Instarecon Innovation Scholarship

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 The InstaRecon Innovation Scholarship will be given annually to one graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) to help support the development of a prototype or demonstration of an innovative technology with commercialization potential. The research/development should come from the field of computing, signal processing, communications, and/or control and be performed at the University.

The winning recipient will be chosen by a selection committee in the Coordinated Science Laboratory. The award includes a $1,000 scholarship, award certificate of recognition, and an invitation for the recipient to present his/her work in CSL during the fall semester. A public citation for the award will be placed on the CSL website, in the CSL e-newsletter to alumni, and in the CSL annual report, as well as ECE communications vehicles, as appropriate.

Awards Selection Committee

The CSL InstaRecon Award Selection Committee will consist of ECE faculty who are CSL members with a technology and/or translational research background, one of which will be appointed as the selection committee chair. The CSL Director will appoint the three committee members, selecting representatives from Decision & Control, SINE, and InSinc.

Members of the selection committee will serve three-year terms, but they will be reappointed each December for the upcoming cycle by the CSL Director. The invitations to serve on the committee will note that if the invited faculty member foresees that one of his/her students will be nominated, then the faculty member should decline to serve on the committee (so that the director can appoint someone else).

Conflict of Interest Policy

Members of the committee will not be eligible to serve either as a nominator or a reference letter writer for a nomination. In the event that the student of a committee member is nevertheless nominated, then that member will be recused from service on the committee, and the CSL Director will be notified and appoint a replacement. If other situations arise that could be considered a conflict of interest, then determination in such cases will be made by the CSL Director. Ordinarily, service of an awards committee member on the dissertation committee of a student is not considered a conflict of interest.


The award honorarium, travel expenses, and the award certificate of recognition will be funded by a gift from InstaRecon, Inc. InstaRecon, Inc., a spinoff company from research at the Departments of ECE and CSL at the University of Illinois, is a supplier of technology and services to imaging scanner equipment makers and supply chain partners. InstaRecon’s patented algorithms increase the computational efficiency of image reconstruction in CT, PET, SPECT, and MRI.


Nominations will be due by May 20, with a decision by the committee by August 16, in time to allow the above recognition and award presentation in the upcoming Fall semester at the first CSL Social Hour.  Self-nominations are welcome.

Nomination Requirements:

  1. Nominee must be a CSL and ECE Graduate Student
  2. It is expected that the nominee will continue at CSL for at least one year after the award date to have time to further develop their research.
  3. The award may be made to a team of up to two individuals; in such cases, the $1,000 scholarship will be equally split between the two individuals.

Nominations for the award must include:

  1. A statement summarizing the candidate’s innovative technological development and potential impact, including commercialization potential, scientific justification of the nomination, and plans for the development of a prototype or demonstration of the technology (two pages maximum, figures and references are not included in the two page limit);
  2. A short description of the student’s involvement with CSL, i.e., justification how this student was involved with CSL (e.g., student had an office in CSL, student was funded by CSL funds, student was involved in a CSL student conference or organization);
  3. Curriculum Vitae of the nominee with specification which semester(s) the PhD candidate spent in CSL; and a statement about the expected graduation date.
  4. Three faculty endorsement letters supporting the nomination. Each endorsement should clearly specify the contributions, innovation, and potential impact on nominee’s field and beyond, and commercialization potential of the proposed technology.
  5. A concise statement (one sentence) of the justification for which the award is being given. This statement will appear on the award certificate and on the website.


The submission process will be preceded by the call for nominations. The call for nominations will be widely publicized on the CSL web site, CSL mailing list, and CSL e-newsletter between April and May of the year of award.