Student Paper Contest (SPC)

IEEE Region 8 Student Paper Contest

About SPC

The IEEE Region 8 Student Paper Contest (SPC) started in 1967, only four years after IEEE R8 was formed. The SPC was an initiative of the second R8 Director, Jean Lebel. The first SPC was held in Lausanne, Switzerland in conjunction with the IEEE R8 Committee Meeting. Since then, it has been held every year without exception, and it is one of the main technical activities in Region 8. By organizing the Student Paper Contest, the IEEE Region 8 Student Activities Committee recognizes the importance of student research and the dissemination of their results and findings.


The R8 SPC is an excellent occasion for personal leadership and involvement of student members in a prospective IEEE scientific/technical activity. It is aimed at encouraging and supporting undergraduate and master students to work on an engineering topic covered by the IEEE and produce a technical paper for publication. Early research activities at the undergraduate and master level allow students to develop professionally and personally in ways not possible through traditional lectures, and this experience can be extremely valuable for students and their future careers. In accordance with those goals, PhD students are not included in this contest, because conducting research and publishing scientific papers is normally the most important aspect of a PhD study, so the expected scientific contribution is not the same at different study levels. Therefore, the IEEE Region 8 Student Paper Contest is for IEEE R8 student members or graduate student members who have not yet started their PhD.


In addition to student benefits, there are also benefits for IEEE organizational units. The contest increases the visibility of student branches and allows for wider promotion of IEEE among students. It is also a nice possibility to involve more members of the academic community, like student counselors, supervisors, mentors, reviewers, etc., in a significant IEEE activity.


The best way to get high-quality papers for the regional contest is to organize local student paper contests by IEEE student branches or even at the level of a section. Each local Student Branch Contest winner may compete for the Region 8 SPC. A student branch (SB) may submit one paper to the SPC per every 100 SB members or part thereof, with a maximum of three papers per SB. In order to promote and support local student paper contests, from this year onwards, the IEEE Region 8 Student Activities Committee offers a new opportunity for student branches and sections through the Local Student Paper Contest Events Program. This program will provide funding to IEEE Region 8 Sections and Student Branches to establish local student paper contests, which will increase student contest awareness and participation.


Additionally, especially in small branches where the organization of a local contest is difficult, the IEEE section officers can encourage students to submit their work as a technical paper to the regional SPC. Also, all R8/Sections/Chapters IEEE Conferences, having student paper sessions included in their programs, could and should also be used to get additional proposals for the regional SPC, provided that the student paper has not already been published in the conference proceedings. As long as a SB is formally supporting and accepting any type of student paper contest activity, it is in line with the existing SPC rules. The success of the SPC relies primarily on the engagement and enthusiasm of the Student Branch Counselor and the Student Branch Chair, but also the contributions of other IEEE officers like Section Chairs, Chapter Chairs, Section SA officers, etc., could be extremely valuable.


The deadline to send full papers to IEEE Region 8 SPC is usually December 1 (sometimes it is extended for two weeks). Submitted papers are graded by an international jury composed of 4-5 experts who are, in most cases, university professors from different Region 8 countries. The review is double-blind, which means that the judges handle the papers without knowledge of the identity of the authors/institutions. Every jury member grades papers individually, usually with the assistance of other colleagues who are specialists in the corresponding fields. The results are then averaged, a ranking list is made, and the top 5 papers are selected. All five finalists (one author per paper) are invited to present their papers at one of IEEE R8 flagship conferences. Traditionally, the SPC Regional Oral Finals are held during the MELECON or EUROCON conferences. The presentations are graded by the same international jury as in the first part of the contest. On the basis of both the written and oral parts of the competition, the final ranking list and the decision about the winner are made. There are prizes for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place of $800, $500, and $200, respectively. In addition, the student branch where the winner comes from gets an award of $250. This award is named the “Dick Poortvliet Award” to honour the 1995 Student Paper Contest coordinator who passed away during his term. As a special form of recognition, the papers of all 5 finalists are published in the Conference Proceedings and included in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library.


The regional SPC Oral Finals provide an excellent opportunity for extraordinary students to get invaluable early experience of taking part in a prestigious IEEE conference and exchanging their ideas and results.


