Rising Stars

Aug 8

Posted on 2022-01-15

The Rising Stars in Computer Graphics program is designed to encourage people of underrepresented genders to become research leaders in computer graphics. This is a two-year program tailored for researchers who expect to be on the job market in two years' time. We target this period because most students have reached sufficient research maturity, but it is common to still be weighing options and making decisions about future career directions.

This program will consist of three components: workshops (co-located with SIGGRAPH 2022 and 2023), a mentoring program, and peer-mentoring activities. The SIGGRAPH 2022 workshop will help participants explore different career trajectories within graphics research (academia or industry), while the SIGGRAPH 2023 workshop will focus on advice for successfully navigating the research job market. The program will pair each rising star participant with a senior mentor and will also include peer-mentorship activities to encourage the participants to get to know each other and form lasting connections.

WiGRAPH will provide travel support for all accepted participants, to defray the cost of attending the conference.

The application for Rising Stars 2022 has closed. Thank you to all who applied! We look forward to announcing our first cohort in mid-May.

Poster by Genevieve Simms


The Rising Stars Program is open to computer graphics PhD students and postdocs of underrepresented genders, including cisgender women, trans people of any gender, non-binary people, and all people with historically marginalized or underrepresented genders. Applicants should be expecting to obtain their PhD or complete their postdoc in 2024.

Application Materials

  • One Letter of recommendation.
  • CV
  • Application form, which includes general information, a 500-word research statement, and a 500-word personal statement (see FAQ for guidelines on writing each statement)

Important Dates

  • February 7: Application Opens
  • April 4: April 8: Application deadline (letter of recommendation must be submitted by then)
  • May 13: Decision notifications
    • We have notified our first round of accepted recipients -- congratulations! However, due to the large volume of exceptional applications we received, we are currently trying to accommodate additional participants in our program. For those of you who have not received a response yet, we’ll be in touch by next Friday, May 20. Thank you for your patience!
  • Aug 7-11: SIGGRAPH


What are you looking for in a research statement?

We are looking for evidence of research maturity and contributions to the field of computer graphics.

What are you looking for in a personal statement?

We are looking for people who will make a positive impact in the computer graphics research community. Applicants are welcome to write about whatever topics best describes their potential to contribute to the community, but here are some suggestions:

  • What is unique about your background?
  • Why are you passionate about computer graphics research?
  • Which experiences led you to develop your skill set and passions?
  • Where have you demonstrated leadership and collaboration?
  • How will/have you contributed to the computer graphics research community?
  • How will/have you contributed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts [in the computer graphics research community and/or in general]?

How should my letter of recommendation be submitted?

The applicant should ask their letter writer to send the recommendation directly to rscg@wigraph.org, and to include the applicant's name and application ID in the email subject line. Note: The application form will also ask the applicant to provide the name and email address of their recommender, but this will only be used by the WiGRAPH team to facilitate matching between the applications and their respective recommendations. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that their letter writer knows where to send their letter.

How should I fill out the EasyChair application form?

To apply for Rising Stars in Computer Graphics 2022, our EasyChair submission form will require the following material:

  • A 500-word research statement (see FAQ for details)
  • A 500-word personal statement (see FAQ for details)
  • Your CV with links to website and publications (if available)
  • The name and email of your recommendation letter writer (note that your letter writer still need to send the letter directly to rscg@wigraph.org)
  • For the default Title field (which cannot be removed): please fill in your name.
  • For the default Keywords field (which cannot be removed, at least three words required): please enter RSCG2022 and your first and last names.

Will I be able to update my application until the deadline?

Yes! Even after submission, EasyChair will allow you to update your application materials until the deadline. Feel free to submit as early and often as you'd like, to make sure that your application isn't thwarted by any technical glitches as the deadline approaches.

If I submit an application to Rising Stars, can I still apply to the ACM SIGGRAPH Doctoral Consortium?

Yes! We anticipate that many students who will be applying to our program in 2022 will apply to the Doctoral Consortium in 2023. It is also possible to apply for both programs at the same time, if that fits your situation better. The schedules and content are coordinated so that they will NOT overlap.

I'm not sure I want a career in computer graphics research, should I still apply?

The larger goal of the Rising Stars program is to provide resources for students who are passionate about computer graphics research and will add to the research community, even if they are unsure if a career in research is for them. Many of the speakers and mentors were in similar shoes when they were at your point in the program and want to share the perspectives that led them to choose this path. It is very normal to be uncertain or daunted by the idea of a research career, and we encourage you to still apply if you fall into this category!

What does it mean to be 'within two years of going on the job market'?

It means the applicant intends to be interviewing for jobs in Winter/Spring 2024. For most applicants this will mean that they will graduate or complete their postdoc around June 2024.

There's a chance that I will be on the job market in 2024, but I'm not sure. Should I apply for the program this year, or wait?

It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future, so we trust applicants to make an honest effort to apply at the appropriate time. We stress that you are not eligible to participate more than once and that you will make the most of the program if you participate at the suggested time.

If I apply this year and I am not selected, can I apply again next year?

Since participants should apply two years before they go on the market, the only circumstance when someone will be applying for the second time would be if (a)they have not been selected and (b)they have decided to stay one more year in their PhD/postdoc program. Therefore, second-time applicants will require a letter from their supervisor certifying this change in program end date.

If, after I apply, I change my mind about my expected graduation date, can I wait one more year to participate in the program?

No, because we have a limited number of slots and therefore if you are selected this year and don't attend you will be taking away a spot from someone else, which goes against our mission of trying to broaden participation.

I don't plan to do a postdoc, what's the best time to apply?

If you think it will take you N years to graduate, you should apply during year N-2. For example, if you plan to graduate from your PhD in 2024, then you should apply now.

I plan to graduate in 2022 and start a 2-year postdoc, so I should be on the market in 2024. However, I still don't have my postdoc lined up. Can I apply?

You don't need to have your postdoc lined up to apply. If you think you will finish your postdoc in 2024, then you should apply now.

I expect to be on the job market in 2023. Can I be considered for this program?

Unfortunately, no. If you are planning to go on the job market in 2023, this program is not well suited for you. We would encourage you to apply to other programs such as the EECS Rising Stars Programs and the ACM SIGGRAPH Doctoral Consortium. Please also refer to the WiGRAPH Resources page for other opportunities.

Will there be a Rising Stars 2023?

No guarantees, but we certainly hope this event will be successful and we will be able to continue to run it for many years to come!

What exact dates/times will the event be held?

Workshops will be held on the first day of the conference (Sunday) and will finish before the technical papers fast-forward. Additional mentoring and peer-mentoring events will be scheduled during lunch and dinner breaks. No part of the program should overlap with the technical papers program.

What travel support will be provided?

WiGRAPH intends to cover each participant's airfare, hotel accommodations, and registration costs for SIGGRAPH 2022 (subject to reasonable bounds, to be discussed in more detail after acceptance). To qualify for this funding, you will be expected to participate in the full workshop and the mentoring program. We hope to provide similar support for this cohort during the second year of the program (co-located with SIGGRAPH 2023), but this will be subject to available funds.

What will happen to the Rising Stars program if SIGGRAPH moves to a virtual format?

The WiGRAPH team is carefully examining our options in case of a virtual/hybrid format, and we will announce a modified plan if it becomes necessary to do so.