Scientific Appointment Modernization (SAM) Project

SAM Co-Design Recruitment

Please review the message below from Everette Joseph and Bill Kuo to learn more about the initiative and how to get involved! 

Many of you may have heard about the new initiative called Scientific Appointment Modernization (SAM), which aims to review and improve the scientific appointments process across NCAR and UCP, and is aligned with UCAR’s new Workforce Management Plan

As a national leader in Earth System Science, NCAR and UCP must offer and support a scientific workforce advancement plan that develops, retains, and attracts the highest caliber of multi-generational talent. In order to do so, NCAR and UCP must evolve the scientific appointments process to help continue to build the talented and diverse workforce that will collectively drive the cutting edge, community-focused science necessary to advance the field. This initiative aims to further develop a system in which staff can navigate through their careers, be supported to do the work that will collectively tackle critical emerging community needs, and be recognized and rewarded for impactful and innovative scientific exploration and research. 

Involving staff in SAM is critical for its success. Thus, a Co-Design Team made up of 10-12 volunteer staff members is being established to lead the study phase of SAM. This team will review the current appointment system and develop recommendations accordingly for key stakeholders and leadership to review.

Some of the specific activities the SAM Co-design Team will be focused on:

    • Identifying and assessing requirements for NCAR/UCP’s future scientific needs 
    • Reviewing NCAR/UCP’s current approach to scientific career placement and advancement between the different scientific career paths
    • Engaging key stakeholders
    • Evaluating what works well and where there are opportunities for improvement
    • Developing and recommending options to be considered by the NCAR Executive Committee, UCP Directors and other key stakeholders 


At this time, we are asking for volunteers from across NCAR and UCP to fill 10 - 12 positions on the SAM Co-design Team. The time commitment for Co-design Team members is expected to be 3-5 hours per month over the course of approximately one year. Membership of the committee will be demographically diverse and will include representation from a variety of job classifications of scientific staff from different tracks at various career stages, administrators, and other job classifications as necessary.  Additionally, there will be at least one external committee member  from a peer institution. The NCAR Executive Committee (EC), NCAR Scientist Assembly (NSA) and Early Career Scientist Assembly (ECSA) will be involved in the Co-design Team selection process and have the goal to select volunteers that will collectively represent diverse roles, backgrounds, and perspectives. 

If you are interested in being a part of the Co-design Team, please complete this application form by Monday, Feb. 1. If you would like to nominate either an external or internal colleague(s) to be on the co-design team, please complete this nomination form by Friday, Jan. 22. The SAM Core Project Team will then reach out to those individuals and encourage them to apply. It is expected that the Co-design Team members will be announced later in February. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the SAM Core Project Team at The SAM Core Project Team’s role is to provide project management support and to work closely with the Co-design Team to ensure that they have the tools, resources and support needed along their path toward making final recommendations. The Core Project Team currently includes Scott McIntosh, Chelsea Castellano, Joanne Graham, Tom Cordova, and Julie Kramer, with additional members expected to join as the initiative progresses.   

Thank you for your time and interest in participating on the SAM Co-design Team!

Dr. Everette Joseph
Director, National Center for Atmospheric Research 

Dr. William Kuo
Director, UCAR Community Programs