The Leif Erikson Exploration Awards (LEEA) are presented every year by The Exploration Museum for outstanding individual or collective achievements in the field of exploration in three categories: the Leif Erikson Exploration Award, the Leif Erikson Young Explorer Award and the Leif Erikson Exploration History Award.
The three winners are announced during the annual Explorers Festival, after a two-stage process.
STAGE 1 – Nominations
a. ONLINE PUBLIC VOTING – Nominations voting is conducted using online ballots, by means of an online form. Voting for nominations begins in mid-January. Until the end of April, the general public has the chance to contribute nominating people or organizations, in all the three categories, worthy of a nomination (to correctly format a nomination, please read these tips).
b. CREATION OF THE FINAL GROUP OF NOMINEES – Once the voting is closed, the Exploration Museum’s Scientific Committee examines all the nominations and each of the five members proceeds to the designation of two nominees in each of the three categories. Every member of the Committee has to select at least one nominee per category from the online nomination results. The second nominee in each category can, instead, be freely chosen by the members of the Committee. The same person or organization can be indicated as a final nominee by more than one member of the Committee (or even by all the five of them). Therefore, the final group of nominees can vary between 10 (if the two nominees chosen by each of the five members of the Committee are all different) and 2 (if the two nominees are all the same ones) candidates in each category.
c. ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE NOMINATION RESULTS – Final nomination results are announced online by The Exploration Museum.
STAGE 2 – Final Voting
a. PRE-VOTING DEBATE – A discussion among the Scientific Committee’s members precedes the voting, with the purpose of examining the profiles of all the final nominees.
b. FIRST ROUND OF VOTING – The first round of the final voting requires each member of the Committee to select a top three in every category. The nominees ranked first receive 5 points, the seconds 3 points, the thirds 1 point. The three nominees with the highest score in each category go to the second round. If two or more nominees collected the same amount of points, the precedence would be accorded to the one placed first the most times. In the case of a further draw, the precedence would be accorded to the nominee placed second the most times.
— If in the final group of nominees in a category, as resulting from Stage 1.b, there are only 2 or 3 candidates, this step is omitted. —
c. GENDER FILTER – The three nominees going to the final voting in each category must include candidates of both the sexes. If the three nominees with the higher score in a category are all of the same sex, the nominee of the other sex with the highest score replaces the third.
— If in the final group of nominees in a category, as resulting from Stage 1.b, all the candidates are of the same sex, this step is omitted. —
d. ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE FIRST VOTING RESULTS – First voting results are announced online by The Exploration Museum.
e. FINAL VOTING – The second and final round of the voting is conducted similarly to Stage 2.b. The three nominees in each category are ranked by every member of the Committee. The nominees ranked first receive 5 points, the seconds 3 points, the thirds 1 point. The nominee with the highest score in each category is awarded the Leif Erikson Exploration Award in that category. If two or more nominees collected the same amount of points, the award would be conferred to the one placed first the most times. In the case of a further draw, the award would be conferred to the nominee placed first by the chairman of the Committee or, if the chairman chose a nominee with less points, to the nominee placed second the most times.
f. ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE LEEA WINNERS – The three winners are announced during the Explorers Festival and, afterwards, online.