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ACM Student Research Competition (SRC) (Revised 11/27/2015)

ICSE 2016 will host an ACM Student Research Competition ACM Student Research Competition (SRC), sponsored by Microsoft Research. This competition offers undergraduate and graduate students a unique forum to experience the research world, present their research results to ICSE attendees, and compete for prizes.

The ACM SRC at ICSE 2016 consists of three parts: (1) research abstract submission, (2) poster presentation, and (3) research talk. The winners of the competition will be invited to participate in the ACM Student Research Competition Grand Finals.

Participate in this exciting competition: Submit your work to the ACM Student Research Competition at ICSE 2016. Win a travel stipend to attend the ICSE conference in Austin, Texas!

How to Participate: Submit a Research Abstract

To participate in the competition, submit a 2-page research abstract related to the main themes of the conference (see the Technical Research Track ). The submission should describe: the research problem and motivation, background and related work, approach and uniqueness, results, and contributions. Papers will be judged based on how well they cover these aspects of the work.

The research abstract must conform at time of submission to the (link to the ICSE 2016 formatting and submission instructions), and must not exceed 2 pages, including all text, appendices, and figures. However, please note that, references do not count against the page limit. The list of references may expand into a third page, i.e., the third page, if any, should contain nothing except your references. All submissions must be in English in PDF format.

Papers must be submitted electronically through by November 20, 2015. A panel of experts will review the submissions and select the students to participate in the Student Research Competition, which will be held at ICSE 2016 in Austin, Texas. Accepted submissions will be published in the conference companion proceedings.
The official publication date of the ICSE 2016 Companion Proceedings is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM Digital Library. This date may be up to two weeks prior to the first day of the conference. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.

Coverage of Expenses

Students who are selected to participate in the main competition at the ICSE conference round are entitled to a stipend partially covering their travel expenses. Specifically, ACM’s SRC program covers expenses up to $500 for all students invited.
These expenses can include:

All invited students are also encouraged to apply to the SIGSOFT CAPS-UG program for additional support:

First Round Competition: Present a Poster

The first round of the competition will take place in Austin, Texas at the ICSE 2016 Conference and will be a poster session. This is your opportunity to present your research to conference attendees and leading experts in the software engineering fields, including the SRC committee. Judges will review the posters and speak to participants about their research. The judges will evaluate the research (quality, novelty, and significance) and the presentation of the research (poster, discussion) and select students to advance to the second round of the competition.

Second Round Competition: Give a Presentation

Selected students will give a short presentation of their research before a panel of judges in a special session at the ICSE 2016 conference. After each presentation, there will be a brief question and answer session.
Evaluations are based on the presenter's knowledge of his/her research area, contribution of the research, and the quality of the oral and visual presentation. Three winners will be chosen in each category, undergraduate and graduate, and receive prizes. The winners from the SRC held at ICSE 2016 will be invited to participate in the SRC Grand Finals.

The SRC Grand Finals

All winners from the ICSE 2016 competition will advance to the SRC Grand Finals. A different panel of judges evaluates the winners of all SRCs held during the calendar year against each other via the web. Three undergraduates and three graduates will be chosen as the SRC Grand Finals winners. They are invited, along with their advisors, to the annual ACM Awards Banquet, where they receive formal recognition.


The top three winners in each category (undergraduate and graduate) will be recognized during the conference. The winners of the ICSE SRC are also invited to compete with winners from other conferences in the ACM Student Research Competition Grand Finals.


Participants must be undergraduate or graduate students pursuing an academic degree at the time of initial submission. Participants must be current student members of the ACM, and must provide their ACM member number. Supervisors of the work may not be listed as co-authors; you must submit a single-authored version of your work for the competition.

Additional Information

For additional information, visit the official ACM Student Research Competition website. For questions, please contact Thorna Humphries or Renee Bryce

Important Dates


ACM Student Research Competition Chairs

Thorna Humphries, Norfolk State University
Renee Bryce, University of North Texas

ACM Student Research Competition Committee

Tim Menzies, North Carolina State University
Michael Whalen, University of Minnesota
Mona Rizvi, Nazarbayev University
Antonio Carzaniga, University of Lugano
Andreas Stefik, University of Nevada Las Vegas
Sudipto Ghosh, Colorado State University
Alexandre Bergel, University of Chile
Mark Grechanik, University of Illinois at Chicago
Hyunsook Do, North Dakota State University
Susanne Sherba, University of Denver
Cyntrica Eaton, Norfolk State University

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am a PhD student. Am I eligible to participate in the SRC?
Yes. As a PhD student, you will compete in the Graduate category of the competition.
Q: What should be part of the research abstract?
A submission to the competition should describe recently completed or ongoing student research related to the topics covered by ICSE. It is important that your research abstract discusses (1) research problem and motivation, (2) background and related work, (3) approach and uniqueness, and (4) results and contributions. The committee will assess your research abstract along these dimensions.
Q: Based on what criteria will judges evaluate the abstract/research?
The judges will assess research abstracts based on four criteria: Problem and motivation, Background and related work, Approach and uniqueness, and Results and contribution. For the poster presentation, the criteria are Oral presentation, Visual presentation, Research methods, and Significance of contribution. For the conference presentation, the criteria are Knowledge of research area, Contribution of research, and Presentation.
Q: I noticed that first round participants receive a travel reimbursement of up to $500. Will the participants also qualify for a registration waiver and/or free/discounted student lodging?
There is no registration waiver and no free/discounted student lodging for first round participants of the SRC. Students will still have to pay for conference registration and lodging, for which they can use the travel stipend.
However, there are additional programs to help students keep the cost down (the programs can be combined with SRC).
Consider applying as a student volunteer.
SIGSOFT has a great travel support program for students: SIGSOFT CAPS.
Q: My research is not related to software engineering or any of the main themes of the ICSE conference. Can I still participate in the Student Research Competition?
Yes, but not at ICSE. Participate in a SRC at conference that is related to your research.
To participate in the competition at ICSE, your research needs to be related to the main themes of the ICSE conference (see the topics for the Technical Research Track ).
If your research is not among the topics relevant for ICSE, please check to find a conference that is better related. If you don't find a conference that covers your research, you can participate in the SRC competition at the SIGCSE conference.