Ryen W. White   
SIGIR Academy
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Microsoft Research


We have established the ACM SIGIR Academy to honor and recognize individuals who have made significant, cumulative contributions to the development of the field of information retrieval (IR).

Inductees to the SIGIR Academy are the principal leaders in IR, whose efforts have shaped the discipline and/or industry through significant research, innovation, and/or service.

Each year, a small cohort (around 3-5 new members) will be elected to the SIGIR Academy. Election is considered an official ACM award. Inductees will be celebrated at the SIGIR conference in their year of induction.

Selection Criteria

The criteria for election to the SIGIR Academy are as follows:

  • Cumulative contributions to the field,
  • Impact on the field through the development of new research directions, innovations, and/or service,
  • Influence on the work of others, and
  • A reasonably active participant in the ACM SIGIR community
The criteria above include both significant technical contributions (scientific or industrial) and/or significant community service contributions.

Nomination Process

Potential inductees must be nominated. We welcome more than one nomination from the same nominator. Self-nominations are permitted.

Nominations must include the following:

  • Name and contact information of the nominee,
  • The nominee’s resume,
  • A brief summary (one page max, PDF) of how the nominee meets the award criteria,
  • Name and contact information of the nominator, and
  • Names and contact information of two people (other than the nominator/nominee) who are knowledgeable about the qualifications of and endorse the nominee (nothing is required by the endorser beyond their agreement that the nominee deserves the award).

Inductees into the ACM SIGIR Academy for any given year are determined by a selection committee. For transparency, the list of selection committee members will be made public. Lobbying (even informally) of committee members is not permitted.

The next deadline for nominations is December 31, 2020. Inductees and nominators will be notified of the outcome of their nominations by email by the end of April in the induction year. Inductees will be publicly announced at the next SIGIR conference.

Nominations should be submitted via email to sigir-academy-award at acm.org. We will acknowledge receipt.

Unsuccessful nominations will be rolled over from year to year. We encourage new nominations to be submitted for all candidates to ensure the selection committee has the latest information.

The selection committee will follow the ACM Diversity and Inclusion policy.

Inaugural Inductees

The first year of the academy will be 2021. In addition to selecting 3-5 members through the nomination process, we will automatically induct very senior members of the IR community who have already been recognized as making significant contributions.

The following individuals will be automatically inducted in the first year and therefore need not be nominated:

  • Ricardo Baeza-Yates*
  • Nicholas Belkin
  • Andrei Broder
  • William Cooper
  • W. Bruce Croft*
  • Susan Dumais
  • Edward Fox
  • Ophir Frieder
  • Norbert Fuhr
  • Marti Hearst*
  • Kalervo Järvelin
  • Michael Lesk
  • Yoelle Maarek*
  • Marc Najork
  • C.J. van Rijsbergen
  • Stephen Robertson*
  • Tefko Saracevic
  • Ellen Voorhees*
  • Chengxiang Zhai*
A subset of these inaugural inductees (those marked with *), plus the chair, will comprise the selection committee for the class of 2021.


Please contact the chair of the selection committee (Ryen White) at the email address above, if you have any questions about the academy, nominations, or the selection process.