SIGEVO Dissertation Award

The SIGEVO Best Dissertation award will recognize excellent thesis research by doctoral candidates in the field of evolutionary computing. Dissertations will be reviewed for technical depth and significance of the research contribution, potential impact on the field of evolutionary computing, and quality of presentation. The SIGEVO Best Dissertation award will be given annually to a maximum of 1 winner and a maximum of 2 honorable mentions. The award presentation will take place at the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO) awards ceremony. The award will carry a monetary value of $1,000 contributed by SIGEVO to be awarded to the winner. The award winner and honorable mentions will each receive a plaque.


Eligible dissertations must have been successfully defended and deposited in the previous calendar year (January to December).

Nominees do not need to be SIGEVO/ACM members.

Nominations are welcomed from any country, but only English language versions will be accepted.

Each nominated dissertation must be on any topic relevant to evolutionary computing. The determination of whether a thesis is within the scope of the award will be made by the SIGEVO Dissertation Award Committee. A dissertation can be nominated for both the SIGEVO Dissertation Award and the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.

Submission Deadline

February 1, 2021

Decision Deadline

The SIGEVO Dissertation Award Committee will make a recommendation to the Chair of SIGEVO by May 1 of each year. Upon approval of the recommendation by the executive board of ACM SIGEVO, the chair will inform the winner and honorable mentions, if any.

Submission Procedure

All nomination materials must be submitted electronically to the current chair of the SIGEVO Dissertation Award Committee (Manuel López-Ibáñez <manuel.lopez-ibanez@uma.es>, ask for confirmation) by the submission deadline, in English. PDF format is preferred for all materials. Late submissions will not be considered.

Nomination for the award must include:

  1. An English language copy of thesis, in legible pdf format.
  2. A statement from the advisor(s), limited to 2 pages, addressing why the nominee’s dissertation should receive this award.  This should discuss the significance of the dissertation in depth. The nomination must come from the advisor(s); self-nomination is not allowed.
  3. Three (3) letters of support (in addition to the nomination letter) limited to a maximum of 2 pages each. Supporting letters should be included from other experts in the field who can provide additional insights or evidence of the dissertation’s impact. If a letter writer is supporting more than one nomination in a year, they may be asked to rank those nominations. At least two letters must come from experts outside the nominee’s university.
  4. A list of publications by the nominee.
  5. Suggested citation: This should be a concise statement (maximum of 50 words) describing the key technical contribution for which the candidate merits this award. Final wording for awardees will be at the discretion of the SIGEVO Dissertation Award Committee.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Should the letters of recommendation be sent directly to the current chair of the SIGEVO Dissertation Award Committee or should they be sent to the advisor to be included in the nomination package?
  • A: They should be sent to the advisor.

2020 SIGEVO Dissertation Award

  • Winner: Evolving Principles of Artificial Neural Design by Dennis Wilson
  • Honorable Mention: Theoretical Analyses of Univariate Estimation-of-Distribution Algorithms by Martin Stefan Krejca
  • Honorable Mention: Multi-Objective Mixed-Integer Evolutionary Algorithms for Building Spatial Design by Koen van der Blom
  • SIGEvolution article
  • Selection committee were:
    • Anne Auger, Inria, CMAP Ecole Polytechnique, IP Paris, France
    • Francisco Chicano, University of Málaga, Spain
    • Kenneth De Jong, George Mason University, USA
    • Jonathan Fieldsend, University of Exeter, UK
    • Manuel López-Ibáñez, University of Málaga, Spain
    • Gabriela Ochoa, University of Stirling, UK