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ICSE 2015 call for contributions to

Doctoral Symposium


The goal of the Doctoral Symposium is to provide a supportive and questioning setting in which PhD students can present and receive feedback on their work. Students at different stages in their research will be able to articulate and discuss their problem statement, goals, methods, and results. The symposium also aims to provide students with useful guidance on various aspects of their research from established researchers and the other student attendees. Finally, the symposium seeks to motivate students in the development of their scientific curiosity and facilitate their networking within the research community.


The technical scope of the symposium is the same as ICSE’s, that is, the symposium enables PhD students to interact with their peers, as well as with more senior researchers, on a wide range of software engineering topics. Students should consider participating in the Doctoral Symposium after they have settled on a dissertation topic and have outlined a research proposal. Also, because we expect participating students to use the feedback received at the symposium to improve their dissertation work, students that are less than a semester away from graduation (at the time of the symposium) are not allowed to submit to the symposium.

With the exception of these two extreme cases, the Doctoral Symposium is open to PhD students at any stage in their research. Students at an initial stage should be able to challenge their ideas and current research directions. Students at a more mature stage should be able to present their thesis and get advice on ways to further improve and better communicate their contributions and findings.


Each prospective student participant will submit a package of materials (described below) for consideration by the Doctoral Symposium Committee. The Doctoral Symposium Committee will select participants using the following criteria:

  • Potential quality of the research and relevance to software engineering.
  • Quality of the research proposal.
  • Stage of the research (to ensure variety among the student participants).
  • Diversity of background, research topics, and approaches.

Students should not infer that a list of prior publications is in any way expected or required; we welcome submissions from students for whom this will be their first formal submission as well as those who have previously published.

How to Submit

To apply as a student participant in the Doctoral Symposium, you should prepare a package consisting of two parts, both to be submitted by November 21, 2014.

Part 1: Research Proposal (max. 4 pages)

Your research proposal must conform to the ICSE 2015 formatting and submission instructions and should contain:

  • A title for your work.
  • Your name, affiliation, email address, and personal website.
  • Your advisor’s name and email address.
  • A main description of your research work that covers:
    • The technical problem to be solved, as well as a justification of its importance.
    • A discussion of related and prior work explaining why this has not solved the problem.
    • A sketch of the proposed approach or solution.
    • A plan for evaluating your work and presenting credible evidence of your results to the research community.
    • The expected contributions of your dissertation research.
    • Progress towards your goals: what you have already done and what you still need to do, possibly with a timeline (for students closer to finishing).
  • A list of your publications directly related to your dissertation work, if any.

Students at the initial stage of their research might have some difficulty in addressing some of these areas, but should make their best attempt. Submissions that do not comply with the foregoing instructions will be desk rejected without review.

Research proposals must be submitted electronically through CyberChair by the stated deadline.

Part 2: Letter of Recommendation

Please ask your advisor to submit a letter of recommendation in support of your application. This letter should include your name, a candid assessment of the current status of your dissertation research, and an expected date for dissertation submission. The letter should be emailed, in PDF format, to both This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject “ICSE 2015 Doctoral Symposium Recommendation”.

Important Dates

  • Submission: November 21, 2014
  • Notification: January 21, 2015
  • Camera ready copy: February 13, 2015


All authors of accepted contributions will be asked to complete a copyright form and submit a camera-ready version of their four-page research proposal. Authors must register for the ICSE 2015 Doctoral Symposium and present the results at the symposium, which will take place in Florence on May 19th, 2015 (the day before the main conference). All accepted submissions will be published in the conference proceedings. Depending on the final program, they may also have an opportunity to present their work during a poster session.

Opportunities for Student Support

ICSE has a Student volunteers program, to which all students are encouraged to submit an application. Students can also apply for the CAPS program. This program is sponsored by ACM SIGSOFT and provides financial assistance to help students defray the costs of attending SIGSOFT-sponsored conferences. Applications from participants of the Doctoral Symposium will be given priority for both the CAPS and the student volunteers programs of ICSE 2015.

Doctoral Symposium Co-Chairs

Alessandro Garcia, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Brazil
Alessandro Orso, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Doctoral Symposium Committee

Betty Cheng   Michigan State University, USA
Daniela Damian   University of Victoria, Canada
Matthew Dwyer   University of Nebraska, USA
Steve Easterbrook   University of Toronto, Canada
Gregor Engels   University of Paderborn, Germany
Harald Gall   University of Zurich, Switzerland
Nenad Medvidovic   University of Southern California, USA
Kumiyo Nakakoji   Kyoto University, Japan
David Rosenblum   National University of Singapore,
Sebastian Uchitel   University of Buenos Aires,
Argentina & Imperial College London, UK
Jon Whittle   Lancaster University, UK

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