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Following the tradition of past years, ICSE 2020 will host the ACM Student Research Competition (SRC), sponsored by Microsoft Research. This competition offers undergraduate and graduate students a unique opportunity to experience the research world, present their research results, and compete for prizes.

To participate in the competition, a student must submit a 2-page description of his or her original research project. The submitted project descriptions are peer-reviewed. Each student whose description is selected is invited to attend the SRC competition at ICSE and present his or her work: a poster presentation and a research talk. Each is also entitled to a travel stipend that supports attending the entire ICSE conference in Seoul, South Korea!

Winners of the ICSE competition are invited to participate in the ACM Student Research Competition Grand Finals. Submit your work and take part of the ACM Student Research Competition at ICSE 2020!

Additional Information
For additional information, see SRC Frequently asked questions, consult the ACM Student Research Competition website or contact Andrew Begel and  Junbeom Yoo.

Call for contributions

How to Participate: Submit a Research Abstract

To enroll in the Student Research Competition (SRC), you must be an undergraduate or graduate student pursuing an academic degree at the time of initial submission. You must submit a 2-page research abstract related to any of the main ICSE themes. A submission should describe a research problem, its background and related work, the proposed solution and its novelty, the actual results, and your contributions. Supervisors of the work may not be listed as co-authors; for the competition, you should submit a single-authored version of your work. As with any publication, the content of the submission must be at least 30% different than any other publication.

The SRC committee members will review the submissions and select students to participate in the competition. Submissions that are accepted to the competition will be published in the ICSE conference companion proceedings.

Submission Guidelines

A submission to SRC must not exceed 2 pages, including all text, appendices, and figures. An additional third page is permitted only if it contains only references. Formatting instructions are available at https://www.acm.org/publications/proceedings-template for both LaTeX and Word users. LaTeX users must use the provided acmart.cls and ACM-Reference-Format.bst without modification, enable the conference format in the preamble of the document (i.e., \documentclass[sigconf,review]{acmart}), and use the ACM reference format for the bibliography (i.e., \bibliographystyle{ACM-Reference-Format}). The review option adds line numbers, thereby allowing referees to refer to specific lines in their comments.

The submitter and author must be a student member of the ACM, and must provide your current ACM member number.

You must submit your SRC research abstract electronically using the EasyChair submission page (To be announced).

First Round Competition: Poster Presentation

If you are selected to participate in the competition, you will be invited to the first round, which will take place at ICSE 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. You will present a poster describing your work to conference attendees and leading experts in the Software Engineering field, including the SRC committee. Judges will review the posters and discuss the research with participants. The judges will evaluate the novelty and significance of your research, and the quality of your presentation, including your poster and the discussion around it. Following that evaluation, the judges will select students to advance to the second round of the competition.

Second Round Competition: Research Talk

If you are selected for the second round, you will give a short presentation of your research before a panel of judges in a special session at the ICSE 2020 conference. After each presentation, there will be a brief question-and-answer session. Your evaluation will be based your knowledge of your research area, the contribution of your research, and the quality of your oral and visual presentation. Three undergraduate and three graduate students will be chosen as winners and will receive prizes.

Prizes and SRC Grand Finals

The top three winners in each category – undergraduate and graduate – will be recognized during the conference. The winners of the ICSE 2020 SRC will also be invited to participate in the ACM SRC Grand Finals, where they will compete with winners from other conferences held during the calendar year. A separate panel of judges will evaluate all SRC Grand Final participants via the Web. Three undergraduate and three graduate students will be chosen as the SRC Grand Finals winners. They will be invited, along with their advisors, to the annual ACM Awards Banquet, where they will receive a formal recognition.

Expenses Coverage

If you are selected to participate in the ICSE 2020 competition, you are entitled to a stipend partially covering your travel expenses. Specifically, the ACM SRC program covers expenses up to $500 of your expenses.

These expenses can include:

  • Conference registration
  • Living expenses (hotel, meals, and tips),
  • Transportation expenses (air, rail, bus, taxi, car service, car rental, parking, mileage if driving your own car at 53.5 U.S. cents per mile),
  • Supplies for poster development and poster shipment.

All the students are also encouraged to apply for the SIGSOFT CAPS program for additional support.

Additional Information

For additional information, see SRC Frequently asked questions, consult the ACM Student Research Competition website or contact Andrew Begel and Junbeom Yoo.


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 be part of the research abstract?
A submission to the competition should describe recently completed or ongoing student research related to the topics covered by ICSE. 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: Based on what criteria will judges evaluate the abstract/research?
The judges will assess research abstracts based on four criteria: Problem and motivation, Background and related work, Approach and uniqueness, and Results and contribution. For the poster presentation, the criteria are Oral presentation, Visual presentation, Research methods, and Significance of contribution. For the conference presentation, the criteria are Knowledge of research area, Contribution of research, and Presentation.

Q: I noticed that first round participants receive a travel reimbursement of up to $500. Will the participants also qualify for a registration waiver and/or free/discounted student lodging?
There is no registration waiver and no free/discounted student lodging for first round participants of the SRC. Students will still have to pay for conference registration and lodging, for which they can use the travel stipend. However, there are additional programs to help students keep the cost down (the programs can be combined with SRC). Consider applying as a student volunteer.

SIGSOFT has a great travel support program for students: SIGSOFT CAPS.

Q: My research is not related to software engineering or any of the main themes of the ICSE conference. Can I still participate in the Student Research Competition?
Yes, but not at ICSE. Participate in a SRC at conference that is related to your research. To participate in the competition at ICSE, your research needs to be related to the main themes of the ICSE conference (see the topics for the Technical Research Track). If your research is not among the topics relevant for ICSE, please check http://src.acm.org/ 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 competition at the SIGCSE conference.

Q: I submitted a paper to the Doctoral Symposium. May I also submit a paper on the same topic to the Student Research Competition?
Yes, you may, and we encourage this. However, as with any simultaneous submission about similar research topics, the content must be at least 30% different than any other submission (in substance, not just the words). This includes your submission to the Doctoral Symposium. The overlap between the two papers will be checked upon submission to the SRC submission site.

If you have doubts about your submission, please speak with your advisor and discuss how to ensure that the two papers are different enough to avoid being flagged.