ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award

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ACM established the Doctoral Dissertation Award program to recognize and encourage superior research and writing by doctoral candidates in computer science and engineering. The award is presented each June at the ACM Awards Banquet and is accompanied by a prize of $20,000 plus travel expenses to the banquet.  As of January 1, 2014 all winning dissertations are published exclusively in print and electronic formats as part of the ACM Books Series, which includes distribution through the ACM Digital Library.  Honorable Mention(s) may also be awarded, with a prize of $10,000 shared among recipients.


Eligibility requirements updated November 2019.

Nominations are considered on a yearly eligibility cycle that opens October 1st and ends the following September 30th. A nomination is for a single dissertation; related dissertations cannot be combined in a single nomination. Only the accepted final version of a nominated Ph.D. dissertation will be considered, and it must have been filed with the writer’s institution during the eligibility cycle. Only the writer’s Ph.D. advisor may nominate a dissertation, and a dissertation may be nominated only once. Only one nomination may be submitted per institution per eligibility cycle, unless the institution granted more than 10 PhD’s in computing-related fields during that cycle, in which case two dissertations may be nominated. Nominations are welcomed from any country, but the dissertation version submitted for consideration must be in English. The deadline for submission of nominations is October 31st (one month after eligibility cycle’s end), unless a dissertation requires translation to English, in which case the deadline is November 30th (two months after the eligibility cycle’s end).

Next Deadline

October 31, 2023- End of Day, Anywhere on Earth (AoE), UTC -12

November 30, 2023 – End of Day, Anywhere on Earth (AoE), UTC-12, for dissertations being translated into English.

Selection Criteria

Dissertations will be reviewed for technical depth and significance of the research contribution, potential impact on theory and practice, and quality of presentation.


Nominations for the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award should be submitted using the online nomination form.  Make sure to select the Doctoral Dissertation Award in the dropdown box at the top.  Guidelines for nominators and endorsers can be found here.   Each nomination involves several components:

  • Name, address, phone number, and email address of the nominator (the student’s thesis advisor)
  • Name, address, and email address of the candidate (person being nominated).  Affiliation should be the name of the school.
  • Suggested citation if the candidate is selected.  This should be a concise statement (maximum of 25 words) describing the key technical or professional accomplishment for which the candidate merits this award.  Note that the final wording for awardees will be at the discretion of the Award Committee.
  • Nomination statement (200-300 words in length) addressing why the candidate should receive this award.  This should address the significance of the dissertation, not simply repeat the information in the abstract.
  • Copy of the dissertation, together with a copyright transfer form filled out by the candidate and assigning exclusive publication rights to ACM (select either the copyright or license form).  Copyright will revert to the author if it is not selected for publication.  The copyright form can be attached as the last page of the dissertation in your pdf upload.
  • Endorsement letters.  The nomination must include an endorsement letter from the department head.  In addition, at least 3, and not more than 5, supporting letters should be included from experts in the field who can provide additional insights or evidence of the dissertation’s impact.  (The nominator/advisor may not write a letter of support.)  Each letter should include the name, address, and telephone number of the endorser.  The nominator should collect the letters and bundle them for submission.  The endorsement letter and supporting letters can be combined in one file in your pdf upload.

For questions on the above, please contact us at, or Jade Morris, ACM Awards Committee Liaison.  ACM’s conflict-of-interest guidelines apply to all award nominations.

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