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The ISS Doctoral Symposium (ISS DS) provides Ph.D. students with the opportunity to meet and discuss their work with each other and a panel of experienced researchers in an informal and interactive setting. Participants can expect the chance to present their dissertation research in a supportive environment and to receive constructive expert and peer feedback on their research topics and possible career paths in both academia and industry. The Symposium aims to support community building by connecting beginning and established researchers. The ideal time to apply to participate in the DS is when some progress has been made in Ph.D. research, and a path to completion is planned but could benefit from outside opinions and refinement.

All research topics suitable for the ACM ISS Conference and associated workshops are appropriate for the DS. The DS chairs aim to achieve diversity among the student participants, including diversity across research groups and geographical areas. Refer to previous years’ proceedings for examples:

All Ph.D. students are welcome to apply regardless of whether they are presenting at the main conference or not. Each submission will be reviewed by the DS chairs to assess its suitability for the DS, as well as additional expert reviewers when necessary.

Authors of accepted submissions will present their work in a dedicated session and registration will be free for PhD students who do not present any other papars during the conference.


Every submission should include:

  • an extended abstract - no more than six pages in pdf format according to ACM Master Article Submission Template,

PhD Students should submit an extended abstract that describes:

  • the problem that the thesis aims to address;
  • the broad approach and how it builds upon and goes beyond key relevant previous work;
  • the work completed and the plan for the full dissertation work;
  • open questions/issues for discussion and/or what you want to get out of participating in the symposium.

Completed work may be presented as an overview or highlighting a particularly important part in depth.

Submissions should not be anonymised for review.

We particularly encourage authors of papers in all tracks submitted to ISS 2021 to apply to the DC. As ISS 2021 will be a hybrid conference, there will be opportunities to participate in the DC both physically and in person.

If you have any questions, please reach out to

Doctoral Symposium Co-Chairs

Mai Otsuki, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
Maki Sugimoto, Keio University
Johannes Schöning, University of St. Gallen
Jasmin Niess, University of St. Gallen