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.




  • Up to 5 applications accepted per university department
  • An industry-recognized award for Master's geoscience research projects
  • Global recognition for both student and university
  • Prizes of $2500 USD (1st place), $1500 USD (2nd place) and $1000 USD (3rd place) for both student and university department
  • An opportunity to present to an international audience of Exploration and Production companies


To be informed of key EMA deadlines, join our mailing list.


2018 Competition

The application window for the 2018 Earth Model Award is now closed. The winners will be announced in March 2019.

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:

1st place
Kieran Kraus, Imperial College London
'Quantitative Interpretation of Frequency Decomposition Blends Using Seismic Forward Modelling: A Case Study on the Thebe Gas Discovery, Offshore NW Australia'
Supervised by Dr. Rebecca Bell

2nd place
Laura Ward, University of Leicester
'Magnetite as an Indicator Mineral for Magmatic Sulphide Mineralisation: A Case Study from Munali, Zambia'
Supervised by Dr. Dave Holwell

3rd place
Joseph Killen, Royal Holloway University of London
'Regional Assessment of Lithological Variations within the Eagle Ford Shale, Gulf of Mexico, Implications for Unconventional Reservoirs'
Supervised by Prof. Javier Hernández-Molina

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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