Award Policies

The Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) is a research institute of the University of Miami located in the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science. CIMAS serves as a mechanism to bring together the research resources of the University with those of NOAA in order to develop a center of excellence in research that is relevant to understanding the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere within the context of the NOAA’s mission. CIMAS is dedicated to fundamental and interdisciplinary research and to communicating these findings to the global scientific community, to decision‐makers, and to the public.

To further its mission and to enhance morale CIMAS has developed award programs to recognize excellence and extraordinary effort by its employees. In addition, these programs promote the essential goal of achieving appropriate equity for CIMAS employees working alongside NOAA employees at the local Miami NOAA facilities: OAR/AOML, NMFS/SEFSC or NWS/NHC. The levels of remuneration are updated when necessary to reflect the current levels of remuneration for similar awards available with DOC/NOAA to federal employees. In all cases, the funds for awards through these programs are provided to CIMAS by NOAA specifically for this purpose.

CIMAS Awards

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  • Outstanding Performance – Special Act or Service Awards

    CIMAS annually solicits nominations from all CIMAS Fellows and staff for outstanding performance by an individual or team during the previous years. Awards are made in two categories. Science Awards recognize CIMAS members for outstanding contributions to scientific research or development work (including engineering projects), and Service Awards recognize CIMAS members for outstanding service in administration, information technology, project management, outreach, or other work not directly related to scientific research or development.

    In evaluating the nominations, careful attention is given to: demonstration of initiative, resourcefulness, and creativity; work that has a substantial impact within and external to the nominee’s workplace; performance that is extraordinary relative to regular job responsibilities and that reflects the nominee’s willingness to seek out new challenges. An awards committee chaired by the CIMAS Associate Director and consisting of NOAA and university CIMAS Fellows submits its recommendations to the CIMAS Director for final selection. The CIMAS Director makes the final determination of the number of awards to be given if any, and the awardees.

    All CIMAS employees are eligible excepting only CIMAS Fellows, CIMAS Management, and undergraduate students.

    Awardees receive monetary awards and certificates and their names will be engraved on CIMAS Outstanding Performance Award plaques that will hang in the CIMAS building.

    Typical award amounts are $2,500 – $10,000 for each award, divided equally among team members. Under this award policy, CIMAS may vary the amount of the Outstanding Performance awards at its discretion, not to exceed $10,000 to any individual employee in any given year.

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  • Cash-in-a-Flash Recognition Program

    This program rewards and encourages continued hard work from employees by enabling management to award modest but immediate cash recognition for exceptional performance.

    The program emulates the NOAA Cash‐in‐Your‐Account program and is part of a CIMAS effort to achieve equitable treatment for CIMAS employees at the NOAA facilities. It is intended for situations such as:

    • Completing a short‐term project or significant milestone in less time than expected or when unusual difficulties had to be overcome.
    • Developing new or revised procedures or other contributions toward improving productivity.
    • Handling an unusually heavy workload, e.g., because co‐workers are absent.
    • Completing a significant special assignment that is outside normal job responsibilities.
    • Planning a special event that is particularly successful.

    Recipients may receive awards in net amounts of $50.00.

    All CIMAS employees are eligible except CIMAS Fellows and Senior Management.

    Nominations may be by any NOAA or University employee. Nominations must include the name(s) of candidate CIMAS employees, the amount requested, and a concise statement of the achievement or circumstance that justifies the award. All nominations must be endorsed by NOAA project leads advisor(s) (where applicable) and the budget authority at the appropriate NOAA facility. Approval of awards rests with the CIMAS Director with the concurrence of the CIMAS Executive Committee.


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  • CIMAS Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals

    CIMAS employees are sometimes members of collaborative CIMAS‐NOAA team the Federal members of which receive NOAA or Department of Commerce Bronze, Silver or Gold Medal awards. CIMAS endeavors to award CIMAS members of such team’s comparable medals. The medal is typically a custom‐made mounted plaque made of wood, metal, plastic and textiles. In the event NOAA provides monetary awards to federal members of such teams CIMAS will endeavor to make comparable awards to CIMAS members.

    Eligibility is limited to CIMAS employees on collaborative CIMAS‐NOAA teams the Federal members of which receive NOAA or DOC medals. Identification of CIMAS team members is made in consultation with NOAA team members. Approval of awards rests with the CIMAS Director with the concurrence of the CIMAS Executive Committee.