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Doctoral Consortium PDF Print E-mail

Call for research abstracts for the Doctoral Consortium

The doctoral consortium will bring together PhD students around the STI International research community, in order to present the latest progress in their doctoral research and open their newest ideas up to discussion. It will help the students concretize their research intentions and receive feedback on the soundness and completeness of their achieved work. Presenting their own work to a peer group also constitutes a good opportunity for them to practice the defense of their dissertation.
By contrast to similar initiatives usually co-located with scientific events in the field, such as the ESWC series, workshop participants will not only receive constructive comments with respect to topic-specific research issues; they will also be assisted in formulating a coherent research narrative of their doctoral work.  A set of guidelines, which have been designed to highlight the key methodological components required for a sound research narrative at various stages of the PhD work, can be used by the students to organize the content of their submission, and the associated presentation (see below).
The doctoral consortium will take place on September 23-24 (1.5 days) in Berlin, Germany and will be co-located with the 3rd Future Internet Symposium FIS2010. The first day will be covered by the presentations of the work of the students. The second (half) day of the event will be organized as a hands-on workshop on the topic of evaluation, including a detailed presentation of evaluation methodologies and techniques and hands-on exercises.
The event is open to all PhD students, independently of their affiliation to a STI International member organization. Participants, including authors of accepted papers, will be required to register to the event. STI International members will receive a discount on the registration fee. 

Important Dates

Submission of research abstracts: June, 25 2010
Completion of the reviewing process: July, 16 2010
Submission of presentations: September, 15 2010
Doctoral consortium: September, 23-24 2010



The event is targeted at PhD students working on FIS2010-relevant topics, in particular at those students who are still in the process of defining the main research questions of their thesis, or starting to elaborate the answers to these questions.
The participants will be asked to submit a summary of their doctoral work which complies to the following template and explicitly answers the underlying questions.
1.    Problem statement: this part should clearly provide answers to the following questions:

  • What are the core dimensions of the field of research in which the thesis is situated?
  • Which problems are still unsolved to date? Why do these areas need further exploration?
  • How could this gap be filled? Is the problem solvable at all?
  • Are these problems addressed in many previous approaches? Is it feasible to think that my thesis would greatly contribute to solving these problems? Is there room for improvement?
  • What are the critical success factors? How can these risks be minimized? What are the worst case strategies; the worst expectable outcome?
  • Are these problems addressed (possibly under a different name) in other communities and what are the results achieved in this context?
  • Is it a hot topic or is it becoming already obsolete?
  • What is the impact of a potential solution on the community?
  • Which are the application scenarios in which this problem is relevant

2.    Main questions of the thesis: this part should clearly formulate the research questions the PhD aims to provide answers to, while positioning the work in a broader context and delimiting it from similar or related approaches.

  • What are the main research questions?
  • What is your unique selling point when comparing yourself with related approaches?
  • What issues that are relevant to your problem space you do not solve in your thesis?
  • What are the assumptions you make in your approach?

3.    General approach: this part should give an overview of the work done (or planned to be done) in the thesis. It should define the research methods supporting the PhD research, sketch the path towards the achievement of the thesis objectives and specify the expected results. Relevant questions to be answered at this level are:

  • What are the methods you (intend to) apply in your research (design research, case studies, user interviews, statistical methods etc.)
  • What are the main actions which need to be carried on in order to achieve the desired results?
  • What is the expected outcome? How does this outcome differ from related approaches (improve the performance of an algorithm, reduce the costs of a process, improve the usability of a method etc.)

4.    Proposed solution: this part describes the approach to the research problem previously stated, outlining the results achieved so far and the things which still need to be realized.

5.    Evaluation: in this section the paper should provide details on the evaluation methods, report on the evaluation results and discuss the implications of these results within and beyond the scope of this work. Relevant issues in this context are, for instance:

  • What methods do you use to validate your research?
  • What are the main target audience groups for your evaluation results? Who should be interested in the results of your research?
  • What are the results of the evaluation procedure?
  • How well does your approach perform compared to related solutions?
  • Is there room for improvement? How could your solution be improved.
  • Do your results have implications beyond the scope of the thesis and which are these implications

6.    Future work: issues which remain to be approached in the context of the thesis or beyond.

Your abstract will have a different focus depending on the phase of your PhD research (based on critical self-assessment):

  • 1st phase: Find and formulate the research problem
  • 2nd phase: Elaborate and evaluate the solution
  • 3rd phase: Provide a summary of your thesis.

In the 1st phase, the focus will necessarily be on the definition of the problem statement. This implies that your research abstract should elaborate on bullets 1 and 2, while clarifying the research methodology as part of bullets 3 and sketching some preliminary ideas the prospected thesis will build upon (bullet 4). Further on, it is important that the student timely specifies the expected outcome of his PhD work (bullet 5). 
In the 2nd phase the student elaborates the 4th and 5th bullets in addition to providing informative summaries of the previous ones. At this point it is essential that the student designs a suitable evaluation framework for the validation of his PhD research, critically analyzes the achieved results and compares them to related approaches (bullet 4).
Students in the final phase of their PhD could see the template above as a useful exercise for their upcoming defense.

Submissions should be formatted in Springer LNCS format and submitted as PDF documents. Every submission should clearly state the status (phase) of the PhD work and the name of the supervisor(s). The submissions should be sent per mail to Elena Simperl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and Ruzica Piskac at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The maximally allowed submission length depends on the phase of your PhD research:

  • 1st phase: up to 5 pages
  • 2nd phase: up to 10 pages
  • 3rd phase: up to 15 pages

The submission should also include a cover letter in which the student elaborates on how the attendance of the doctoral consortium could help with their research. The cover letter should not exceed one page and be formatted using the same guidelines as the research abstract.
Each submission will be reviewed by at least one scientific advisor and by the education chairs based on the quality of the research abstract and of the cover letter attached. Accepted submissions will receive extensive mentoring by a scientific advisor during the doctoral consortium.
The proceedings of the doctoral consortium will be published at CEUR-online.

Adrian Mocan, SAP Germany

Barry Norton, KIT Germany

Zoltan Miklos, EPFL Switzerland

Stephan Bloedhorn, KIT Germany

Achim Rettinger, KIT Germany

Carlos Pedrinaci, Open University UK

Agata Filipowska, Poznan University of Economics Poland

Elena Simperl, KIT Germany

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