The IEEE VGTC Awards program recognizes and honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to the community through their research and/or service. Furthermore, we seek out nominations of individuals that enable us to recognize both the diversity of individuals, as well as diversity of contributions, from the community at large.

The VGTC community currently confers awards in two major areas, Virtual Reality and Visualization. The annual awards are: Outstanding Dissertation, Significant New Researcher, Technical Achievement, Lifetime Achievement, Service, and Academy membership. Awards are presented at the annual Virtual Reality and VIS conferences.

Virtual Reality and Visualization each have a designated Award Program Chairperson. Within each area, the Award Program Chairperson oversees Award Committees responsible for the individual awards listed below.  In each area, Virtual Reality and Visualization, the individual committees are: Dissertation Award Committee, Significant New Researcher Award Committee, Technical and Lifetime Achievement Award Committee, Service Award Committee.


The Virtual Reality awards recognize contributions in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, and related fields. The Visualization awards recognize contributions in visualization, visual analytics, and related fields.

Nominations are submitted on the appropriate nomination form (VR Nominations and VIS Nominations)  for the relevant award. Virtual Reality nominations for the Dissertation award are due by July 1; all other award nominations are due by October 1. Visualization nominations are due by April 30.  Nominations will remain active for 3 years.  Subsequent nominations will reset the 3-year clock.

IEEE VGTC Dissertation Award Criteria

The Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes outstanding academic research and development in the field. The dissertations must address a relevant topic. The selection criteria include: the significance and impact of the scholarly contributions of the work, and the clarity with which these contributions are communicated.

Eligibility: 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.  Unsuccessful nominations will remain active for the following year 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 nominator may elect 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.

Nominations must include: (1) The title and abstract of the dissertation, (2) the name of the candidate, (3) the name of the candidate’s primary advisor, (4) the institution where the dissertation was defended, (5) the date of the dissertation defense, (6) A 1-2 page summary of the significance and impact of the dissertation research, (7) an electronic copy of the full dissertation, or a pointer to where it can be obtained, (8) one letter of recommendation, up to 2 pages in length, ideally from the candidate’s primary advisor, and  (9) a list of publications, awards, and other recognition by peers produced from the dissertation work.

IEEE VGTC Significant New Researcher Award Criteria

The VGTC Significant New Researcher Award recognizes an individual who has made significant recent research contributions in the field. Nominees must have received their most recent degree within the seven years prior to nomination.  Approved delays, such as leaves of absences, COVID delays, and switching fields will be considered on a case by case basis by contacting the appropriate Awards Program Chair  ( or, respectively).

IEEE VGTC Technical Achievement Award Criteria

The Technical Achievement Award is given each year to recognize an individual for a seminal technical achievement in the field.

Significant Achievement in a focused area of research will be the primary criteria. This may be either a major single development or contributions to several sub-areas. The degree to which this research has helped expand the sub-field and the broader impacts resulting from the research (commercialization, research by others based upon the considered research, use of the results by others outside the field, etc.) will be a factor in distinguishing from among the significant research efforts being considered.

IEEE VGTC Lifetime Achievement Award Criteria

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual to honor that person’s lifetime contribution to the field. There are multiple criteria that contribute to the Lifetime Achievement Award:

  • Significant contributions over a long period of time which have affected and influenced the field. Such contributions may be focused or broad-based.
  • Broader impacts on the field and on the community: research by others arising from the candidate’s research, successful commercialization, impact on other fields, new educational thrusts, mentoring students, service to the community, or other contributions.
  • Success in the development of new funding for the field, especially where the new funding played a major role in the development of new sub-areas of research.

Candidates do not have to demonstrate strengths in all three areas.

IEEE VGTC Service Award Criteria

The IEEE VGTC Service Award recognizes extraordinary service to the community through the IEEE VGTC and/or the IEEE VGTC Sponsored Conferences and Symposia.  This service should be in both operational capacity as well as leadership roles over a significant period.

IEEE VGTC Academy Criteria

The Virtual Reality and Visualization Academies are prestigious academies that highlight the accomplishments of the leaders in the field. Since awards are limited in number, the field should recognize significant contributions and the academy is a mechanism for recognizing such contributions. The goal is to recognize those in the field who exceed or augment the criteria of existing VGTC awards.

The criteria for election to the Academy include:

  • Cumulative and momentous contributions to research and/or development
  • Broader influence on the field, the community, and on the work of others
  • Significant service and/or active participation in the community
  • Awardees of the VGTC Technical Achievement and Lifetime Achievement
    Awards will be inducted the year they receive their award unless already
    an Academy Member.

Candidates do not have to demonstrate strengths in all of the above areas. In addition to the nomination package mentioned above, please include the nominee’s CV, if available.