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Mon 23 - Sat 28 August 2021 Athens, Greece

Call for Research Abstracts

ESEC/FSE Student Research Competition 2021

ESEC/FSE 2021 will host an ACM Student Research Competition (SRC). This competition offers undergraduate and graduate students a unique forum to experience the research world, present their research results to conference attendees, and compete for prizes.

The ACM SRC at ESEC/FSE 2021 consists of three parts:

(1) research abstract submission,

(2) poster presentation at the conference, and

(3) a research talk at the conference.

The first-place winners of the competition will be invited to participate in the ACM Student Research Competition Grand Finals.

Participate in this exciting competition by submitting your work to the SRC track at ESEC/FSE 2021! Accepted students MUST present their submissions virtually during the conference in order to participate in the competition and have their submissions published.

How to Participate: Submit a Research Abstract

To participate, submit an extended research abstract of no more than 800 words (within a 2-page limit) related to the main themes of the conference (see the Research Track for a list of conference topics). The submission should describe: the research problem and motivation, background and related work, approach and novelty, results, and contributions. Papers will be judged based on how well they cover these aspects of the work. Papers must present original research contributions, which have not been published before.

At the time of submission all research abstracts must conform to the ESEC/FSE 2021 Format and Submission Guidelines, and must not exceed 800 words (within 2 pages), including all text, appendices, and figures. However, please note that references do not count against the word and page limit: the list of references may expand into a third page but no content (text, figures) is allowed on the third page (i.e., the third page, if any, should contain nothing else except all or part of your references). All submissions must be in English. Submissions must be in PDF format. Papers must be submitted electronically through the ESEC/FSE SRC submission site by May 6th, 2021. A panel of experts will review the submissions and select the students to participate in the Student Research Competition, which will be held virtually during ESEC/FSE 2021. Accepted submissions will be published in the conference electronic proceedings and made available in the ACM Digital Library.

The review process is single-blind. There is no need to anonymize the paper authors.

Submissions should be made using HotCRP.

First Round Competition: Present a Poster

The first round of the competition will take place virtually during the ESEC/FSE 2021 conference and will be a poster session. This is your opportunity to present your research to conference attendees and leading experts in the software engineering fields, including the SRC committee.

Judges will review the posters and speak to participants about their research. The judges will evaluate the research (quality, novelty, and significance) and the presentation of the research (poster, discussion) and select students to advance to the second round of the competition.

Second Round Competition: Give a Presentation

Selected students will continue by giving a short presentation of their research before a panel of judges in a special virtual session during the ESEC/FSE 2021 conference. After each presentation, there will be a short question and answer session. Evaluations are based on the presenter’s knowledge of his/her research area, contribution of the research, and the quality of the oral and visual presentation. At most three winners will be chosen in each category, undergraduate and graduate, and receive prizes.

The SRC Grand Finals

The first-place winner in each category (undergraduate and graduate) from the SRC held at ESEC/FSE 2021 will advance to the SRC Grand Finals. A different panel of judges evaluates the winners of all SRCs held during the calendar year against each other via the web. Three undergraduates and three graduates will be chosen as the SRC Grand Finals winners. They are invited, along with their advisors, to the annual ACM Awards Banquet, where they receive formal recognition.


The top three winners in each category (undergraduate and graduate) will be recognized during the conference and will receive prizes. The first-place winners of the ESEC/FSE SRC are also invited to compete with winners from other conferences in the ACM Student Research Competition Grand Finals.


Participants must be undergraduate or graduate students pursuing an academic degree at the time of initial submission. Participants must be current student members of the ACM, and must provide their ACM member number. Supervisors of the work may not be listed as co-authors; you must submit a single-authored version of your work for the competition.

For More Information

For additional information, visit the official ACM Student Research Competition website. For questions, please contact the SRC chairs: Tushar Sharma and Yue Yu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to travel to Athens, Greece if my abstract gets accepted?

No. This year the competition will be held in online allowing participants to present remotely. If a physical event takes place, you will be able (but not required to) to present your poster at the conference venue. We will have more details on how the virtual event will take place in the coming months.

Q: I am a PhD student. Am I eligible to participate in the SRC?

Yes. As a PhD student, you will compete in the Graduate category of the competition.

Q: What should I write in my research abstract?

A submission to the competition should describe recently completed or ongoing student research related to the topics covered by ESEC/FSE. It is important that your research abstract discusses (1) research problem and motivation, (2) background and related work, (3) approach and uniqueness, and (4) results and contributions. The committee will assess your research abstract along these dimensions.

Q: What criteria will be used to evaluate the poster and conference presentations?

The judges will assess the poster presentations using the following criteria: Oral presentation, Visual presentation, Research methods, and Significance of contribution. For the conference presentation, the evaluation criteria are Knowledge of research area, Contribution of the research, and Presentation.

Q: My research is not related to software engineering or any of the main themes of the ESEC/FSE conference. Can I still participate in the Student Research Competition?

Yes, but not at ESEC/FSE. To participate in the competition at ESEC/FSE, your research needs to be related to the main themes of the ESEC/FSE conference (see the topics for the main conference track). If your research is not among the topics relevant for ESEC/FSE, please check the list of current SRC calls to find a conference that is better related. If you don’t find a conference that covers your research, you can participate in the SRC at the SIGCSE conference.

Q: Can I submit research that is already published elsewhere?

No, the submission needs to be original. In particular, you cannot participate with a short version of a paper that is accepted in the main track. We will ask you to retract work that has already been published elsewhere.

Q: Can I get my paper published if I cannot attend?

No, the student will need to attend/present their poster or your paper will not be published.

Q: Can I participate without an ACM student membership?

No, you need to have an ACM student membership to participate.

Q: Do figures count towards the word limit?

No, they do not.

Important Dates

All dates are 23:59:59 AoE (UTC-12h).

  • Paper Submission: Thu, May 6, 2021
  • Notification: Thu, Jun 24, 2021
  • Camera-ready Version: Thu, Jul 8, 2021

ACM Student Research Competition Co-Chairs

  • Tushar Sharma, Siemens Research, USA
  • Yue Yu, National University of Defense Technology, China

Questions? Use the ESEC/FSE Student Research Competition contact form.