Doctoral Symposium

The RE Doctoral Symposium is an international forum for PhD students working in all areas of Requirements Engineering. The forum is intended to bring together PhD students and give them the opportunity to present and discuss their research, to get constructive feedback, and to meet fellow researchers at a similar stage of their career.

More precisely, the goals of the RE Doctoral Symposium are:
  • to give PhD students a chance to showcase their research,
  • to provide them with feedback from a panel of senior international researchers,
  • to facilitate interaction among the participants.

The doctoral symposium will operate in a highly interactive workshop-like format.

Who Should Participate?

The Doctoral Symposium welcomes PhD students who have settled on a dissertation topic and whose PhD dissertation will benefit from the feedback received. In most likelihood, such students will be midway through their doctoral work.

Submission Instructions

To apply as a student participant to the Doctoral Symposium, you need to submit two parts (described below), both of which must be submitted via e-mail to both and no later than May 28th, 2012. The e-mail should bear the subject "RE12-DocSym-Submission" and your last name.

Part 1 - Research Abstract (4 pages max)

Your research abstract must be formatted according to the IEEE CS proceedings format (see the website of the IEEE Conference Publishing Service for instructions and templates) and must be a maximum of four pages (font size: 10pt), including all text, references, appendices, and figures. All submissions must be in English. Submissions must be in PDF format.

The research abstract should cover:
  • Research question - clearly formulate what you want to achieve or solve (1 paragraph)
  • Technical challenge - what is the technical challenge associated with that question?
  • Motivation - justify the importance of the research problem.
  • State of the art - describe
    • what existing work your research builds upon (citing key publications),
    • briefly describe any existing solutions that have been developed or are currently being developed (citing key publications) and
    • why they do not solve the problem.
  • Proposed solution - sketch the proposed solution (technical and other aspects)
  • Contributions - point out your (existing and planned) contributions to the solution of the problem, and state in what aspects the suggested solution is different, new or better as compared to existing approaches to the problem.
  • Research methods - indicate the methods you are using or will use to carry out any empirical research to validate your solution.
  • Progress - describe the progress made in solving the stated problem and propose a plan to complete the research. The plan should include your strategy for evaluating your work and presenting credible evidence of your results to the research community.
  • List of up to 5 accepted publications that you have written. Do not include the papers.

The sections of the paper do not necessarily need to follow the above structure, but should have a similar content. We understand that students at a relatively early stage of their research might have some difficulty addressing all of the content requirements, but should attempt to do so as well as they can.

The research abstract should include the title of your work, your name, affiliation, email address, postal address, personal website, and a one paragraph short 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.

Part 2 - Letter of Recommendation (directly from advisor)

Ask your (main) dissertation advisor for a letter of recommendation. This letter should include:
  • your name,
  • a candid assessment of the current status of your dissertation research,
  • an expected date for dissertation submission.

The letter should be in PDF format and should be sent directly by your advisor via e-mail to both and This letter will be held confidential. The e-mail should have the subject "RE12-DS_Recommendation" and your last name.

Evaluation Criteria

Upon receipt of the submissions, the Doctoral Symposium Committee will select participants using the following three criteria:
  • The potential quality of the research and its relevance to Requirements Engineering.
  • Quality of the research abstract (see Section "Who should participate?" above).
  • The stage of the research and whether it is appropriate for the Doctoral Symposium.

Attending RE'2012

If you are accepted as a student participant at the Doctoral Symposium, you will probably also wish to attend the Requirements Engineering conference. A number of scholarships are available and allow students to attend the conference in return for acting as a student volunteers. These are offered by the organizing committee.

The conference organizing committee will give high priority to applications from student participants at the Doctoral Symposium. If you wish to be considered for a volunteer scholarship, you are encouraged to apply immediately after you receive notice of your acceptance as a participant in the Doctoral Symposium.

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline (paper + recommendation letter): May 28th, 2012
  • Notification of acceptance: July 9th, 2012
  • Camera-ready copy: Aug. 1st, 2012
  • Doctoral Symposium: September 24th, 2012

Doctoral Symposium Committee

  • Dan Berry, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • Jane Cleland-Huang, DePaul University, Chicago, USA
  • Xavier Franch, UPC Barcelona, Spain
  • Olly Gotel, USA
  • Julio Cesar Leite, PUC-Rio, Brazil
  • John Mylopoulos, University of Trento, Italy
  • Barbara Paech, University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • Bjorn Regnell, Lund University, Sweden
  • Yijun Yu, Open University, UK

Doctoral Symposium Co-Chairs

Stephen Fickas
University of Oregon, USA

Kurt Schneider
Leibniz Universitat Hannover, Germany