2023 INFORMS DEI Best Student Paper Award

The INFORMS DEI Best Student Paper Award honors outstanding papers on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)-related issues using OR/MS methodologies and written by a student member. The prizes will be awarded at the 2023 INFORMS Annual Meeting, and all finalists will be invited to present their paper at a special session sponsored by the DEI Committee.

Apply for 2023 DEI Best Student Paper Award

Purpose of the Award
The INFORMS DEI Student Paper Competition identifies and honors outstanding papers related to DEI (including social justice) with significant societal impact, conducted by student members in operations research and management sciences. The award recognizes high-quality research among the broader INFORMS community, focusing on improving diversity, equity, inclusion, and fairness using OR/MS methodologies. The papers should address some aspect of DEI issues (see https://connect.informs.org/diversity/home) on age, belief system, disability status, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and any other visible or non-visible differences. Research that addresses systemic inequities is also welcome; for example, workforce scheduling models that produce schedules that are fair for all workers, resource allocation models that aim to compensate for historical and systemic inequities among demographic groups, or healthcare screening models that account for differences among genders, racial/ethnic groups, etc.

Important Dates
June 30, 2023: Application submission deadline
October 15-18, 2023: Winners announcement during the Annual Conference

The following conditions must be met for eligibility:

  1. The entrant must have been a student on or after June 1, 2022, and must be a member of INFORMS at the date of submission.
  2. The paper must present original research conducted primarily by the student (a summary of multiple papers is not eligible). The submitted paper may be based on research that has already been submitted or published but must adhere to the specified page limit and formatting requirements.
  3. The research must have been conducted while the entrant was a student.
  4. The paper may have one or more co-authors, but the student's contributions must make up the majority of the paper (>50%). In the nomination letter, the advisor must explicitly comment upon and specify the percentage of the student’s contribution:
    1. in defining the problem and initiating the research that resulted in the paper;
    2. in conducting the research itself that resulted in the paper;
    3. in writing the paper.
  5. An entrant can be a (co-)author in at most one paper submitted to the competition. Only one entrant per paper is allowed, and the same paper cannot be submitted by multiple entrants.
  6. This paper may not have been a winner, runner-up, or honorable mention in any other INFORMS award.

Submission Requirements

  1. The entire paper (including the bibliography, appendices, figures, etc.) must not exceed 20 pages, with 1.5 line spacing and 12-point type. The paper must be written in English. The paper should be blind, i.e., there should be no authors’ names and affiliations; self-citations should be done in a manner that does not reveal the authors' identity; and no references to grants, full version, or other online versions should be present. The filename of the submitted paper should be ShortTitleOfThePaper.pdf (whatever the short title of your paper is).
  2. The application must also contain a nomination letter from the student's advisor(s) that certifies that all eligibility requirements have been met. The nomination letter should also include the title of the paper, the name and affiliations of all co-authors, and contact information for the entrant, and should specify whether the paper has been published or is currently under review. The filename of the submitted nomination letter should be EntrantLastName_NominationLetter.pdf.

Application Process
All student entrants must submit their work by June 30, 2023, through the INFORMS award website.

Apply for 2023 DEI Best Student Paper Award

A complete entry consists of (1) one self-contained blind paper in the specified format (papers not satisfying the format will not be accepted), and (2) a nomination letter.

The Awards and Presentations
Up to six awards (first-place, second-place, and up to four finalists) may be given upon recommendation of the award committee. The award committee reserves the right not to give any awards. The first place carries a cash award of $1,000, second place $500, and each finalist $250. In addition, all winners and finalists will be awarded certificates.

The finalists will be invited to present their papers in a special session sponsored by the DEI Committee at the 2023 INFORMS Annual Meeting.

Partnership with Management Science
Finalists of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Award are welcome to submit their original, unpublished work to Management Science (MS). If the authors opt to do this, they must inform the DEI Committee Co-chairs within a month after the finalists are announced. If this option is chosen, the papers will be forwarded to MS Editor-In-Chief (EIC) or appropriate Department Editors (DEs), along with their reviews. MS EIC and/or DEs will conduct additional screening and may opt to “sponsor” the finalist papers, by sending out a formal invitation to submit to the journal. Authors of the papers invited by MS editors will have two months to decide whether to accept the invitation and submit to the journal. At that point, the papers will undergo the journal’s review process handled by the “sponsoring” editors. Papers that do not receive an invitation, or that do receive an invitation, but are ultimately not submitted, could still be submitted to the journal in the future under the journal’s standard rules. We emphasize that both the invitation to submit and the ultimate publication decision lie with the journal, and in particular there is no guarantee that a finalist paper will be invited, or ultimately accepted by the journal. However, we do anticipate that this process will lead to a faster decision from the journal for invited papers.

Further Information
For further information about the nomination process or the award, please contact the award committee co-chairs, Dr. Margret Bjarnadottir (mbjarnad@umd.edu) or Dr. Alice Smith (smithae@auburn.edu).