Important Dates

  • Submission Deadline: May 10, 2021
  • Notification of Awards: June 30, 2021
  • Award Presentation at KDD 2021: August 14-18


This annual award by ACM SIGKDD recognizes outstanding research by doctoral candidates in the field of data science, data mining and knowledge discovery. The KDD Doctoral Dissertation Award winner and up to two runners-up will be recognized at the KDD conference, and their dissertations will have the opportunity to be published on the KDD Web

site ( The award winner will receive a plaque, a check for $2,500. The award winner will also receive a free registration to attend the KDD conference. The runners-up will receive a plaque at the conference. The winner and runners-up will be invited to present their work in a special session at the KDD conference.

The previous winners of this award can be found at


Nominations are limited to one doctoral dissertation per department or academic unit. Submissions must be received by the submission deadline. The dissertation defense should have taken place and accepted by the candidate’s academic unit before the submission deadline. Furthermore, the dissertation defense must not have taken place prior to January 1st, 2020. An English version of the dissertation must be submitted with the nomination. A dissertation can be nominated for both the SIGKDD Doctoral Dissertation Award and the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.

Nomination Requirements

Nominations must be made by the doctoral advisor. All nomination materials must be in English and in the PDF format. Late submissions will not be accepted. A nomination must include:

* A nomination letter, written by the dissertation advisor of the candidate. This letter must include full contact information for both the advisor and the nominee as well as a one or two-page summary of the significance of the dissertation.

* An endorsement letter signed by the department head.

* The nomination may include up to two supporting letters from other individuals, discussing the significance of the dissertation.

* One PDF copy of the doctoral dissertation.

* A copyright transfer form signed by the candidate is required giving permission for the dissertation to appear on Web site if the dissertation is selected as an award recipient (but if the nomination is also being submitted for the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award, only one form needs to be signed). See:

Submission Procedure

All nomination materials must be submitted electronically to: <>. Please use “”[SIGKDD Dissertation Award]” in your subject line. All required documents must be attached in a single email.

Award Committee

Tina Eliassi-Rad (Chair)