Nominating Process

Deadline: October 31, 2014

ACM established the Doctoral Dissertation Award program to recognize and encourage superior research and writing by doctoral candidates in computer science and engineering. These awards are presented annually at the ACM Awards Banquet.


Each nominated dissertation must have been successfully defended (not deposit date) by the department between October 2013 and September 2014. Exceptional dissertations completed in September 2013, but too late for submission last year will be considered. We hope that the nominated dissertation is a finalized version. If a student thinks that his/her dissertation is competitive after revising and improving, he/she can and should postpone the dissertation defense. Only English language versions will be accepted.


Nominations are limited to one per university or college, from any country, unless more than 10 Ph.D.s are granted in one year, in which case two may be nominated.


Submissions must be received by October 31, 2014 to qualify for consideration. 

Selection Procedure

Dissertations will be reviewed for technical depth and significance of the research contribution, potential impact on theory and practice, and quality of presentation. A committee of five individuals serving staggered five-year terms performs an initial screening to generate a short list, followed by an in-depth evaluation to determine the winning dissertation.

The selection committee will select the winning dissertation in early 2015 and all winning dissertations as from January 1, 2014 will be published exclusively as professionally published print and electronic books in the new ACM Books Series, which includes publication in the ACM Digital Library.


The Doctoral Dissertation Award is accompanied by a prize of $20,000 and the Honorable Mention Award is accompanied by a prize of $10,000. Financial sponsorship of the award is provided by Google.

Submission Procedure Summary

Each nomination packet should be emailed by the thesis advisor (not the student) by email . In the subject title of the email, please write "Doctoral Dissertation submission for (nominee name)". Submissions should be sent bundled in one zipped file from the thesis advisor only.  If the packet is too large, you can include a link to your school or personal site for me to download from.

A nomination packet MUST include:

  1. Nomination letter by thesis advisor. This letter must include:
    1. the name, address, and phone number of the advisor,
    2. the name, mailing address and email address of the candidate, and
    3. a one-page summary of the significance of the dissertation.
  2. An endorsement letter by the department head.
  3. A copy of the thesis.
  4. A copyright transfer form filled out by the candidate, this is an assignment to ACM by the author of exclusive publication rights. Copyright reverts to author if not selected for publication (select either the copyright or license form).  Our e-form is not set up yet; after we receive all the submissions, we will enter the information into our system and send you a link for the student to fill out the copyright e-form.


Supporting letters are helpful and you are not limited to any amount, so feel free to submit as many as you would like. Please ask these supporters to include their name, address and telephone number. These supporting letters should be sent to the thesis advisor for the bundled submission.