SPC Rules


  1. Once every year, each IEEE Student Branch (SB) may hold a Student Paper Contest (SPC) under its own responsibility.
  2. The winner(s) of each Branch Contest may compete for the Region 8 Contest, held within the Region limits. A Branch may submit one paper for every 100 branch members or part thereof, with a maximum of three papers.
  3. However if the branch does not hold a student paper contest, a paper can be submitted by a student branch if the student branch counselor supports the paper and the paper is within the valid rules for submission.
  4. At Region 8 Contest an international Jury, will grade the written papers without knowledge of the identity of the author and of his school. Jury will decide which papers will be accepted for presentation at the Region 8 SPC oral finals.
  5. Only IEEE student members and IEEE graduate student members are allowed to be authors of the SPC papers. Each author has to be a member of an IEEE R8 Student Branch at the time of the original submission of the paper to the Branch Contest and a member (student or not) of the IEEE at the time of the oral presentation. The work presented has to be completed before the student receives the engineering degree that entitles him/her to start preparing a doctoral thesis and the submission of the paper to the Region 8 Contest must be completed within 12 months after graduation. A doctoral thesis is not considered.
  6. Although the original paper – i.e. the paper that was submitted to the local Branch Contest – may be written in any language, the paper that is submitted to the Region 8 Contest should be in English. The oral presentation shall be in English, as well.
  7. When entering a paper in the Region 8 Contest, each SB Counselor will provide a document certifying that condition 5 is fulfilled, giving the IEEE membership number(s) of the author(s), and stating during which year(s) after high school the work has been performed. Any other useful information concerning the work and background is welcome. This document should be attached to the Student Paper Cover Sheet (see “Author Guidelines on Paper Layout” and “Student Paper Cover Sheet”).
  8. Finalists selected by the Jury will be invited to present their papers at one of the Region 8 If acceptable to the organizers of the conference at which the oral finals take place, the papers that have been accepted for oral presentation will be published in the proceedings of that conference and possibly included in IEEE Xplore Database. Since the five finalist papers are being included in the conference proceedings as well as in IEEE Xplore Library, the rules will now allow that the name of the supervisor/mentor may be added, as an author, to the final version of the paper sent to the conference organisation. This does not change in any way the basic rule that the submitted paper is the work of the student. Electronic versions of the finalists’ papers will also be published in the IEEE Region 8 SAC web pages.
  9. Travel expenses (train 2nd class, or plane economy class for very long distances) will be provided by the Region 8 Student Activities Fund to one author of each paper accepted by the Jury for oral presentation. Living expenses which may occur while attending the oral presentation may also be reimbursed; the guidelines for this reimbursement will be mailed to attendees before the presentation.
  10. The IEEE Life Member Fund is supporting IEEER8 and awarding three prizes of 800, 500 and 200 US Dollars for the first, second and third placed papers respectively. Furthermore, the Region 8 Student Activities Fund offers 250 US Dollars as the “Dick Poortvliet Award” to the branch where the winner comes from.
  11. Published work is excluded from the Contest. Any paper subsequently published should mention an acknowledgement of the received award.



  1. Papers should cover technical and engineering aspects of a subject reasonably within or related to the areas with which the IEEE is concerned with.
  2. The work need not be original in engineering content, but should be original in treatment and concise in coverage of the author’s contribution to the subject.



  1. The paper must be typewritten on A4 size paper (210 mm × 297 mm), with the text width equal to 183 mm and the text height equal to 243.5 mm; a font size of 10 pt or larger should be used. The two-column IEEE Transactions style (with the space between columns equal to 4.1 mm) is required.
  2. The paper should not exceed six (6) pages. Overlength papers will not be considered for the contest!



  1. Send papers by email to It is required that the version of the paper sent to the Region 8 Contest does not show the identities of the authors and their educational establishments. The paper MUST be accompanied by the
    • Student Paper Cover Sheet (separate doc file), (see 23 below)
    • SB Counselor certification document from point 7 (separate scanned file), and
    • signed IEEE Copyright form
  1. Please see the submission deadline on the SAC website. Normally it is 1 December.



