Earth Model Award

The Earth Model Award is an international geoscience competition rewarding excellence in Master’s level research.

The Earth Model Award (EMA) was established as the Neftex Earth Model Award in 2012, in affiliation with the Geological Society of London, to foster the link between industry and academia by rewarding excellence in Master’s level research.





  • An industry-recognized award for Master's geoscience research projects
  • Global recognition for both student and university
  • An opportunity to present to an international audience of Exploration and Production companies

2018 Competition

The application window for the 2018 Earth Model Award is now open and will close on October 31st 2018. We accept applications from any eligible student who completes their Master's degree in 2018. The research should have a strong focus on global geoscience, with implications for natural resource exploration.

Please read the TERMS & CONDITIONS and FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS before submitting your entry.

2017 Competition

The 2017 EMA competition was the first to be opened to an international audience and with entries from nine countries including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the United States, it was a great success. As with previous years, the standard was very high and some very insightful and well written thesis were submitted. Our winners are;

First prize: Kieran Kraus, Imperial College London, for his thesis entitled 'Quantitative Interpretation of Frequency Decomposition Blends Using Seismic Forward Modelling: A Case Study on the Thebe Gas Discovery, Offshore NW Australia'.

Second prize: Laura Ward, University of Leicester, for her thesis entitled 'Magnetite as an Indicator Mineral for Magmatic Sulphide Mineralisation: A Case Study from Munali, Zambia'.

Third prize: Joseph Killen, Royal Holloway, for his thesis entitled 'Regional Assessment of Lithological Variations within the Eagle Ford Shale, Gulf of Mexico, Implications for Unconventional Reservoirs'.

Congratulations to our three winners and their university departments.

2016 Competition

The 2016 competition was open to UK-based geoscience students with projects applicable to exploration geoscience. It was an extremely competitive year with many excellent submissions providing a real challenge for the judging panel. The panel selected three superbly executed projects with integrated global geoscience significance:

1st place
James Hamilton-Wright
Imperial College London
‘Investigating the controls of salt movement using finite element modelling’.
Supervised by Prof. Howard Johnson

2nd place
Daniela Vendettuoli
Royal Holloway University of London
‘What is the depositional and architectural signature of turbidity current activity? New insights from the most extensive dataset yet recorded’.
Supervised by Dr. Dave Waltham

3rd place
Huw Richards
Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter
‘Cu–Ag–Au mineralisation of the Agdz Project: characterisation and ore deposit models’.
Supervised by Dr. Robin Shail

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