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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 Technical Research , 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.

Thesis in Three

In addition to presenting at the Doctoral Symposium, we are offering an additional opportunity for doctoral students to present at a Thesis-in-Three session during the main ICSE Conference in parallel with other tracks. The Thesis-in-Three will allow selected students to disseminate their research to a wider audience, by presenting 3 slides in 3 minutes, followed by 2 minutes for questions. All ICSE attendees will be invited to attend this session.


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:

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 20, 2015.
Part 1: Research Proposal (max. 4 pages) Your research proposal must conform to the ICSE 2016 formatting and submission instructions and should contain:

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 by the stated deadline. All doctoral symposium papers must be submitted electronically through the online submission site,

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 Ita Richardson ( ) and James Jones ( ) with the subject “ICSE 2016 Doctoral Symposium Recommendation”.

Important Dates


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 2016 Doctoral Symposium and present the results at the symposium, which will take place in Austin, Texas on May 17th, 2016 (the day before the main conference).

All accepted submissions will be published in the ICSE 2016 Companion Proceedings and in the ACM and IEEE digital libraries. The official publication date of the 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.

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 SIGSOFT CAPS Program and the NSF ICSE 2016 Travel Award 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 the student volunteers programs of ICSE 2016 and, if they meet the CAPS eligibility criteria, also for CAPS funding.

Doctoral Symposium Co-Chairs

Ita Richardson, Lero – the Irish Software Research Centre, University of Limerick, Ireland
James A. Jones, University of California, Irvine, USA

Programme Committee

James Clause, University of Delaware
Myra Cohen, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
John Grundy, Swinburne University of Technology
Helena Holmström Olsson, Malmö University
Sarfraz Khurshid, University of Texas at Austin
Jeff N. Magee, Imperial College London
Leonardo Mariani, University of Milan Bicocca
Leon J. Osterweil, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Kevin Ryan, Lero – the Irish Software Research Centre, University of Limerick
Margaret-Anne Storey, University of Victoria
Xiaofeng Wang, Free University of Bolzen-Bolzano