IEEE AP-S Student Paper Competition Rules and Guidelines
A. General Information
- Only one student paper competition (SPC) submission per student is allowed.
- For consideration in the student paper competition, the student must be the only student author, the first author on the paper, and a student at the time of paper submission. Each other co-author must submit a unique, signed letter on their institution’s letterhead indicating their title and that his/her contribution to the paper is primarily advisory. (For example, a paper with a student author and three co-advisors would have three unique letters submitted from the co-advisors at the time of submission.) The signature must be hand-written or digitally signed; hand-signed letters should be scanned into PDFs. Typed names in the signature line will result in disqualification. The letters must be in PDF format, on institutional letterhead, and must be uploaded via this Web site at the time of paper submission.
- The student’s advisor and coauthors cannot be members of the IEEE AP-S SPC Committee.
- At least one letter on institution letterhead must certify that the lead author is a student at the time of paper submission. Generally this is provided by the student’s advisor. As detailed above, the letter must be hand- or digitally-signed. If the paper is sole-authored, a letter from the student’s advisor is still required.
- All SPC papers will be judged using a double-blind review process. In double-blind reviews, the identities of the authors are withheld from the reviewers in addition to the usual practice of having the identities of the reviewers withheld from the authors. Therefore, a student must submit two versions of the SPC paper to the Web site — one without any identifying information, including authors' names, affiliations, funding sources, etc., and one intended for publication in the Symposium proceedings that includes authors' names and affiliations, etc. Other than the identifying information, the two versions of the paper should be identical. For more information and guidelines regarding the preparation of an SPC paper, please see the following instructions.
B. Preparation and Submission of Papers for Double Blind Review
Please read the following instructions carefully before preparing a paper for submission. Failure to follow all instructions below will result in the removal of the paper from the competition and its placement in the regular submission paper pool.
- The double-blind review process requires that each student competitor upload two versions of their paper:
- A PDF version of the paper for double-blind review - no authors, institutions, funding sources, etc., in the text and no identifying attributes in the PDF file information (available by selecting "Properties..." in the File menu in Acrobat Reader). If the paper includes an Acknowledgements section, the text in that section must be removed to satisfy this requirement; the section title may remain for preserve paper formatting.
- A PDF version of the paper for inclusion for publication in the Symposium proceedings (exactly the same paper as in (a), but with authors, affiliations, funding sources, acknowledgements, etc., included).
- Authors must not use more than two (2) self-citations. Note that self-citations include any references by the coauthors. Authors must cite work only available in the open literature with an official publication date of January 1 of the year of the Symposium, or earlier. Work in review or on schedule to be published does not qualify as being in the open literature.
- Authors must avoid referring to their own work in the first person context in the submission text. As one example, authors should not describe their prior work with phrases like:
"Previously , we presented an antenna that..."
Instead, authors should refer to their work in the third person, for example:
"Previously, Chen  presented an antenna that..."
In this way, the full citation to Chen  can still be given, for example:
 Chen, J., "Analysis of antenna with ...
- Authors must not remove the entire reference list, leave out any references or use reference listings such as:
" Reference deleted for double-blind review"
- Authors must prepare their submissions (both blinded and regular versions of the paper) as required by the Paper Submission Guidelines.
- Upon submission authors are required to go through a checklist verifying that the rules and guidelines specified in this section have been followed. Completion of the checklist will be required in order to successfully submit the student paper into the competition. The checklist is as follows:
- I verify that none of the co-authors on this paper are students, and that the uploaded letters for all co-authors indicate their job titles or positions. If I am the sole author, a letter from my advisor is included to certify that I am a student.
- I verify that all submitted letters have been physically or digitally signed.
- I verify that I have removed the author listing, author affiliations, and funding acknowledgments and any other author- or institution-identifying information from the blind version of the paper.
- I verify that all references to all prior work (including my own and that of other coauthors) are made in the third person.
- I verify that no more than two self-citations are included in the references, and understand that self-references include any of my coauthors.
- I verify that all references cited have been published officially in the public domain/open literature on or before January 1 of the year of the Symposium.
- Failure to follow all instructions will result in the removal of the paper from the competition and its placement in the regular submission paper pool. Due to the timeline of the review process, no resubmissions or corrections are permitted.
