SV Selection Process


Applicants must be enrolled as full- or part-time undergraduate or graduate students for the 2023 school year, ideally, during the conference dates: (October 22 - 27). We may request proof of enrollment be provided. Post-Docs will not be considered.

Selection Statistics

In the spirit of transparency, we continue to provide selection statistics for each year since 2017.
You can see them here: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

Selection Guidelines

To start the selection process, we will be selecting online student volunteers on a two-week cycle in order to accommodate pre-conference duties, starting June 15 (AoE). This means that every two weeks beginning from June 15th, a number of student volunteers will be selected and assigned duties to prepare the content for the conference. Volunteers can then accept tasks as soon as they are selected and could even finish their 10 - 15 hours of work before the conference in October.

For in-person student volunteers, we run a batch selection using a point-based random selection algorithm after the SV registration date closes on August 15th (AoE). These volunteers will complete their required volunteer hours at the conference, with hotel and registration assistance provided by IEEE (exact benefits will be shared later).

Finally, students are encouraged to submit to the SV T-shirt Design Contest and the one winner of the contest will receive an in-person SV slot.

Every year the conference receives many more student volunteer applications than can be accommodated as the number of positions available is limited. Our aim is to build a volunteer cohort that will be reliable, courteous and hard-working, to represent the broad institutions of the VIS community, and to provide additional support to student presenters. We score each application using a points system:

Presenter at (highest one of following):

  • IEEE VIS conferences full papers (three main tracks, TVCG, CG&A): 60 points
  • IEEE VIS short papers (three main tracks): 40 points
  • IEEE VIS challenges, art show, doctoral colloquium, and workshops: 30 points
  • Posters: 20 points

Additional points will be granted for:

  • Student volunteer supervisor or other superlative service at previous IEEE VIS: 60 points
  • Reliable student volunteer at a previous IEEE VIS: 30 points
  • Previous applicants for IEEE VIS SV program: 10 points
  • Relevant volunteering experience at other professional conferences: 5 points
  • Ph.D. student: 30 points
  • Master student: 15 points
  • Early student: 5 points for each remaining year, no more than 10 points (e.g., a 1st year masters student in a 3-year program and a 3rd year phd in a 5-year program both win 10 points.)

Additionally, to ensure broad participation, we limit volunteers to no more than 3 per institution and 2 per advisor. We limit individuals to no more than three years of volunteering without transitioning into a supervisory position. Previous volunteers who proved unreliable (e.g., not performing task duties, gaming the task system, inaccurate application materials, etc.) will not be selected.

We select the top-scoring applicants representing 90% of the slots each while maintaining our institutional/research group limits. Ties are broken first to promote broader representation of countries, institutions and then by lottery.

The remaining 10% of slots are filled by a weighted lottery of applicants who have not volunteered before and to ensure broader representation of countries.

We aim for at least 20% of all volunteers total to be early in their graduate programs and for wide representation.

If we require more volunteers closer to the event due to volunteer cancellations or other unforeseen circumstances, we may bypass previous scores and limits to select new volunteers.

We reserve the right to reject any volunteer application for any reason. This right has not been exercised often in the past.

Reliable Student Volunteers

To obtain the 30 point bonus, SVs must be reliable. Reliable volunteers:

  • Follow task instructions
  • Check-in before task begins
  • Are courteous to all attendees, community members, and venue staff
  • Are honest (e.g., on application, at conference)
  • Wear SV vest while on duty
  • Do not wander off during tasks


There are the following exceptions to bypass the selection process.

  • The SV chairs do not go through the selection process.
  • 1 SV winner of the T-shirt design contest.

Daily Supervisor ("Day Captain") Selection

Each day of the conference and for the entirety of that day, one non-chair student volunteer supervises the others, ensuring tasks are covered and records are kept. Prior to the conference, the SV chairs determine which volunteers will perform these duties on which days. Once the conference schedule is available, SV chairs will solicit availability from a subset of selected student volunteers with prior IEEE VIS SV experience and construct the supervisor list. The SV chairs choose experienced volunteers who have demonstrated reliability and responsibility in their role.

SV Chair Selection

Each year, one current chair will resign and one future chair will be selected, barring extenuating circumstances. The current chairs will select the future chair while keeping these criteria in mind:

  • Ideally the future chair will commit to a three-year term.
  • Preference to students with more years remaining in student status during that term.
  • Ideally one chair with a research focus for each of the three main conference tracks.
  • Preference to students from institutions not yet represented by SV chairs.
  • Preference to students with experience in the daily supervisor task.
  • Conscientious, reliable, committed volunteer experience

A fourth chair, local to the conference venue, may be selected for one year at the discretion of the conference committee.


For more information, please contact the IEEE VIS 2023 Student Volunteers Chairs: