Call for Papers - Doctoral Symposium 2020


!!! NEWS (01/07/2020) !!! 

Two keynotes are confirmed:

  • PhD, the University and Everything, by Holger Schlingloff (Fraunhofer FOKUS, Germany)

  • How to Get Your Paper Rejected, by Jeff Offutt (George Mason University, USA)



The Doctoral Symposium will take place on October 12th, 2020 in Coimbra, the day before the beginning of the main conference IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering (ISSRE 2020).



The ISSRE 2020 Doctoral Symposium is intended to bring together PhD students working on the conference topics , and give them the opportunity to present and discuss their research in a constructive, friendly and international atmosphere. The goals of the symposium are:

  • To provide a setting for constructive feedback on participants' current research and guidance on future research directions;
  • To develop a supportive community of scholars and a spirit of collaborative research;
  • To provide an opportunity for student participants to interact with established researchers and others in the software reliability engineering community.

Selected students will present their work and receive constructive feedback both from a panel of experts from academia and the industry, and from other Doctoral Symposium students. The students will also have the opportunity to seek advice on various aspects of completing a PhD, how to perform research, how to design and execute empirical research, etc.

The proceedings of the Doctoral Symposium will be published in the supplementary conference proceedings of ISSRE 2020.


Who should participate

Students at all stages (at the beginning, in the middle or near the end) of their doctoral studies who are working on a research area or a thesis topic relevant to ISSRE are encouraged to participate in the Doctoral Symposium.



Each submission consists of two elements:

  1. Research proposal: a 4-page paper describing your dissertation research to be authored by the student only, your advisor should be included in the acknowledgments.
  2. Letter of recommendation: ask your advisor to submit a letter of recommendation in support of your application. This letter should include your name, a candid assessment of the current status of your dissertation research, list of publications on your topic so far (if any), and an expected date for dissertation submission. The letter should be emailed to both Doctoral Symposium Co-Chairs ( and with the subject “ISSRE 2020 Doctoral Symposium Recommendation”.

Your research proposal should contain the following items: 1) a title for your work; 2) an abstract (maximum 200 words); 3) a main description of your research work that covers: a) the technical problem to be solved, a justification of its importance regarding to software reliability, and a set of research questions; b) related works; 4) the proposed approach, including a) the research methodology to achieve the research goals; b) a brief description of the work accomplished to date c) your timeline and milestones; d) possible threats to validity; 5) finally, the expected contributions of your dissertation research along with the tentative date of your thesis defense.

PhD students at an early stage should focus more on the technical problem to be solved, on the related works and on the motivations, than on the research approach, which should anyway be discussed in the paper. PhD students at a medium and advanced stage of their PhD should cover both the technical problem and the proposed approach. PhD students at an advanced stage may want to additionally discuss the impact of the contributions of their PhD work and the open challenges.  

All submissions must be original work, and must not have been previously published, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere.

All papers must be submitted electronically at the following link:

Please make sure to select the track The 31st International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering (ISSRE 2020) - Doctoral Symposium at the beginning of the submission process.


Formatting guidelines

Papers must be written in English, and be formatted according to the IEEE Computer Society Format Guidelines .



Submissions will be reviewed by at least two members of the DS (Doctoral Symposium) Panel of Experts. Authors of submissions selected for acceptance will have an opportunity to present their work during the DS and have the camera-ready version of their paper published in the ISSRE 2020 Supplementary Proceedings and the IEEE Xplore Digital Library. Attendance to the Doctoral Symposium is by invitation only, limited to the DS students, and invited experts in order to facilitate detailed feedback to the students.

All research proposals must be submitted electronically through a submission page to be indicated soon.


Important Dates

Deadline for submissions: August 4th, 2020
Notification of acceptance: August 21st, 2020
Camera-ready copy of paper due: August 28th, 2020
ISSRE 2020 Doctoral Symposium:  October 12th, 2020




Carol Smidts, The Ohio State University, USA (
Hélène Waeselynck, LAAS-CNRS, France (