Nominations Open for 2020 SPS Awards

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News and Resources for Members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society

Nominations Open for 2020 SPS Awards

Rabab Ward

Rabab Ward
SPS Awards Board Chair

The IEEE Signal Processing Society would like to express our concern and support for the members of our global community and all affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate your continued patience and support as we work together to navigate these unforeseen and uncertain circumstances. We hope that you, your families, and your communities are safe!

In an effort to continue our programs and services during this difficult time, the SPS Awards Board is now accepting nominations for all Society level awards, from paper awards to the major society awards. Nominations are due by 1 September 2020.  Nominators should take into consideration the need for representation of diversity in the award nomination slate, when submitting their nominations.  The new Society Diversity Statement is noted elsewhere in this document.  Detailed information on the nomination process can be found online. For past nominations to the same category, the Awards Board suggests that, for nominations that have already been considered in the past three nomination cycles, the nominator take a pause for a minimum of one year before re-nomination.

Who can nominate:  Nominations are accepted from any IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) individual member, society committee, or society board.  Nominations from individual members are strongly encouraged to be supported by up to two endorsement forms from two other individual members.  ALL award nominations must be submitted online through this link.  Submission questions can be directed to Theresa Argiropoulos (

Manage Collaborators on Nomination:  There is a Manage Collaborators button in the top right corner of the nomination page.  The Primary Collaborator, who is the person who started the nomination, can add additional collaborators on the nomination by clicking the Add Collaborator button.  Once a Collaborator is added, the application can be transferred to a new Primary Collaborator by clicking Make Primary next to the name.  Access can also be removed from a collaborator by clicking Remove Access next to the name.  Only the Primary Collaborator can submit or finalize the application, as well as add other Collaborators.  All Collaborators can view and edit the application.  However, only one user can be editing the nomination at a time to avoid accidental overwriting of another's information.

Which Awards:  Each year, SPS honors outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions related to signal processing through the Norbert Wiener Society Award, the Claude Shannon-Harry Nyquist Technical Achievement Award, the Industrial Leader Award, the Industrial Innovation Award, the Carl Friedrich Gauss Education Award, the Leo L. Beranek Meritorious Service Award, the Early Career Technical Achievement Award, the Regional Distinguished Teacher Award, the Best PhD Dissertation Award, and the Meritorious Regional/Chapter Service Award

The Society also recognizes outstanding publications in SPS journals and magazines through the Best Paper AwardDonald G. Fink Overview Paper AwardSustained Impact Paper AwardSignal Processing Letters Best Paper AwardSignal Processing Magazine Best Column AwardSignal Processing Magazine Best Paper Award and the Young Author Best Paper Award.

The Best Paper Award, Sustained Impact Paper Award, Young Author Best Paper Award, and the Donald G. Fink Overview Paper Award papers should have been published in one the following Society journals:

SPS Awards Changes

Over the past few years, the Society approved some procedural changes to the SPS Awards program, including some new changes approved more recently. Please note that these changes are in effect for the 2020 nomination period. The changes are intended to provide an effective means to encourage award nominations from all categories of the Signal Processing Society community-at-large, including individuals, technical committees, editorial boards and other major Boards, except in cases of conflicts of interest. Technical Committees and Boards may submit to the Awards Board one or multiple nominations that they receive for any of the Society related awards.

Last year, the Society created one new award called the Best PhD Dissertation Award, which recognizes PhD relevant work in signal processing while stimulating further research in the field.

The Society has widened the eligibility windows by one year on two of its paper awards.  Eligibility for the Best Paper Award is now based on a six-year window and the eligibility for the Young Author Best Paper Award is now based on a four-year window.      

The Society approved the following Diversity Statement:  The IEEE Signal Processing Society adheres to the IEEE Code of Conduct and is committed to providing equal opportunity to its members, regardless of ethnicity, race, nationality, disability, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion, gender, age, and/or personal identity. The Society is committed to a welcoming and inclusive environment that promotes diversity in the signal processing community.

For the Best Paper Awards, please note that a board or a committee cannot nominate a paper for this award if one or more of the paper’s authors is a member of their committee or board. This above same rule also applies to the Young Author Best Paper Award, i.e. a committee or a board cannot nominate a young author of a paper for this award if any author of this paper is a member of their committee or board.

One of the factors considered for paper awards is the citation impact information, so please provide this information in the nomination form.  The Awards Board will continue to review the nominations and make selections on paper awards.

One of the factors considered for paper awards is the citation impact information, so please provide this information in the nomination form. The Awards Board will continue to review the nominations and make selections on paper awards.

For all major awards, the Awards Board is responsible for vetting the nominations and producing a short list of no more than three nominations per award.  The Board of Governors will continue to vote on the selection of the major awards.  An SPS board or committee cannot nominate one of its current members for an award. However, the board/committee member can be nominated by another board or committee.  Current elected members of a committee/board may, however, participate as individual nominators of other members of the same board/committee.  In the case of major award nominations, please note: boards or committees who submit nominations, but have voting Board of Governors or Awards Board members sitting on their boards or committees, must ensure that Board of Governors and Awards Board voting members do not participate in the board/committee award nomination or selection process.

Nominations submitted by individuals can have multiple co-nominators listed on the nomination form. In addition, individual nominations are strongly encouraged to include up to two endorsements from two other individuals.  Nominations supported by committee/boards cannot be accompanied by endorsements.  IEEE/SPS membership is no longer required for endorsements.  All endorsements must be submitted via the online nomination tool, which can be found here.  A nominator cannot serve as an endorser for a nomination he/she is submitting. If the Society policies state that a particular Board/Committee/Individual is not eligible to nominate for a particular award, then members of that same Board/Committee/Individual are not eligible to be endorsers for the award either.

For full details on each award, as well as the Society and Technical Committee awards policies, please visit the Society’s website.

If you have any questions regarding the process, please do not hesitate to contact me at or Theresa Argiropoulos at

This global pandemic is a unique challenge that has impacted many members of the IEEE family. These are difficult times, but we will get through them by working together. Thank you for your support of our shared mission to advance technology for humanity.


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