Call for doctoral symposium papers


The SPLC Doctoral Symposium aims to provide a supportive environment that enables doctoral students to get constructive feedback on their research. Students will have the opportunity to discuss their work with experienced members of the community. Thus, the symposium offers a unique opportunity to gather valuable expert feedback and to get in touch with peer students in the same field. The event is dedicated to PhD students who are least in the second year of their candidature, presenting initial results that are not yet mature enough for a full conference paper. The SPLC doctoral symposium covers the same research topics as the main conference.


  • Paper submissions: June 11, 2021
  • Notification: June 25, 2021
  • Camera-ready papers: July 9, 2021



To participate, students should prepare a research plan answering the following questions:

  • The research problem being addressed and its importance
  • The research methodology and techniques being applied
  • The solution being proposed, its novelty and validity
  • The relation of the work with the state of the art

The idea of the research plan is to provide clear material that can be used as a basis for guidance and discussion. Therefore, students should think about the above points carefully and try to make their ideas as concrete and clear as possible. Students at relatively early stages of their research may find it difficult to address some of these points, but should still attempt to do their best. It is strongly recommended that students discuss the research plan with their supervisors.

The following structure is recommended:

  • Front matter: Title, your name, email address, abstract
  • Introduction and Motivation: Introduction to the area of study; description of the problem tackled and its importance; what the literature says about this problem and where existing work fails; how you plan to tackle this problem; what results you envision; how you plan to validate your solution.
  • Research Questions: Clearly state the research questions you plan to address and any assumptions you take.
  • Research Methodology and Approach: The research methodology you plan to use (e.g. design science, action research), including the techniques you plan to employ in your research (e.g. formalization, algorithm specification, case studies). In accordance with your research methodology, describe your research approach: what novel methods and/or technology you are going to build, how you are going to do that, including aspects such as data collection, software prototyping and evaluation. Discuss any threats to validity you may envision.
  • Preliminary Results: Overview the key results achieved so far. Provide an example to explain how the solution obtained so far works – this is very important!
  • Work plan: Outline the structure of your thesis, distinguishing the work accomplished so far from that remaining, incl. a publication plan. Also provide a detailed work plan for the next 12 months.

Submissions should be 4 pages  (+2 pages with references only), in ACM SIGS proceedings format (tighter style). All  submissions must be in English, in PDF format, and must not contain or  cite proprietary or confidential material. The research plan should be  sent as a single file via  Easychair track Doctoral Symposium:


\acmConference[SPLC’21]{25th ACM International Systems and Software Product Lines Conference}{06–11 September, 2021}{Leicester, UK}

Submissions will be evaluated by two reviewers according to relevance, originality and feasibility of the described research.

SPLC DS papers will be published in one of the volumes of the SPLC conference proceedings published by ACM Digital Library. SPLC is ranked as a top conference.

At least one author of each accepted submission must register and attend SPLC 2020 in order for the submission to be published.
The symposium will be held in conjunction with SPLC 2020. Each participant will get a chance to present their work and get feedback from the panelists and the audience. Students are recommended to prepare particular points they seek feedback upon. All students are expected to attend every session of the consortium. 


Rick Rabiser

Johannes Kepler University Linz, AT

Mahsa Varshosaz

IT University of Copenhagen, DK


  • Jane Cleland-Huang, University of Notre Dame, USA
  • Philippe Collet, Université Côte d’Azur – CNRS/I3S, FR
  • Oscar Diaz, University of the Basque Country
  • Malte Lochau, University of Siegen
  • Iris Reinhartz-Berger, University of Haifa
  • Klaus Schmid, University of Hildesheim
  • Christoph Seidl, Technische Universität Braunschweig
  • Leopoldo Teixeira, Informatics Center, Federal University of Pernambuco
  • Maurice ter Beek, ISTI-CNR, Pisa, Italy
  • Thomas Thüm, University of Ulm