  1. Those authors selected to give an oral presentation should develop a pleasant and logical presentation of the subject matter fitted to 15-20 minutes. The Jury will question each contestant for an additional period of 10 minutes typical.
  2. An electronic presentation – based on Power Point, for instance – using a beamer (LCD data projector) is preferred. Additional presentation tools may be provided if a request is made and granted in advance. The presentation should not attempt to cover the entire paper, but rather to give a general idea and enlarge on one or two specific points.



  1. There shall be maximum five judges within Jury.
  2. The contributions are graded as follows:
    • Written paper:
      • Technical content: 45 points maximum,
      • Technical presentation: 25 points maximum
    • Oral presentation: 30 points maximum.
  1. A preliminary selection based on the written document may be made by the members of the jury, either if too many papers are submitted or if some papers do not reach the expected level or formal requirements.



Since the judges must handle the papers without knowledge of the identity of the author and his educational establishment, it is required that the paper itself show no such identification other than the title. The title, author(s)’ name(s) and IEEE membership number(s), corresponding author’s address, school, and Branch Counselor’s name must be shown on a removable cover sheet. The Counselor’s certification document should be removable too.


  1. Student Paper Cover Sheet

Answer concisely and completely the questions in the form below, and send it as a separate file (doc) together with the paper. Only the second part of the Cover Sheet, Section B, will be sent to Jury and will help in grading the paper.


Section A

  • School:
  • Author(s), with their IEEE membership number(s):
  • Name, address, contact phone and e-mail of author to whom correspondence should be addressed:
  • Name, address, contact phone and e-mail of Student Branch Counselor:
  • Name, address, contact phone and e-mail of Student Branch Chair:


Section B

This will be passed to the jury members and is an aid towards their judging of the paper.

  • Paper title:
  • What is the problem and why is it important?
  • What is the original contribution of this work? Be explicit.
  • Does this work check and / or extend previously reported work? What work? Give references. Be explicit.
  • How does this contribution compare to previously published work?
  • If the paper is to be submitted to one of the IEEE Transactions, which Transactions would be the most appropriate?



The following guidelines are suggested to assist grading by providing a uniform layout. In general, the paper should be organized as follows:


Title page. The title should consist of the minimum number of key words necessary to portray accurately the content of the paper. Reader’s interest is stimulated by a well-chosen title. The author’s name should not appear on the title page, nor should any other name of persons or schools.


Abstract. The abstract should not describe the paper, but should give in brief the essentialfacts of its content, for example, a brief statement of the problem or objective and a concise summary of results or conclusions, touching upon methods or other details only if they are unique or if they are of some particular significance. The abstract should be no longer than 100 words.


Introduction. The introduction should lead to the development of the subject so that thereader may obtain a clear understanding of the significance of the paper. This often can be done by giving briefly the state of the art as background. Then bring out the added advantages of the method of approach and emphasize the importance of the results or conclusions.


Body. The main argument of the development of the subject is carried out in the body of thepaper, complete with supporting data. The argument should proceed in a logical sequence according to a prepared outline. The writing should be in the third person. Supporting data and results can often be presented most effectively as curves, charts or tables. Well-known abbreviations may be used in the text but should be defined where used the first time, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Generally, the use of abbreviations should be confined to not duplicate text matter.


Conclusion. The conclusions are often considered the most important part of a paper. Theyshould be stated concisely in a separate section at the end of the paper. If there are three or more conclusions, greater emphasis can be obtained by numbering each conclusion and setting it off in a separate paragraph.


Tables. Tables should be numbered consecutively using Roman numerals. Small tabulations or listings may be made in the text where necessary for continuity. Each table should be titled by giving a brief description as a heading following the table number at the top. Ditto marks should not be used in tables, but brackets may be used to group information common to several lines.


Diagrams. Three types of diagrams may be used: photographs, oscillograms, line drawings. Keep reading matter on illustrations to a minimum; include it in the captions. Portions of illustrations may be identified by letters and explained in the captions. Whenever feasible, combine several curves on the same co-ordinates. Their identifying letters or numbers should be in clear spaces between cross-section lines. If it is necessary to place data over cross section lines, erase these lines.


Appendices. Detailed mathematical proofs, development of equations, and examples which are subordinate to the main argument in the body of a paper, but not essential to following the argument, should be treated in appendices. References are made in the text to details in the appendices. Main equations as they are developed should be numbered consecutively, with the number in parentheses opposite the equation in the right hand margin.


