Second call for nominations for the Microsoft BCS/BCS IRSG Karen Spärck Jones 
Award 2018

Closing date: 12 September

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 Natural Language Processing (NLP) and 
Information Retrieval (IR), 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 

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 Natural Language Processing  and/or Information 
Retrieval with significant experimental contributions.

To celebrate the commemorative event, the recipient of the award will be 
invited to present a keynote lecture at BCS IRSG’s annual conference — the 
European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR). This forum provides an 
excellent venue to present and announce the award as the conference attracts 
many new and young researchers.

Eligibility. Open to all NLP/IR researchers, who have no more than 10 years 
post doctoral or equivalent experience at the closing date for nominations 
(non-research times, eg, parental leave or career breaks, will be taken into 

Criterion. To have endeavoured to advance our understanding of NLP and/or IR 
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
 • Exactly two supporting letters from people who would like to 
encourage/support the nomination

Nominations should be emailed to the panel chair below. The support letters can 
be emailed separately by the referees. It is possible for individuals to 
nominate themselves, in which case they should provide three support letters. 
Please note, that we anticipate that people who provide support letters will do 
so only for a single candidate.

Award Panel. The Award Panel Chair, appointed by the BCS IRSG Committee, will 
invite panel members from amongst representatives of the BCS main council, the 
BCS IRSG Committee, sponsoring organisation(s), as well as at least two experts 
appointed by the BCS IRSG committee.

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 2018 Award to be presented at ECIR 2019:
 • 12 September 2018 — closing date for nominations
 • 26 September 2018 — deadline for support letters
 • 14 December 2018 — notification of the prize recipient
 • 14–18 April 2019 — recipient presents keynote at ECIR

Sponsors. The Karen Spärck Jones Award is sponsored by Microsoft Research 

Award Panel Chair. Udo Kruschwitz,, University of Essex, UK

Previous recipients. See
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