Call for Doctoral Symposium Papers

Goal and Scope

The goal of the ESEC/FSE 2015 Doctoral Symposium is to create a forum for 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
  • contribute to the conference goals through the interaction between the Symposium participants and other researchers 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 ESEC/FSE conference.

Important dates

  • Deadline for Doctoral Symposium papers submission: June 1 2015
  • Authors notification: July 1, 2015
  • Deadline for camera-ready paper: July 15, 2015
ACM SIGSOFT will make the conference proceedings in the ACM Digital Library fully open for download two weeks prior to the conference.


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

Part 1: Research proposal (4 pages conforming to the ACM Conference Format). The proposal 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;
  • Plan to present evidence of contribution to knowledge in the research community.

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

Submissions must strictly adhere to the conference format and must not exceed four (4) pages in this format, including all text, references, appendices, and figures; submissions that do not comply with these requirements will be summarily rejected by the Chairs without review.

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 ( Debra J. Richardson -; Domenico Bianculli - ) with the subject: "ESEC/FSE 2015 Doctoral Symposium support letter for [student name]".


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

  • Quality of the research proposal and its relevance to ESEC/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 ESEC/FSE 2015 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.

Accepted research proposals

  • Luca Florio (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Decentralized Self-Adaptation in Large-Scale Distributed Systems
  • Sebastian Vöst (Universität Stuttgart, Germany) Vehicle Level Continuous Integration In The Automotive Industry
  • Lu Xiao (Drexel University, United States of America) Quantifying Architectural Debts
  • Denis Feth (Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering, Germany), User-Centric Security - Optimization of the Security-Usability Trade-Off
  • Sina Shamshiri (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), Automated Unit Test Generation for Evolving Software

Doctoral Symposium Chairs

  • Domenico Bianculli (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg)
  • Debra Richardson (University of California Irvine, USA)

Doctoral Symposium Committee

  • Vittorio Cortellessa, University of L’Aquila, Italy
  • Ivica Crnkovic, Chalmers University of Technology & University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Michael Ernst, University of Washington, USA
  • Michele Lanza, University of Lugano, Switzerland
  • Darko Marinov, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
  • Margaret-Anne Storey, University of Victoria, Canada
  • Laurie Williams, North Carolina State University, USA
  • Andrea Zisman, The Open University, UK


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

  • Domenico Bianculli (
  • Debra Richardson (