Doctoral Symposium

The Doctoral Symposium call can be downloaded here.

Symposium Chairs

Xavier Franch - Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain, franch(at)

Jennifer Horkoff - City University London, UK, horkoff(at)


REFSQ 2016 will host a Doctoral Symposium for PhD students whose research area includes elements of Requirements Engineering. The goals of the REFSQ2016 Doctoral Symposium are:

  • to provide PhD students in early stages of their research with an opportunity to survey the field and get a feeling for what their colleagues are working on;
  • to provide PhD students in advanced stages with an opportunity to present their plans and early results;
  • to provide all participant students with advice and suggestions from a panel of senior researchers;
  • to facilitate interaction among all the participants.


Following the time-honoured tradition of REFSQ, the Symposium will revolve around structured presentations and matching discussions, with ample time devoted to comments from the floor. A number of senior researchers will attend the event. Authors of sufficiently advanced proposals will be invited to prepare a poster for the main conference.

This year the Doctoral Symposium will host two keynote speakers:

  • How to Finish that Damn PhD, Dan Berry, University of Waterloo, Canada (Read More)
  • On whose shoulders we stand: theory building versus theory testing in requirements engineering research, Sjaak Brinkkemper, Utrecht University, The Netherlands (Read More)

Submission Instructions

Presenters should have set on a dissertation topic in the general area of RE, or in a related field (in which case your topic should have a significant component of RE). Typically, you have progressed beyond your first year in the program, or are close to doing so, but have not submitted your thesis yet. To apply to the Doctoral Symposium, you will need to submit an application consisting of:


  • A Research Abstract (max 6 pages + 1 for references, LNCS style) describing the problem you are addressing (what is unsatisfactory in the current state of the world?), its relevance (why would anyone care if the problem was solved?), your proposed solution (how do you plan to attack the problem?), the novelty of the problem, of the solution, or both (nobody identified the problem or provided the solution before you – i.e., what is your original contribution), the research method you are applying (which method are you following to get to the solution, and how do you prove it solves the problem?), and the progress in your research (where are you, how long to the final destination?). The Research Abstract should contain a short survey and pointers to relevant literature.
  • A Letter of Recommendation from your primary supervisor or advisor. The letter need not discuss the research (which is already covered in your abstract) but should include a short statement about your position as a PhD student, the starting and expected completion date of your PhD, and an assessment of the current state of your research (including expectations about the final delivery).


Papers should be submitted using EasyChair at Submissions will be evaluated based on the quality of the Research Abstract, and of the interest of the research described therein. Accepted papers will be published in CEUR proceedings.

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline (Research abstract + Letter of recommendation): Jan 15, 2016
  • Notification of acceptance: Feb 9, 2016
  • Camera-ready copy deadline: Feb 26, 2016
  • REFSQ2016 Doctoral Symposium: March 14, 2016

Panel of Experts

Sjaak Brinkkemper, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Erik Kamsties, Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Germany

Marjo Kauppinen, Aalto University, Finland

Anna Perini, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy