Call for nominations: Karen Spärck Jones award 2015

Microsoft BCS/BCS IRSG Karen Spärck Jones Award 2015 – An award to commemorate Karen Spärck Jones

Karen was a Professor Emerita of Computers and Information at the University of Cambridge and one of the most remarkable women in computer science. Her contributions to the fields of Information Retrieval (IR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), especially with regard to experimentation, have been outstanding and highly influential. Karen’s achievements resulted in her receiving a number of prestigious accolades such as the BCS Lovelace medal for her advancement in Information Systems, and the ACM Salton Award for her significant, sustained and continuing contributions to research in information retrieval.

In order to honour Karen’s achievements, the BCS Information Retrieval Specialist Group (BCS IRSG) in conjunction with the BCS has established an annual award to encourage and promote talented researchers who have endeavoured to advance our understanding of Information Retrieval and/or Natural Language Processing with significant experimental contributions.

Eligibility: Open to all IR/NLP researchers, who have no more than 10 years post doctoral or equivalent experience.

Criterion: To have endeavoured to advance our understanding of IR and/or NLP through experimentation.

Nominations. The following should be provided:

– Name of nominee, position, affiliation, years since completing PhD
– Name of person proposing the nominee, position, and affiliation
– Short case for the award, not to exceed 2500 words, highlighting the contributions the individual has made
– List of the individual’s top five publications reflecting the relevant contributions, and role within these
– At most two supporting letters from people who would like to encourage/support the nomination

Nominations should be emailed to the contact below, for forwarding to the Award Panel. The support letters can be e-mailed separately by the referees. It is possible for individuals to nominate themselves, but then they should provide three support letters.

Prize: The recipient of the award will receive a certificate, a trophy, a cash prize of £1000 plus expenses to travel to ECIR.

Timeline for the 2014 Award to be presented at ECIR 2015:

– 7 September 2015 — deadline for nominations
– 21 September 2015 — deadline for support letters
– 6 December 2015 — notification of the prize recipient
– 21–23 March 2016 — recipient presents keynote at ECIR

Sponsors: Currently, the award is being sponsored by the BCS IRSG and Microsoft Research Cambridge.

Contact and award panel chair: Stefan Rüger,, The Open University

Previous recipients and more details: See

Stefan Rüger
Knowledge Media Institute tel: +44-1908-655 945
The Open University fax: +44-1908-653 169
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK

About Andy Macfarlane
Andy Macfarlane

Andy is a Reader in Information Retrieval in the Department of Computer Science at City, University of London, and is a member of the Centre for HCI Design. He is the past Chair of the BCS Information Retrieval Specialist Group and is a long standing member of that SG.