Participate In An ACM Student Research Competition

SRC Participation Requirements

  1. Participants must register for the host conference as well as be currently enrolled in a university or college and have an active ACM student membership
  2. Team projects will be accepted from Undergraduate students. One person should be designated by the team to attend the conference and make the oral presentation. This person along with another team member will be eligible for travel reimbursement for up to $500.00. Should the designated presenter win first, second or third place in competition only they will receive the medal and monetary award. Only individual research is accepted from Graduate (Masters or PhD program) students; group research projects will not be considered. If an individual is part of a group research project and wants to participate in an SRC, they can only present their part of the research. Only they will receive the travel stipend and monetary award (should they win).
  3. Qualifying research areas are those covered by the conference; these are specified in the conference’s call for papers. For the SIGCSE Student Research Competition, qualifying research areas are those areas not already covered by other SIG-based competitions held during the same program year.
  4. Students may only participate in one SRC per program year (April 1- March 31). Students that have applied to an SRC, but have not been accepted, may respond to other SRC calls for participation during the program year.


  1. Call for Submission
    Each conference hosting an SRC will have a Call for SRC Submissions, usually posted about 5 months in advance of the conference. This usually entails an abstract of no more than 800 words, sent directly to the SRC chair for that conference.
  2. Selection of Participants
    The conference chooses academics and/or industry professionals to review submitted abstracts.
  3. First Round of Competition, "The Poster Session"
    A special session for the SRC will be announced once students arrive at the conference. Each student will prepare a poster for this round. Specifications on poster size and content are defined by individual SRC chairs. Students are expected to discuss their work with evaluators who visit their presentation areas. Each evaluator will rate the student's visual presentation based on the critieria of uniqueness of the approach, the significance of the contribution, visual presentation, and format of presentation. The evaluation criteria used can be found under General Judging Criteria.

    The evaluator's results will determine the semi-finalists for the undergraduate and graduate (Masters and PhD program) categories. The list of semi-finalists will be posted within an hour of the closing of the first round.
  4. Second Round of Competition, "The Presentation Session"
    A separate session is scheduled for semi-finalists to give a ten minute presentation followed by a five minute question and answer period. This session will be attended by the evaluators and any interested conferece attendees. The top three finalists in each category will be chosen based on these presentations.
  5. Announcement of Three Finalists In Each Category (Undergraduate and Graduate)
    This usually takes place at a well-attended session of the conference. Each student will receive their prize after the conference. The first place winners will compete in the Grand Finals, which takes place toward the end of the program year.
  6. The Grand Finals
    The undergraduate and graduate first place winners from all SRCs for the program year compete in the Grand Finals. Students must submit to ACM headquarters an overview of their research that adheres to the format of problem & motivation, background & related work, uniqueness of the apprach, and their results & contributions. This submission must be in html format with no external links or external style sheets and should not exceed 4,000 words.

    Evaluations are conducted online by faculty and/or industry professionals associated with the ACM SRC Committee. Winners are announced in time for ACM's Awards Banquet, usually held in June. ACM will pay the expenses for award winners and their faculty advisors.


Submitting Your Work

The SRC chairs at each SIG conference drafts their own calls for submissions/participation. Students must email an abstract of their work to the respective SRC chair, and those who are chosen to attend the conference must create a poster and presentation based on specifications set by the SRC chairs. To see the open calls for submissions and contact information for SRC chairs, please click here.

“I was very much impressed with the quality of the judging panel since they were all people at the top of their fields and they gave me very good feedback on the work which I presented.”

- Trevor Parsons, OOPSLA SRC

Students can gain many tangible and intangible rewards from participating in one of ACM’s Student Research Competitions. With a generous sponsorship of $120,000 per competition year from Microsoft, the ACM Student Research Competition is an internationally recognized venue enabling undergraduate and graduate students to earn:

  • Awards: cash prizes, medals, and ACM student memberships
  • Prestige: Grand Finalists and their advisors are invited to the Annual ACM Awards Banquet, where they are recognized for their accomplishments
  • Visibility: opportunities to meet with researchers in their field of interest and make important connections
  • Experience: opportunities to sharpen communication, visual, organizational, and presentation skills in preparation for the SRC experience