Who's eligible for the award?

This annual award recognises distinguished research contributions in computer science made by UK-based researchers with up to 10 years of post-doctoral experience. The winner is chosen by a yearly-appointed panel, evaluating nominees based on the quality of their contributions and achievements, considering factors like research impact, innovation, quality of publications or patents, collaborations, ethical considerations and professional standing.

Find out more about the selection criteria

Eligible candidates

Nominations are accepted from anyone, anywhere in the world. Nominators and nominees do not need to be BCS members.

Following a pause in the award during 2021 and 2022, the requirement to have completed no more than ten years of post-doctoral research has been extended – submissions for nominees who completed their doctoral studies between 1st January 2011 and 31st December 2022 will be eligible. They should also have been a UK resident for the three years prior to their nomination or deemed to have had a substantial connection with the UK during this time.

Selection criteria

Selection of the Needham Award winner is made by a Needham Award Selection Panel appointed each year by the BCS Academy of Computing Board.

The Selection Panel will base their evaluations on the overall quality of relevant contributions and achievements by nominees, in relation to the selection criteria outlined below.

  • originality, significance and impact of research
  • innovation
  • quality of publications and/or patents and/or software
  • collaborations and teamwork, supporting the development of colleagues and encouraging wider collaboration
  • consideration of ethical and societal implications within their research and its direction
    professional standing

Past winners

Prof Alexandra Silva

Dr Alastair Donaldson

Dr Sharon Goldwater

Prof Niloy Mitra

Needham Award 2023 winner

Professor Ruth Misener has been awarded the 2023 BCS Roger Needham Award for her exceptional contributions to computer science.

The award was made to Professor Misener from the Department of Computing, Imperial College London by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT in recognition of her work identifying and solving fundamental computer science research challenges at the intersection of computational optimisation and machine learning.

Julia Adamson MBE, Managing Director (Education and Public Benefit) at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said: “I want to congratulate Professor Misener on the significant and positive impact she has made to computer science, and say how incredibly proud the whole community is of this achievement. Well done on receiving this much deserved award.”

A recording of Professor Misener’s panel discussion at the Needham Award presentation will be available here soon.

How do I nominate?

You'll need to complete a nomination form telling us about your nominee's professional achievements and the impact they've had in the world of computing...

Have someone in mind?

Nomination window's closed for now, but stay tuned for updates

About Roger Needham

Roger Needham was a visionary who transformed the landscape of computing. His researh led to the Burrows-Abadi-Needham (BAN) logic and the pivotal Needham-Schroeder security protocol, essential for Kerberos authentication and key exchange. He also co-designed TEA and XTEA encryption algorithms, advancing encryption technology.

Joining Cambridge's Computer Laboratory in 1962, Needham rose to head in 1980, becoming a distinguished professor by 1981. His enduring legacy, spanning until retirement in 1995, continues to mould modern computer science. Roger Needham's transformative work remains a cornerstone in computing security's evolution.