Best Paper Guidelines

Award Statement
The Alfred Gessow Award for Best Paper prepared for and presented at the VFS Annual Forum has been established to recognize the author(s) who has prepared and presented the most significant Forum technical paper as judged and selected by his/her peers. The selected paper is presented at the European Rotorcraft Forum (ERF). Refer to the Alfred Gessow Guidelines for more detailed information.

The award consists of a plaque and an Honorarium that will pay for travel (up to $1500 US) by one (1) author to the European Rotorcraft Forum (ERF).

  • The Honorarium is provided by the Alfred Gessow Foundation and disbursed by VFS.
  • Complimentary registration and accommodations for the selected author are provided by ERF organizers.
  • The author of each candidate paper i.e., the paper selected as “best” by each Committee or Special Session will receive a certificate to that effect.


  • Encourage VFS members to maintain/improve technical excellence with high quality technical papers at the Annual Forum.
  • Recognize the author(s) who make significant technical contributions via their Forum papers and presentations.


  • The paper must be in general accordance with the format prescribed by the Guidelines to Authors and received by the final paper deadline date of that years Forum.
  • The award is open to all authors who prepare a paper for (and present it in) any Technical or Special Session at the VFS Forum.
  • In the event of co-authors, the award will be given to the principal author provided that he/she presented the paper.
  • If a co-author presents the paper, the co-author will be considered for presentation of the paper at the ERF. However, all co-authors will receive a certificate that recognizes their paper as the “Best Forum Paper.”
  • The Lichten Paper Award winner is not eligible for consideration for the overall best paper. However, committees can award the Lichten paper as best “in their session”, but it will not be eligible for overall Gessow best paper review.

Selection Process
Technical Committees with sessions at the Forum will evaluate and score the papers from their session (or sessions). The process for evaluation and scoring is at the discretion of the Committee, but should include a subcommittee of the Committee composed of no fewer than three members from that Committee. It is suggested that the Scoring System described in Section 5 of the Guidelines be used in the process.

Prior to the Forum, each Technical Committee will:

  • Evaluate all eligible papers in accordance with their Committee or Session process.
  • The most highly scored papers (up to three) should be provided to the appropriate Deputy Technical Director (DTD) prior to the Forum to allow him or her to attempt to personally observe their presentation.
  • Based on the quality of the presentations, each committee is free to alter its pre-Forum ranking as it deems appropriate and provide their final best paper selection to their Deputy Technical Director (Technical Liaison) and the VFS Technical Programs Director.
  • Each Deputy Technical Director (DTD) will then select the best paper from his/her Technical Area and forward the candidate to the VFS Technical Director and the Technical Programs Director.

The VFS Technical Director will then form a Review Committee, which is chaired by himself/herself and includes representatives from industry, government, and academia to make the final selection of “Best Paper of the Forum.”

Scoring & Timeline System
Refer to the Guidelines for more details information on scoring of the final best papers and timeline.