Virtual Reality Best Dissertation Award

About the Award

The VGTC Virtual Reality Best Dissertation Award is presented each year to the author of the most outstanding Ph.D. dissertation, defended during the preceding two calendar years, in the broad areas of virtual and augmented reality. The award is presented at the IEEE VR Conference, where the winner is also invited to give a short talk about the dissertation work. The award is sponsored by the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee (VGTC) and the IEEE VR Steering Committee.


Individuals whose dissertations were defended within the preceding two calendar years are eligible. For example, eligible nominees for the 2020 award include the authors of all relevant dissertations defended between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019. 

Resubmissions of unsuccessful nominations from prior years are welcome, as long as the dissertation defense date remains within the period of eligibility. If the dissertation defense date and the dissertation filing date are sufficiently different as to create ambiguity in determining the appropriate start of the period of eligibility for the dissertation to be considered for this award, the candidate may elect for their work to be classified as belonging to the period they prefer; however once defined this determination cannot be changed, so that no work may be considered more than twice. There is no limit on the number of nominations that can be made for candidates affiliated with any single institution or advisor.


Individuals may nominate themselves, or may be nominated by their academic advisor(s). Nomination materials should be sent by email to the evaluation committee chair, Doug Bowman, and must include the following.

Basic information

The title and abstract of the dissertation, the name of the candidate, the name of the candidate's primary advisor, the institution where the dissertation was defended, and the date of the dissertation defense.

Summary of significance

A 1-2 page summary of the significance and impact of the dissertation research.


An electronic copy of the full dissertation, or a pointer to where it can be obtained.

Letter of recommendation

One letter of recommendation, up to 2 pages in length, ideally from the candidate's primary advisor.

List of publications

A list of publications produced from the dissertation work.

Nomination Deadline for 2020 Award: June 1, 2020

Submit a nomination


All nominations will be carefully reviewed by a committee of experts. Factors that will be considered when choosing the winning entry include: the significance and impact of the technical contributions of the work, and the clarity with which these contributions are communicated.