A sample paper has been provided in its two versions. The first paper shows the paper submitted for the regular program, while the second paper shows the paper submitted for the double blind review evaluation.
Questions regarding the preparation and submission of papers for the competition should be directed to the AP-S Student Paper Competition Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
C. Evaluation of Written Submissions
- A panel of reviewers from the Society’s membership including researchers from industry, laboratories, and universities is assembled to evaluate all qualifying SPC submissions.
- Three independent double-blind reviews for each submission from a selected panel of reviewers who are experts in the student's field of study and who are not associated with the student in any way are obtained. A double-blind review process is used as described above. At least two of the reviewers must indicate the submission is acceptable for a paper to be accepted into the competition. Note that faculty advisors and other collaborators with students in the competition are not permitted to serve as reviewers or SPC committee members in the competition.
- The written submission evaluation criteria are:
- Quality of written paper (e.g., clarity, organization, figure size, style, etc.)
- Sufficient depth and breadth of research work
- Innovation and impact of research work
- Verification and/or validation of results reported in paper
- Upon completion of all of the reviews, the SPC Committee assembles a list of the top papers based solely on the numerical scores obtained in the reviews. Student authors of the top-scoring papers will be invited as Finalists to the poster presentation phase of the contest. Also designated by this process is a list of student authors recognized as Honorable Mentions. Students designated as Finalists and Honorable Mentions will be provided with a monetary award to help defray travel expenses associated with Symposium attendance, which is collected at the Symposium upon successful completion of their presentation. Finalist and Honorable Mention student competitors who are unable to attend the Symposium for any reason are not eligible to receive this monetary award. Awardees are still eligible to receive the award even if they have graduated since their paper was submitted. The awards are also not awardable to any substitute presenters of the student papers. Finalists also receive additional funds to defray the costs associated with the fabrication of the posters for the SPC Finalist Poster Session. All applicable taxes are the responsibility of the award recipient. All recipients will be required to complete and physically sign (digital signatures are not permitted) a United States Internal Revenue Service Form W-8 or W-9 before award funds will be disbursed.
- Each selected finalist must be registered for the Symposium and must attend and present their paper to the judges for award consideration. Finalists are also required to prepare a poster for their paper, which will be presented in the Finalist Poster session as described below.
D. Evaluation of Finalist Poster Presentations
- All student finalists will present their papers during a poster session held during the Symposium. Finalists are required to be present at their posters during this entire duration of the poster session, with exceptions made in cases where the poster session conflicts with the scheduled presentation of the paper in the regular Symposium program. In these cases, the student will leave the poster session to present their paper and the return to the poster session upon the completion of their presentation.
- The SPC Committee assembles a panel of several individuals from the Society's membership who will judge the oral poster presentations during SPC poster session. The SPC Committee will determine the exact composition of the judging panel before the presentation session, and will ensure that the expertise of the judging panel reflects the wide range of technical topics across the field of interest of the Society.
- Each judge is provided with a score sheet that lists the names of all presenters with paper titles. After reviewing all poster presentations, the judges score the presentations based on the following criteria:
- Quality of presentation (e.g., clarity, organization, figure size/arrangements, style, etc.)
- Sufficient depth and breadth of research work
- Innovation and impact of research work
- Verification and/or validation of results reported
- The SPC Committee tallies the scores submitted by the judges and determines the total score for each competitor. The competitor having the highest total score will be designated the first place winner, the second highest total score will be designated the second place winner, and the third highest score will be designated the third place winner.
- In the event of a tie for first, second, or third place, the SPC Committee, in consultation with the final judging panel, will meet and make the tie-breaking decisions.
- The SPC Committee Chair or their designate will announce the first, second and third place winners at the Symposium's Annual Awards Ceremony.
- A monetary award and a certificate/plaque will be given to each student paper competition winner. The monetary awards are $700 for first place, $500 for second place, and $300 for third place.
- All applicable taxes are the responsibility of the award recipient. All recipients will be required to complete and sign a United States Internal Revenue Service Form W-8 or W-9 before award funds will be disbursed.
- The primary distribution method for the monetary awards will be by check, available for pickup at the Symposium. Wire transfers can also be arranged, but awardees should anticipate at least 6 weeks of processing time after the conclusion of the Symposium.