Emeritus/Emerita appointment (Special Appointments Policy 6-4).
Funding Support for Distinguished Scholars:
Distinguished Scholars who spend at least six months in residency at NCAR in a given year may be eligible to receive an allocation of funds for non-salary expenses to be negotiated with the NCAR Director based on their plans and needs for that year. Distinguished Scholars are challenged to apply their funds in ways that promote the future success of NCAR. For example, these funds may be used to explore scientific frontiers, advance interactions across disciplines, increase NCAR connections to the university community, promote students, or mentor junior scientists. The typical allocation ranges between $15K and $20K for activities and expenses within federal funding guidelines. The funds may be carried forward into the following fiscal year provided that the carry over and annual allocation total in any given fiscal year does not exceed $20K. Annual discretionary funds may not be used to fund salary for Distinguished Scholars and must be used in a manner that complies with UCAR policies and procedures.
Distinguished Scholars who receive these funds will provide the NCAR Director with a brief annual report of their activities (1-2 pages). These may be highlighted on NCAR web pages and publications, as well as other public venues.
Additional Support for Distinguished Scholars:
A Distinguished Scholar appointment includes the following benefits that enable and encourage continued active research and scholarship. The home laboratory/observatory/program of the Scholar will provide dedicated office/lab space, a computer and tech support, telephone services, an email account, basic administrative travel support and library privileges.
Distinguished Scholars may seek awards for NCAR-led research, education and outreach and serve as a collaborator, Co-Investigator, or Co-Principle Investigator on proposals and grants with an NCAR Principal Investigator (PI) subject to sponsor requirements and NCAR policies. The NCAR Principal Investigator shall serve as the contact PI, with whom all communications between the program officials and project relating to the scientific, technical and budgetary aspects of the project. The term of a Distinguished Scholar serving as a Co- Principal Investigator or significant contributor to an award will be extended to cover the period of performance of the grant. The Distinguished Scholar will enter into an appropriate agreement covering confidentiality, conflicts of interest and intellectual property, consistent with the UCAR Conflicts of Interest and Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer policies.