The Topaz Tool FAQ

What is Topaz?

Topaz is a tool to help Earth scientists discover awards, grants and scholarships (hereby collectively referred to as awards) in the Earth Sciences and to promote the nomination of amazing geoscientists who deserve recognition for their work.

Where do the awards come from?

Most awards come from the major geological societies, along with some smaller regional and private groups.

How did you choose the awards?

Awards were chosen based on the following criteria:

  1. Nomination for an award must be possible by the public or by members of the award sponsor i.e. awards that only accept nominations by closed committees or presidents are not included.

  2. Awards must honor contributions to the Earth Sciences as a whole and not only the award sponsor organization i.e. internal awards for best society member are not included.

  3. Awards must be commonly awarded e.g. awards that are presented only once every 10 years are not included.

  4. The criteria for an award must be reasonable e.g. awards which require a nomination from 15 committee members and the signature of the Queen of England are not included.

Is Topaz sponsored by any organization?

Topaz is not sponsored by an organization and has been fully coded and created by Dr. Arthur "Turi" Adams and on Twitter as @carbonateTuri

Why did you make Topaz?

After seeing multiple geological societies repeatedly call for nominations for awards that I had never even heard of, I realized how difficult it can be to discover awards in your field. It was difficult to quickly tell if you were old/young enough, had enough or too much experience or were living in the right place to be eligible for most awards. Topaz was built to improve the award discovery process and encourage Earth scientists to find awards and nominate themselves or their peers. With Topaz, now anyone can quickly see what awards they are eligible for.

How are ECR, MCR, LSR defined?

An ECR is an early career researcher; defined here as someone with up to 10 years of post-graduate experience. A MCR is a mid career researcher with up to 25 years of experience and a LSR is a late stage researcher and is someone with over 25 years of post-graduate experience. Different organizations define these terms differently, so make sure to check with the award sponsor for their definitions.

How did you make this?

During the first COVID-19 lockdown I began to learn web-design and javascript, which led me to create MicroMyEarth. The data for this web app was manually collected by visiting hundreds of websites and meticulously recording award details. This web app was my first web app project and uses a dynamically called JSON list with React, a javascript framework. The entire app creation process took three weeks of coding, over a month of data collection and a lot of head scratching!

An award is missing, can I submit one?

Absolutely; contact us through our contact page and it will be added as soon as possible.

An award is incorrect, can you correct it?

Absolutely; contact us through our contact page and it will be amended as soon as possible.

How are the awards distributed?

Check out the image below to learn about the types of awards in Topaz.

Pie chart infographic of the types and the distribution of Earth Science awards.