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EuroVis PhD Award

EuroVis Annual Award for Best PhD Thesis

The EuroVis Best PhD Dissertation Award recognizes outstanding dissertations in academic research and development over topics relevant to visualization. The intent of this award is to recognize excellent young researchers in their early career and to highlight visualization research. The award is managed by the Best PhD dissertation committee, constituted by a Chair appointed by the EuroVis Steering Committee.

The current chair is Jean-Daniel Fekete.

Best PhD Awards 2021

 Irene Baeza Rojo – ETH Zurich, CH
For her outstanding PhD thesis “Feature Extraction and Scalable Exploration for Scientific Data Analysis and Visualization” in which she has made a number of novel contributions that push the frontiers of the state-of-the-art in visualization of flows and volumes. This thesis combines theoretical depth with practical relevance and a thorough evaluation of the underlying implementations to deliver impressive visualization of flows for a variety of application domains.

 Davide Ceneda – TU Wien, AU
For his outstanding PhD thesis “Guidance-Enriched Visual Analytics” where he defines and characterizes “guidance” in Visual Analytics and outlines a general model that facilitates in-depth reasoning about guidance based on a thorough literature review. This thesis work, already highly cited, provides practical guidelines for incorporating guidance into visual analytics tools and lays out a research agenda for the systematic development of guidance techniques for visual analytics.

 Daniel Cornel – TU Wien, AU
For his outstanding PhD thesis “Interactive Visualization of Simulation Data for Geospatial Decision Support” where he has developed a comprehensive platform for analyzing flood simulations that supports the comparison of ensembles of possible futures. This thesis provides an impressive technical solution that is deployed with real-world collaborators, and also introduces novel visualization techniques that can be applied in a variety of other simulation applications.

2021 Committee

Jean-Daniel Fekete, Inria, Saclay, France
Thomas Ertl, Univ. of Stuttgart, Germany
Heike Leitte, Univ. of Kaiserslautern, Germany
Jessie Kennedy, Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (for now)
Ross Maciejewski, Arizona State University, USA
Andreas Kerren, Linköping University and Linnaeus University, Sweden
Christophe Hurter, French Civil Aviation University, Toulouse, France

Best PhD Awards 2020

 Jonas Lukasczyk – University of Kaiserslautern, DE for his outstanding PhD thesis “Topology-Based Characterization and Visual Analysis of Feature Evolution in Large-Scale Simulations” where he addresses a very challenging problem. It is an excellent example of the combination of strong mathematical concepts with visual analytics to solve real-world problems. To make his work accessible to a larger audience he provides his algorithms open-source in the topology toolkit TTK.

 Monique Meuschke – University of Magdeburg, DE for her outstanding PhD thesis “Visualization, Classification, and Interaction for Risk Analysis and Treatment Planning of Cerebral Aneurysms” where she presents substantial improvements to the visual assessment and decision support for the diagnosis of cerebral aneurysms. Her very advanced visualization techniques of cerebral aneurysms using multiple modalities allow their exploration, prediction of chances of rupture, and classification for eventually improving their treatments.

2020 Committee

Jean-Daniel Fekete, Inria, FR (chair)
Stefan Bruckner, University of Bergen, NO
Ingrid Hotz, Linköping University, SE
Robert S Laramee, University of Nottingham, UK
Gerik Scheuermann, University of Leipzig, DE
Julien Tierny, Sorbonne University, FR

Best PhD Awards 2019

Sergej Stoppel – University of Bergen, NO for his outstanding PhD thesis “User-Centric Parameter Specification for Interactive Virtual and Physical Visual Representations” where he showcases highly creative and inspiring ideas and solutions to help analysts navigate complex parametric spaces using virtual, physical, and physically inspired devices.

Thomas Mühlbacher – Technical University Vienna, AU for his outstanding PhD thesis “Human-Oriented Statistical Modeling: Making Algorithms Accessible through Interactive Visualization” introducing an innovative, consistent. and efficient framework to provide visual guidance to analysts, rethinking the dominating “black-box” paradigm.

