Call for Nominations: ACM India Best Doctoral Dissertation Award 2021

August 4, 2020

The Award

The ACM India Best Doctoral Dissertation Award was established in 2011 by ACM India with approval from the ACM Awards Committee. This award recognizes the best doctoral dissertation(s) in Computer Science and Engineering from a degree-awarding institution based in India for each academic year. There will be one award for 2021. The ACM India Doctoral Dissertation Award is accompanied by a prize of ₹2,00,000. An honourable mention award, if any, is accompanied by a prize of ₹1,00,000. The Award will be presented at the ACM India Annual Event in February 2021.


Each PhD granting institution based in India can normally nominate 1 student for the award. Institutions that produce more than 10 dissertations in relevant areas per year can nominate 2 students. Each dissertation nominated for the 2021 award must have been defended successfully between August 1, 2019 and August 14, 2020 (the usual deadline of July 31 is being deferred by 2 weeks this year, considering the exceptional circumstances arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic).


Nominations must be received by August 31, 2020 to qualify for consideration of the 2021 award.

Publication and Copyrights

Winning dissertations will be published in the ACM Digital Library. Each nomination must be accompanied by an assignment to ACM by the author of exclusive publication rights, as per ACM's copyright policies. Copyright will automatically revert to an author if her/his dissertation is not selected.

Nomination Procedure

Candidates with PhD degree completed from CS/CSE or allied disciplines are eligible, subject to the clause of maximum number of nominations coming from any institute.

Each nomination must include:
i. Nomination letter by thesis advisor. This letter must include:

  • The name, address, phone number and email address of the advisor
  • The name, mailing address and email address of the candidate
  • A one-page (200-300 words) nomination statement addressing why the nominee should receive the award. This should address the significance of the dissertation, not simply replicate the information in the abstract.
  • Suggested citation if the nominee is selected. This should be a concise statement (maximum of 25 words) describing the key technical or professional accomplishment for which the nominee merits this award. Note that the final wording for awardees will be at the discretion of the Awards Committee.

ii. An endorsement letter by the department head or a suitable substitute (in case of a conflict of interest)

iii. At least 3, and not more than 5, supporting letters 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 supporter. The endorsement letter and supporting letters can be combined in one file in your upload.

iv. One copy of the thesis in electronic format

v. A record of publications in conferences and journals of the work reported in the dissertation, along with their citations, if any.

vi. 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 upload.

Mode of submission:
Nomination material must be submitted electronically by the thesis advisor (not the nominee). Supporting letters should not come directly from the supporters. All necessary material listed in points (i) through (vi) above may be collected and submitted by the thesis advisor, bundled as a zip file. The zip file must be uploaded at while filling in all required information in the nomination form at the CMT site.

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 eminent Computer Science researchers from across the world will perform an initial screening to generate a short list, followed by an in-depth evaluation to determine the winning dissertation.
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