Both kinds of award roles are premium-only.
With award roles, you can have Starboard automatically assign roles based on a members XP (XP Roles) or position on the leaderboard (Pos Roles). You can have both kinds setup at the same time, but a role cannot be both an XPRole and a PosRole.
On a side-note, you can have a role be a PermRole (see PermRoles) and an award role at the same time. This lets you do things like, only allowing members who have received enough upvotes to upvote others' messages.