2019 Committee

Jean-Daniel Fekete, Inria, FR (chair)
Niklas Elmqvist, Univ. of Maryland, US
Miriah Meyer, Univ. of Utah, US
Berhard Preim, University of Magdeburg
Jarke van Wijk, Eindhoven University of Technology, NL

Best PhD Awards 2018

Tanja Blascheck – University of Stuttgart, DE for her outstanding PhD thesis “Understanding Interactive Visualizations: Leveraging Eye Movements and Visual Analytics” introducing novel methods to evaluate visualization using eye tracking by triangulating with multiple data sources.

Michael Glueck – University of Toronto, CA for his out standing PhD thesis “Ontology-based Context in Visualizations to Facilitate Sensemaking: Case Studies of Phenotype Comparisons” proposing effective visual analytic interfaces for helping medical domain experts understand large-scale patient records using medical ontologies.

Renata Raidou – Eindhoven University of Technology, NL for her outstanding PhD thesis “Visual Analytics for Digital Radiotherapy; Towards a Comprehensible Pipeline” that introduces novel and effective visual analytics solutions to the multiple stages of complex analyses related to radiotherapy.

2018 Committee

Jean-Daniel Fekete, Inria, FR (chair)
Helwig Hauser, Univ. of Bergen, NO
Niklas Elmqvist, Univ. of Maryland, US
Hans Hagen, Univ. of Kaiserslautern, DE
Heidrun Schumann, Univ. of Rostock, DE
Jarke van Wijk, Eindhoven University of Technology, NL


The student’s advisor should email the nomination package to The package must include:

  1. A nomination letter written by the student’s advisor, which includes:
  • the name, email address, and phone number of the advisor,
  • the name, email address, and CV of the candidate, and
  • a one-page summary of the significance of the dissertation (references to papers should be provided on an extra sheet)
  1. A copy of the dissertation.
  2. Optional additional letters of recommendation or assessments on the candidate thesis, such as reviewing or defense reports, can also be attached to the submission.

For questions, contact Jean-Daniel Fekete (

Submission deadline

January, 31st 2021


All PhDs from the European visualization community (e.g., through contributions to the EuroVis conference) that defended and get awarded the degree of Doctor between Jan 1, 2019 and Dec 31, 2020 are eligible for the 2021 competition.

There is no limitation on the number of nominations that may be made by a university.

Selection Procedure

Four to six recognized members of the EuroVis community, selected by the Chair, will form a review committee to thoroughly review and assess the dissertation submissions. The committee will judge the dissertations based on their intellectual merit, technical depth, and presentation quality.

The committee is selected with prominent members of the EuroVis community. Their names are public to foster transparency and attest of the value of the awards. The selection is done after all the applications are received to avoid hard conflicts, i.e. advisors of applicants in the committee. The chair cannot be conflicted either so none of his former PhD students can apply during his term. Soft conflicts are possible: a committee member can be part of the institution of an applicant, either during the PhD or after, or have co-authored with the applicant. In that case, the committee member will not be able to speak about the application during the discussion and can decide or be asked to leave the discussion when it concerns the applicant in soft conflict. Prominent researchers are used to handling these cases when they participate in a selection or prize jury.

The selection is handled in two to three meetings, usually conducted through a videoconferencing system:

  1. They agree on the selection process, on the eligibility of the applicants, and get assigned four PhDs, each PhD being reviewed by two committee members. They will have to read and score them according to the scientific contribution, difficulty of the problem addressed, originality of the solution, quality of the writing/presentation, potential/effective impact, number of EuroVis publications. The citations according to Google Scholar are also collected, as well as the duration of the PhD, that varies widely throughout the institutions and countries. The information gathered is used to provide factual information to the debate, no automatic ranking or scoring is used to filter out  applicants.
  2. The committee meets again and discusses each of the PhDs. In the end, a shortlist of 2-6 PhDs is selected from intense discussions. A major rule is to remain positive about all the PhDs. Each member of the committee needs to complete their reading of all the shortlisted PhDs for the next meeting and provide a full ranking (except for the soft conflicts obviously).
  3. The committee meets and compares the ranking, discussing the differences in the ranking to achieve a consensus. It can decide to select up to 3 PhDs to be awarded.