Outstanding Research Award

This award is presented to an individual or individuals who have made significant and lasting research contributions to the theory or practice of software engineering.

The award recipients share a $1000 honorarium, and each recipient receives a plaque engraved with their name and signed by the chair of SIGSOFT. The award is announced by the SIGSOFT chair at ICSE during ICSE's award presentation session. The award recipients are invited to give a keynote presentation at the ICSE conference in the year in which the award is made. Each award recipient also receives travel support up to $2500 within their home continent and up to $3000 outside their home continent, including airfare, hotel, and conference registration to attend the ICSE conference.

The selection committee solicits nominations from the software engineering community in a variety of ways including announcements in SIGSOFT's newsletter, Software Engineering Notes, and postings on appropriate newsgroups and websites. The committee considers all external nominations in the context of the nominees' research contributions to software engineering. The selection committee shall also have the option to decline to make an award in a given year, if no suitable nominations are presented.

To submit a nomination for the award, please use the awards nomination portal. Nominations are due no later than January 15 of each year. Among other details, the nominator needs to submit the following through the portal:

  1. The proposed citation (up to 25 words)
  2. Succinct description of why the nominee is well-qualified for the award (100-250 words)
  3. Detailed nomination statement (no length limit, but please be reasonable) that includes the following sentence: "To the best of my knowledge, the candidate I am endorsing has not committed any action that violates the ACM Code of Ethics and ACM's Core Values."

The nominator also needs to upload up to 3 support letters (200-300 words will be sufficient for each support letter, although longer statements of support are of course welcome). Each support letter must include the following sentence: "To the best of my knowledge, the candidate I am endorsing has not committed any action that violates the ACM Code of Ethics and ACM's Core Values."

If you have questions about this award, please contact sigsoft-research-award (at) acm (dot) org.


2022Lionel Briand, University of Ottawa and Centre for ICT Security, Reliability, and Trust (SnT), University of Luxembourg, for contributions in software testing, software quality assurance, and context-driven software engineering research, notably in exemplary collaborations with industry
2021Prem Devanbu, UC Davis, for profoundly changing the way researchers think about software by exploring connections between source code and natural language
2020Michael Ernst
2019Mark Harman
2018Andreas Zeller
2017Daniel Jackson
2016James Herbsleb
2015Carlo Ghezzi
2014Alexander Wolf
2013David Notkin
2012Lori Clarke
2011David Garlan and Mary Shaw
2010Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson and John Vlissides (posthumously)
2009Richard N. Taylor
2008Axel van Lamsweerde
2007Elaine J. Weyuker
2006David Harel
2005Jeff Kramer and Jeff Magee
2004Nancy Leveson
2003Leon J. Osterweil
2002Gerard Holzmann
2001Michael Jackson
2000Victor Basili
1999Harlan Mills (one-time posthumous)
1999Niklaus Wirth
1998David Parnas
1997Barry Boehm



  • Marsha Chechik, University of Toronto, Canada (chair)
  • Daniela Damian, University of Victoria, Canada
  • Prem Devanbu, UC Davis, United States
  • Mark Harman, Facebook and UCL, United Kingdom
  • Jon Whittle, CSIRO's Data61, Australia
  • Tao Xie, Peking University, China
  • Andrea Zisman, Open University, United Kingdom
  • Thomas Zimmermann, Microsoft Research, United States (non-voting)
  • David Lo, Singapore Management University, Singapore (non-voting)


  • Marsha Chechik (Chair)
  • Mark Harman
  • Jane Cleland-Huang
  • Massimiliano Di Penta