The Doctoral Symposium at the 28th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE’20) brings together Ph.D. students and academics working in all areas of requirements engineering. Each student presents his or her research project and receives constructive feedback from a panel of senior internationally renowned researchers in requirements engineering. The doctoral symposium is run in a highly interactive and collegial workshop-like format.

Who Should Participate

The Doctoral Symposium welcomes any Ph.D. student who has already settled on a dissertation topic in the Requirements Engineering area and whose Ph.D. research will benefit from external feedback. Such a student is typically in the first half of the research towards the Ph.D. dissertation.

Submission Instructions

To apply as a student participant to the Doctoral Symposium, you need to submit by Monday, April 6, 2020, a package consisting of two parts: the Doctoral Symposium Paper and a recommendation letter.

Part 1: Doctoral Symposium Paper

The Doctoral Symposium Paper describes your PhD research and how you are going to conduct it. The paper must be single-authored by you and should include:

  • The title of your research,
  • Your contact information (name, affiliation, postal address, personal webpage, and e-mail address),
  • An abstract 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 current and planned 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, and
  • A list of relevant accepted or published papers you have written if any.

The sections of your paper do not have to follow the outlined structure, but they must have similar content. If you are at a relatively early stage of your research, you might have some difficulty addressing all of the content requirements, but you should attempt to do so as well as you can. Your submission should contain no proprietary or confidential material and should cite no proprietary or confidential publications.

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

Part 2: Recommendation Letter

Ask your main or only dissertation advisor or supervisor for a letter of recommendation. This letter should include:

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

The letter should be in PDF format and should be sent directly by your advisor or supervisor via e-mail to both RE’20 Doctoral Symposium Co-Chairs Paul Grünbacher and Emmanuel Letier. This letter will be held confidential. The e-mail should have the subject “RE20-DS- Recommendation” and your family name.

The author of each accepted Doctoral Symposium paper must register to and attend the conference in order to present the paper.

Submission Link

Please submit your paper in PDF format via EasyChair. Select the RE’20 Doctoral Symposium for your submission.

Make sure that your advisor sends the recommendation letter by e-mail to the Doctoral Symposium Co-Chairs as instructed above.


Evaluation Criteria

The Doctoral Symposium co-chairs 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 Doctoral Symposium paper (see section Submission Instructions above), and
  • The stage of the research and its suitability for the Doctoral Symposium.

The Doctoral Symposium papers of the selected participants will be published in the conference proceedings.


Doctoral Symposium Panel

The membership of the panel will be determined after we know who is planning to attend RE’20. But the Panel will consist of renowned senior people in the field who have experience supervising research.


Cost of Participation

Students who have been accepted to the Doctoral Symposium must register at regular student rates and must attend the Doctoral Symposium in person. There are two opportunities to reduce the cost for traveling and attending:

  • Apply as a student volunteer. Accepted student volunteers receive a free registration for the whole conference week.
  • Apply for a student travel grant. The conference will grant some scholarships of CHF 600 each, thanks to a donation by IREB. Details about how to apply will be published here later.

Key Dates

Submission due (paper and letter)Monday, April 6, 2020 April 20, 2020
Notification of authorTuesday, May 12, 2020
Camera ready dueMonday, June 22, 2020
Doctoral symposiumTuesday, September 1, 2020

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