The IMO Prize consists of:
- A 14-carat gold medal 57 mm in diameter. It bears on one side the official WMO emblem and on the other side the Latin inscription Pro singulari erga scientiam meteorologicam merito
- A monetary award of 10 000 Swiss francs
- A parchment scroll
Initially, the IMO Prize was granted in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of meteorology. However, when the WMO mandate came to include operational hydrology in 1971, the range of IMO Prize expanded to include it. Today, the IMO Prize covers any other field referred to in Article 2 of the WMO Convention.
Candidates for the IMO prize must be living persons; however, the award may be made posthumously to a candidate who dies between the date of his nomination and that of the awarding of the Prize.
Members of the Executive Council, as electors, are not eligible for the award during their term(s) of office.
Ministers of Foreign Affairs or the Permanent Representatives of WMO Members are invited to nominate candidates for the IMO Prize each year. The Ministers communicate their nominations confidentially to the Secretary-General for transmission to the Selection Committee of the Executive Council. The nomation must include:
- A precise and factual summary of accomplishments that provides a brief statement (1-2 pages) of the individual's achievements in the fields for which the award is proposed. Please include name, professional and home mailing address, present professional title and institutional affiliation.
- The nominee's curriculum viatae or resumé.
- A list of the nominee's publications.
A candidature received after the opening of a session of the Executive Council shall not be considered at that session, but shall be taken into consideration for all subsequent IMO Prizes to be awarded during the financial period in question, as will the names of all candidates submitted but not chosen for the award the year submitted.