Who receives the award?

The award was established in memory of Professor Roger Needham (1935-2003). Sponsored by Microsoft Research, it is made annually for a distinguished research contribution in computer science by a UK based researcher who has completed up to 10 years' of post-doctoral research.

The winner of the award will receive a £5,000 prize and the opportunity to present their work at the annual Roger Needham Lecture.

Nominate someone for the Roger Needham Award

Thank you for helping us to highlight and appreciate extraordinary people and their exceptional contributions to computing.

Nominations for the 2023 Needham Award are now open. They will close at 23:59 on Wednesday 24th May 2023.

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.

Information to be provided

Nominations should be written for a general computing audience and submitted online.

Entries need to include the following:

  • full name and contact details for both nominator and nominee
  • a short citation to briefly describe what the nominee should be awarded for
  • concise information on the nominee’s contributions, impact and exceptionality
  • brief supporting evidence including a short CV
  • name and email address of someone who will endorse your nomination.

Endorsers will be asked to confirm their endorsement and provide a short statement of support.

All nominators and endorsers are asked to confirm that to the best of their knowledge there is no impediment, relating to professional conduct, to their nominee receiving this prize.

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

Guide to nominating

Our guidance for nominators has advice on making a good quality nomination. 

Make a nomination

Prepare a nomination

Download an offline copy of the nomination form to assist with preparing your submission.

Prepare Needham Award nomination

Nominate for Needham Award

Make a nomination for the BCS Roger Needham Award.

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About Roger Needham

Roger Needham pioneered the technique of protecting passwords using a one-way hash function. Among his theoretical contributions is the development of the Burrows-Abadi-Needham (BAN) logic. The Needham-Schroeder security protocol forms the basis of the Kerberos authentication and key-exchange system, and he also co-designed the TEA and XTEA encryption algorithms.

Professor Needham joined Cambridge's Computer Laboratory (then called the Mathematical Laboratory) in 1962, becoming its head in 1980. He was made a professor in 1981 and remained with the laboratory until his retirement in 1995.

Sponsored by Microsoft Research.