Award Rules

The PET Award is presented to researchers who have made an outstanding contribution to the theory, design, implementation, or deployment of privacy enhancing technologies. It is awarded at the annual Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS). A financial prize accompanies the Award.


Any paper by any author written in the area of privacy enhancing technologies is eligible for nomination. However, the paper must have appeared in a refereed journal, conference, or workshop with proceedings published in the period from April 1 of two years previous to the calender year of the award until March 31 of the year of the award. (For the award for year Y, that's April 1 of Y-2 until March 31 of Y.)

Note that we do not accept nominations for publications in conference proceedings when the dates of the conference fall outside of the nomination window. For example, a IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (“Oakland”) paper made available on IEEE Xplore prior to the March 31 deadline would not be eligible, as the conference happens in May. Please note that PETS is associated with a journal publication, PoPETs, so any PoPETs paper published in an issue appearing before the March 31 deadline is eligible (which typically means only Issue 1 of the current year).


Anyone may nominate a paper at Nominations must include the following information: paper title, author(s), author contact information, publication venue and full reference, link to an available online version of the paper, and a nomination statement of no more than 500 words.

Award decisions

Well before the end of the eligibility period, the PETS Program Chairs select the PET Award Chair(s), who are responsible for forming the PET Award Committee, eliciting award nominations from the general audience and the PET community, and choosing a winner(s) among all received nominations.

The PET Award Committee must consist of at least 5 members. In order not to bias the nominations, the names of the Committee members will not be made public until the selection process has finalized.

At the close of nominations (between twelve and fifteen weeks before the PET Symposium), the Award chair(s) will begin the evaluation of all nominations and will notify the author(s) of all nominated papers. (If a good-faith effort to locate any author of a paper fails to yield a response prior to the time that winner(s) are chosen, that paper is deemed ineligible to win; nonetheless, it remains a nominated paper.) Eight weeks before the PET Symposium, the PET Award Committee will notify the winner(s). Typically two winners will be selected. However, the prize committee can instead select a single winner if it so chooses.

The winner(s) will be publicly announced when the award is presented at the PET Symposium. Winners are strongly encouraged to be present at the PET Symposium in order to receive the Award.

Conflicts of interest with Award Committee members

The selection process will take place in two phases. In the first phase, each paper will be reviewed by three Award Committee members. Conflicts of interest in this phase will be dealt with as usual: Committee members will not be able to access any information related to the review process of papers with which they have a conflict. A small number of papers (between four and six) will be selected for the second phase. In the second phase all Committee members will discuss the remaining papers and select the winner(s) and runner(s)-up. Committee members who have a conflict of interest with any of the papers selected for the second phase will have to leave the Committee. If the Committee has at least 5 people total, it can go on without adding new members.

Conflicts of interest with Award Committee Chair(s)

If a paper co-authored by the Award Committee Chair(s) is nominated, the Chair(s) may decide to reject the nomination (or to accept it and leave the Committee, and then a new Chair(s) needs to be selected). If any of the nominated papers is not co-authored by the Chair(s) but still a conflict of interest for the Chair(s), then this paper will be handled out-of-band during the first phase (either by the non-conflicting Chair, or by a non-conflicting Committee member). If any of the papers selected for the second phase is a conflict of interest for the Chair(s), then the conflicting Chair(s) will step out of the selection process and will only continue to be involved with the organizational and logistic aspects of the Award. If necessary, a non-conflicting new co-Chair will be selected among the Committee who will have the final decision-making responsibility on the award and will be the spokesperson regarding the awarded papers.

Rules version: April 2023