Call for Doctoral Symposium

The Doctoral Symposium at the 25th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE'17) brings together PhD students and academics working in all areas of requirements engineering. Students present their research projects and receive constructive feedback from a panel of senior internationally renowned researchers. The doctoral symposium is run in a highly interactive and collegial workshop-like format.

Who Should Participate

The Doctoral Symposium welcomes PhD students who have already settled on a dissertation topic in the Requirements Engineering domain and whose PhD dissertation will benefit from external feedback. Such students will typically be in the first half through their PhD work.

NEWS: Travel Grants

The doctoral symposium will offer two travel grants (sponsored by the International Requirements Engineering Board – IREB e.V.) to students that have problems financing their trip to the IEEE RE Doctoral Symposium (need-based grants). The two travel grants comprise a funding of 500€ each that can be used to pay expenses like travel cost, hotel and conference fees. The submission of your research abstract and the application for the travel grant are separate processes, but share the same deadline. Students that receive the travel grants shall write (together or individually) a short report about their RE conference experience for the IREB RE Magazine. This short article summarizes what happened during their visit at RE, the Doctoral Symposium, whom they met, what they discovered, learned, the outcome for their PhD, for RE in the large, etc.

Please apply for the travel grant by emailing to the two doctoral symposium chairs Mats Heimdahl and Joerg Doerr with the subject "RE DS Travel Grant Application" that you want to apply for the travel grant, stating the reason why you need the travel grant. If more than two valid applications for the travel grants exist, the two grants will be decided by drawing lots.

Submission Instructions

To apply as a student participant to the Doctoral Symposium you need to submit a package consisting of two parts: a research abstract and a recommendation letter.

Part 1: Research Abstract

Research abstracts must be formatted according to IEEE formatting instructions and must not exceed 6 pages, including all text, references, appendices, and figures.

The research abstract should include:

  • The title of your research
  • Your contact information (name, affiliation, postal address, personal webpage, and e-mail address)
  • A one paragraph summary in the style of an abstract for a regular paper
  • A motivation justifying the importance of the research problem
  • Research questions and hypotheses clearly formulating what you want to achieve, solve or demonstrate
  • Technical challenges associated with the research questions
  • A discussion of the state of the art showing what existing work your research builds upon, which existing solutions of the state of the art have been developed including an explanation why they do not solve the problem
  • A section sketching your contributions including technical and other aspects
  • A discussion on the originality of your contributions stating how your results go beyond existing approaches
  • A description of the research methods you will use including a strategy for evaluating your work to provide credible evidence of your results
  • A description of the progress you made so far towards completing the research
  • A list of references of accepted publications you have written, if any

Note: The sections of the research abstract do not have to follow the outlined structure, but must have similar content. 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.

Submissions should contain no proprietary or confidential material and should cite no proprietary or confidential publications.

Part 2: Recommendation Letter

Ask your (main) dissertation advisor for a letter of recommendation. This letter should include:

  • Your name
  • An assessment of the current status of your dissertation research
  • The expected date for defending the dissertation

The letter should be in PDF format and should be sent directly by your advisor via e-mail to both the RE'17 Doctoral Symposium chairs Joerg Doerr and Mats Heimdahl. This letter will be held confidential. The e-mail should have the subject "RE17-DS- Recommendation" and your last name.

Please submit your Doctoral Symposium paper in PDF format via EasyChair. Select the RE'17 Doctoral Symposium track for your submission.

Evaluation Criteria

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

  • The quality and potential of the research and its relevance to Requirements Engineering
  • The quality of the research abstract (see section Submission Instructions above)
  • The stage of the research and its suitability for the Doctoral Symposium

Key Dates

Research Abstract Submission Thursday, April 20
Research Abstract Notification Wednesday, May 03
Camera Ready Due Friday, June 23
Doctoral Symposium Monday, September 04

All deadlines are 23:59 Anywhere on Earth (Standard Time).


Any inquiries regarding doctoral symposium papers can be directed to the Doctoral Symposium Co-Chairs:

Doctoral Symposium Co-Chair

Joerg Doerr
Fraunhofer IESE, Germany

Doctoral Symposium Co-Chair

Mats Heimdahl
University of Minnesota, USA

Doctoral Symposium Panel

  • Daniel M. Berry, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • Jane Cleland-Huang, University of Notre Dame, USA
  • Eric Knauss, Chalmers University, Sweden
  • Walid Maalej, University of Hamburg, Germany