Call for Doctoral Symposium Papers

The FSE 2016 Doctoral Symposium aims to support PhD students working in the area of software engineering. Participants will have the opportunity to present and discuss their doctoral research with senior researchers in the software engineering community, in a constructive and friendly atmosphere. Specifically, the symposium aims to:

  • Provide a setting whereby students receive feedback on their doctoral research and guidance on future directions from the Doctoral Symposium Panel;
  • Foster the creation of a supportive community of scholars and a spirit of collaborative research; and
  • Increase interaction between the student participants and other participants at the main conference.

In addition to scientific matters, students will have the opportunity to seek advice on various aspects of completing a PhD and performing research as a young professional in software engineering. Students should consider participating in the Doctoral Symposium after they have settled on a dissertation topic with some initial research results. Students should be at least a year from completion of their dissertation (at the time of the Symposium). The Doctoral Symposium has the same scope of technical topics as the main FSE conference.

Travel Support

We anticipate receiving a grant from the National Science Foundation to support student participation. To receive funding, first priority will be given to US citizens/residents, second to US-based students, and finally to other students. We anticipate funding will cover FSE registration and hotel expenses.


To apply as a student participating in the Doctoral Symposium, you should prepare a submission package consisting of three parts, that must be submitted by the submission deadline.

Part 1: Research proposal

The proposal (2 pages conforming to the ACM Conference Format, not including references) should cover:

  • Research problem you are targeting and its importance to the field;
  • Brief survey of background and related work;
  • Description of the proposed approach or solution;
  • Expected contributions of your research;
  • Results achieved so far;
  • Plan to evaluate your work;

The research proposal should be submitted through the submission web site here, in a single PDF document.

The research proposal should be single-authored and include the title of your research, your name, your advisor, your email address, and a short summary in the style of an abstract for a regular paper.

All submissions must be original work, and must not have been previously published, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (see also ACM policy and procedures with respect to plagiarism).

Part 2: Letter of Support

Please ask your research advisor to submit a letter of recommendation in support of your application. This short letter must include your name, the start date of your PhD studies, an assessment of the current status of your dissertation research, and an expected date for dissertation submission. The letter must come directly from your advisor’s email address and should be sent in PDF format to the Symposium Chairs: and with the subject: “FSE 2016 Doctoral Symposium support letter for [student name]”.

Additionally, please ask your advisor to answer the following questions about you:

  • What are the weaknesses of this student’s work that you’d like to see improved?
  • Do you have any “blind spots” about the students work that other experienced researchers might be able to help with?

Part 3: Self Evaluation Form

In order to tailor the DS to the needs of the participants, we ask you to also fill out this self evaluation form.


The Doctoral Symposium Panel will select participants using the following criteria:

  • Quality of the research proposal and its relevance to FSE;
  • Quality of proposal presentation;
  • Diversity of background, research topics and approaches;
  • Stage of research (students will be selected across a range of research stages).
  • Research proposals of students who are invited to present their work at the Symposium will be included in the conference proceedings.


All authors of accepted contributions will receive further instructions for preparing their camera-ready versions. Authors must register for the FSE 2016 Doctoral Symposium and present their work at the Symposium. Authors will also have the possibility to present a poster during the poster session of the main conference. Advisors of student presenters will not be allowed to attend their student’s presentations.

Note that the official publication date 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 FSE 2016. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.

Important dates

  • Submission: June 15, 2016
  • Notification: July 25, 2016
  • Deadline for Camera-ready: September 15, 2016

Doctoral Symposium Chairs

Felienne Hermans, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Emerson Murphy-Hill, North Carolina State University, USA

Doctoral Symposium Committee

Darko Marinov University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Gregg Rothermel University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Wensheng Dou Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Tien Nguyen Iowa State University
Andrew Begel Microsoft Research
Anita Sarma Oregon State University
Ali Mesbah University of British Columbia
Chris Parnin North Carolina State University
Romain Robbes



Questions regarding the Doctoral Symposium should be directed to the Symposium chairs:

  • Felienne Hermans (
  • Emerson Murphy-Hill (