References. Any information or development taken from books, periodicals or courses, i.e. from any external source, should be clearly referenced in the text and a suitable reference list should be appended to enable the reader to consult those sources. References should be numbered consecutively and should follow the form show n below:

  • For a periodical: R. N. Hall, “Power rectifiers and transistors,” Proc. IRE, vol. 40, pp. 1512–1519, November 1952.
  • For a book: W. A. Edison, Vacuum Tube Oscillators, Wiley, New York, pp. 170–171, 1948.



The  following criteria are suggested to provide a uniform grading standard:

  • Do the authors present their independent work?
  • Is the significant amount of presented work new? Do the authors present a novel interpretation of some existing work?
  • Is the subject matter of substantial technical content and is it presented at an acceptably advanced level?
  • Is the 100-word abstract concise, informative and accurate?
  • Does the written presentation include a satisfactory introduction which properly orients the reader with respect to the general area with which the paper deals ? Does the concluding portion of the paper summarize the reader’s impression of what the work has accomplished ? Are the conclusions supported by evidence?
  • Does the exposition (and analysis which may be involved) proceed in an orderly and logical manner? Is the paper self-contained?
  • Does the author exhibit ingenuity and resourcefulness in methods of presentation, choice of illustrations, use of analogies and the like?
  • Is the paper technically accurate?
  • Is an unmistakable meaning conveyed with acceptable brevity?
  • Is the format and typesetting quality of the paper appropriate?



Local Student Paper Contest Events Program


The IEEE Region 8 Student Activities Committee is announcing the Local Student Paper Contest Events Program. This program calls for section student activities and student branch leaders to submit their own version of a local student paper contest and get the chance to showcase their papers on the Regional Student Paper Contest.



The program aims to:

  • Giving incentives to IEEE Region 8 Sections and Student Branches for establishing local student paper contests;
  • Provide an opportunity to students to showcase their technical skills;
  • Promote Regional Student Paper Contest, as well as increase awareness and participation.



The program rules are the following:

  • Applicants to this program can be either Sections or Student Branches;
  • The application should include an endorsement letter:
    • For Sections, only Section Chair, SSAC or SSR can provide an endorsement;
    • For Student Branches, only Student Branch Chair or Counselor can provide an endorsement.
  • Participants should be students affiliated with the organizing OU;
  • The local SPC papers can not get published on conference proceedings with ISBN;
  • The local contest should follow the rules of R8 SPC;
  • The finalists papers of these local events have to be submitted in the Regional Student Paper Contest:
    • 1 finalist for OUs with less than 100 student members;
    • 2 finalists for OUs with 100 – 199 student members;
    • 3 finalists for OUs with more than 200 student members.
    • Note: Student members include both Student Member Grade and Graduate Student Member Grade.



Proposals will be judged from R8 SAC in the following areas:

  • Solid content and Planning;
  • Alignment with program goals.



The proposal shall contain the following information:

  • Summary of the proposal (max. 250 words)
  • Description of the Local Student Paper Contest
  • Proposed Title, Date, Venue and Organizing Team
  • Preliminary Budget
  • Suggested Program and Time Schedule
  • Goals and KPIs
    • Provide a short timeframe with milestones
    • The event should be organized within the year of approval and in any case before the R8 SPC deadline for submissions

The submission shall:

  • be a maximum of 6 pages (without endorsement letter);
  • be in Times new roman font and 11 font size;
  • be submitted in pdf format;
  • include as attachment the endorsement letter.



The entries which exceed the minimum standards will receive up to 300$ per Student Branch or up to 500$ per Section to be used as secured funding. The funding will be sent in the (parent) Section’s bank account after the submission and evaluation of the final report. The funding does not cover virtual platforms costs and covers up to 80% of the total budget. Funding Eligibility Criteria and Outcome Reporting Rules are applied on this program.


Apply Now!

Final Deadline: October 20th

Application From: Submit your Application NOW


Important Dates

  1. Proposals Submission: April 20th, May 20th, June 20th, July 20th, August 20th, September 20th, October 20th
  2. Winners Announcement: 14 days after proposal submission deadline
  3. Event Implementation: by late November 2022
  4. Reporting Submission: by November 30th, 2022
  5. Funding Release: December 2022