The application form is now open. Please submit your application by September 1.

FSE 2016 is pleased to announce a new initiative to improve mentoring in our research community. The Mentorship Sessions program facilitates one-on-one meetings between junior and senior researchers, each lasting 20 minutes. The goal for these meetings is to enable fruitful collaborations or mentoring relationships and to build a stronger community.


This event will be held over one or more lunches during the main conference. It will consist of three 20-minute mentoring sessions with junior and senior researchers meeting one-on-one. The junior researchers will choose their mentors.

Junior Researcher:

Conferences are busy. Meeting with senior researchers is often hard because 1) they are hard to find; and 2) it is hard to start a conversation that could lead to a lasting mentoring relationship. The goal of this initiative is to resolve both issues by providing access to mentors in a low-pressure setting where the focus and intention of the interaction is mentoring.

In your application, you will be asked to specify who you want to meet with. We encourage you to think big and select people you have always wanted to talk to. As a teaser, the following researchers have already volunteered as mentors, but you can request anyone!

  • Prem Devanbu
  • Nenad Medvidovic
  • Gail Murphy
  • Laurie Williams
  • … your choices go here!

Keep in mind that mentors will need to attend FSE 2016 to participate, so while you may not get your top choice, we will work to find mentors who will meet your needs.

Some example of potential discussion topics include:

  • I’m thinking about how to evaluate my research in refactoring for concurrency, but I’m having trouble with the study design. You (senior researcher) designed a clever study for your last FSE paper, can you help me?
  • My PhD students all seem to be interested in jobs in industry, but many of your (senior researcher’s) students have gone to academia. How do you pick students or encourage academia as a trajectory?
  • I wrote a grant about modeling source code and it was rejected. The reviewers said it was too risky. What do you think about [describe project] as preliminary work?
  • I’m having trouble navigating [tricky political situation] at my institution. As a department chair, how would you handle this, and what do you recommend I do?

Participation: This event is open to junior researchers. This includes, for example, pre-tenure faculty, postdocs, and senior PhD students. If this does not describe you but you’re interested in participating, apply anyway with an explanation as to why you want to participate.

Application: Please complete the application form by September 1, 2016.

Selection criteria: Our goal is to allow everyone who is interested to participate. However, if the response is overwhelming, we may need to implement a needs-based selection criteria with priority going to U.S. institutions (due to our funding source), tenure-track faculty and researchers from schools without large software engineering groups.

Scholarships: Some junior participants will be given needs-based scholarships for registration and travel, up to $800, generously provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Cost: no extra cost, free to registered FSE participants (i.e., this is not a workshop and there is no registration cost for the event itself, but you must register for the conference to participate as a mentee or mentor).

Follow-up: We would like to track the impact of this event to determine whether it should continue in future conferences. After the conference, we will follow up with a survey asking for your impressions. In a year or so, we will follow up again to see whether and to what extent you have kept in touch with your mentors. As the goal of the event is to improve mentoring in our community, your participation in these efforts is important.

Application deadline: September 1, 2016

The notifications will be sent by September 14, 2016 (before the early bird registration deadline).

Senior Researcher:

This is an invitation-only event based on the preferences/needs of junior participants. If you have been invited and are not sure if you should participate, consider joining this select group of mentors in making a lasting impact on the younger members of our community. Prem Devanbu, Nenad Medvidovic, Gail Murphy, and Laurie Williams have already volunteered their time. Will you join them???

Expected outcomes:

  • New connections and collaborations between junior and senior researchers, potentially bridging academia and industry,
  • Increased feelings of community and belonging in the young researchers through positive interactions with established researchers, and
  • A more cohesive software engineering research community.


Reid Holmes, University of British Columbia, Canada
Kathryn T. Stolee, North Carolina State University, USA