IEEE VGTC Virtual Reality Best Dissertation Award

About the Award

The IEEE 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 two-year window before the submission deadline are eligible. For example, eligible nominees for the 2025 award include the authors of all relevant dissertations defended between January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2023. 

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, Maud Marchal, and must include all information described here.

1. 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
  • The date of the dissertation defense.

2. Additional documents

  • Summary of significance: A 1-2 page summary of the significance and impact of the dissertation research.
  • Dissertation: 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 2025 Award:
July 1st August 31st, 2024

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 scholarly contributions of the work, and the clarity with which these contributions are communicated.

Past Winners

Ravish Mehra

2016 award winner
UNC Chapel Hill

Andrew Maimone

2017 award winner
UNC Chapel Hill

Alexander Kulik

2017 award winner
Bauhaus University Weimar

Sebastian Friston

2018 award winner
University College London

Qi Sun

2019 award winner
Stony Brook University

Misha Sra

2020 award winner
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mayra Donaji Barrera Machuca

2021 award winner
Simon Fraser University

Nami Ogawa

2022 award winner
University of Tokyo

Praneeth Kumar Chakravarthula

2023 award winner
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Dr. André Zenner

2024 award winner
Saarland University and DFKI

Honorable Mention Winners

2016 Bireswar Laha, Merwan Achibet
2017 Yuta Itoh
2018 Richard Skarbez
2019 James Baumeister, Mahdi Azmandian
2020 Folker Wientapper
2021 Javad Fotouhi
2022 Katherina Krösl
2023 Hugo Brument, Jonathan Sutton
2024 Fangcheng Zhong