Nominations Open for 2021 SPS Awards

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News and Resources for Members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society

Nominations Open for 2021 SPS Awards

Rabab Ward

Rabab Ward
SPS Awards Board Chair

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 2021.  Detailed information on the nomination process can be found online. Nominators should take into consideration the need for representation of diversity in the award nomination slate, when submitting their nominations.  The Society’s Diversity Statement is noted elsewhere in this document.  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.

Types of Awards:

SPS Major Society 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 Amar G. Bose Industrial Leader Award, the Industrial Innovation Award, the Carl Friedrich Gauss Education Award, the Leo L. Beranek Meritorious Service Award, the Pierre-Simon Laplace Early Career Technical Achievement Award, the Regional Distinguished Teacher Award, the Best PhD Dissertation Award, and the Meritorious Regional/Chapter Service Award.

SPS Paper Awards:  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:

Who can nominate:  Nominations are accepted from any IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) individual member, society committee, or society board.  Starting with the 2021 awards cycle, all paper award nominations and their endorsements must be submitted through a Technical Committee for review, except for cases where there is a noted conflict of interest within the Technical Committee. In cases where there is a conflict of interest noted by the Technical Committee or indicated by the nominator(s), the Technical Committee shall directly forward the paper award nominations to the Awards Board, without any TC endorsement, for review.  The technical committees will submit directly to the Awards Board papers that are award worthy with an explanation of why the paper is award quality.  All award nominations must be submitted online through this link.  Submission questions can be directed to Debbie Blazek (

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, this is to avoid accidental overwriting of another's information.

SPS Awards Changes

Last year, the Society approved streamlining the vetting process for paper awards.  All paper award nominations and their endorsements must be submitted through a Technical Committee for review.  In cases where there is a conflict of interest noted by the Technical Committee or indicated by the nominator(s), the Technical Committee shall directly forward the paper award nominations to the Awards Board without any TC endorsement for review.  For the rest of the papers, the technical committees will submit directly to the Awards Board papers that are award worthy with an explanation of why the paper is award quality.

The Society expanded its Conflict of Interest description as any relationships, professional or otherwise, that can affect impartiality and objectivity. Such relationship includes, but are not limited to:

  1. supervisor/student,
  2. supervisor/post-doc,
  3. manager/employee,
  4. recent (within the last 10 years) shared institutional affiliations,
  5. recent (within the past ten years) research collaborations or joint authorship,
  6. presently serving on the same IEEE committee/ board,
  7. any Board/Committee member that reviews award nominations must disqualify himself or herself from participating in any part of the awards nomination process in which his or her impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including, but not limited to, instances where he or she has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a candidate.

If a Technical Committee member has a conflict of interest, the Technical Committee member shall abstain from providing any feedback or voting on the award nomination.

The Society approved to limit the number of team recipients of the Industrial Innovation Award, to an individual or team up to five people at any level who were industry employees whose technical contributions have resulted in significant advances using signal processing technologies within the scope of the Society. For a nominated team, the nominator shall describe the specific contribution(s) of each nominee.

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.

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, except for paper awards nominations, 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 endorsers.  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

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