Doctoral Symposium


The goals of the Doctoral Symposium are to provide a supportive yet questioning setting in which Ph.D. students can present their work; to provide an opportunity for students to attend ICSE; and to support the ICSE mission as a world-leading venue for software engineering research. Students will be able to discuss their goals, methods, and results at an early stage in their research. The Symposium aims to provide students with useful guidance and feedback on various aspects of their research from established researchers and the other student attendees. It also helps participants to establish a research and social network of their peers from around the world. The Symposium will take place two days before the main ICSE conference (Monday May 23, 2011).


The technical scope of the Symposium is that of ICSE.

Students should consider participating in the Doctoral Symposium after they have settled on a dissertation topic and have some initial research results. Students should be at least a year from completion of their dissertation (at the time of the Symposium) to obtain maximum benefit from participation. We invite students at different stages to submit to the Doctoral Symposium:

Students at an initial stage should show evidence that they are concretizing their research question and approach. These students will be asked to participate in exercises and discussions that enable them to think critically about their ideas. The abstract for this category is limited to two (2) pages.

Students at a mature stage (third or fourth year) should have published or be about to publish their first paper on a concrete research question and approach. These students will be asked to present a talk about their work and will get feedback. The abstract for this category is limited to four (4) pages.

Submission Instructions

Please read all of these instructions prior to submitting your paper. A submission package consists of two parts, both of which must be submitted by December 10,  2010.

Part 1: Research Abstract

Your research abstract must conform to the ICSE 2011 Format and Submission Guidelines. All submissions must be in English and made electronically through CyberChairPRO. Submissions must be in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) format.

The research abstract should cover:

- The technical problem to be solved with a justification of its importance
- An account of related and prior works that explains why these works have not solved the problem
- The specific research problem or question that your thesis work will address
- A sketch of the proposed approach or solution
- The expected contributions of your dissertation research
- Progress in solving the stated problem
- The methods you are using or will use to carry out your research
- A plan for evaluating your work and presenting credible evidence of your results to the research community

Students at the initial stage of their research might have some difficulty in addressing some of these areas, but should make the best attempt. The research abstract should include the title of your work, your name, email address, postal address, personal website, and a one paragraph summary in the style of an abstract for a regular paper. Submissions should contain no proprietary or confidential material and should cite no proprietary or confidential publications.

Submissions that do not comply with the foregoing instructions will be desk rejected without review.

Part 2: Letter of Recommendation

You must obtain a letter of recommendation from your dissertation advisor. 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 in PDF, and e-mailed to both Carlo Ghezzi <> and Jo Atlee <> with the subject: ICSE 2011 DOCTORAL SYMPOSIUM RECOMMENDATION.

Review and Evaluation Criteria

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

  • The potential quality of the research and its relevance to software engineering
  • Quality of the research abstract
  • The stage of the research
  • Diversity of background, research topics and approaches


Accepted research abstracts will appear in the ICSE 2011 Proceedings which will also be available electronically. Authors will be notified of acceptance by January 21,  2011. Upon notification of acceptance, all authors will be asked to complete an ACM Copyright form and will receive further instructions for preparing their camera ready versions according to the ICSE 2011 Format and Submission Guidelines. All authors will be expected to be able to meet the tight ICSE 2011 camera-ready copy deadline (February 11, 2011) and to present their work at the ICSE 2011 conference.

Student Support

Doctoral Symposium participants will be given some priority to the Student Volunteer Program.


Important Dates

Event Date Monday, May 23, 2011
Submission Due Date Friday, December 10, 2010
Notification Date Friday, January 21, 2011
Camera-Ready Date Friday, February 11, 2011


Doctoral Symposium Co-Chairs

University of Waterloo
Politecnico di Milano

Workshop Committee

See the Doctoral Symposium committee page.