Call for Doctoral Consortium Papers

The annual SIGIR conference is the major international forum for the presentation of new research results, and the demonstration of new systems and techniques, in the broad field of information retrieval (IR). The 44th ACM SIGIR conference will be held online on July 11 to 15, 2021. The SIGIR 2021 Doctoral Consortium will provide doctoral students with a unique opportunity to have substantive interaction with other researchers regarding their proposed dissertation research.

Important dates

Time zone: Anywhere on Earth (AoE)
Doctoral Consortium papers due: Tue, Mar 16, 2021
Doctoral Consortium papers notification: Mon, Apr 19, 2021
Doctoral Consortium day: Sun, Jul 11, 2021

Consortium scope and format

The objectives of the Doctoral Consortium are:

  • To provide a forum where doctoral students can present and discuss their research with experienced IR researchers: the members of the Doctoral Consortium Program Committee.
  • To provide students with an opportunity to establish a supportive community, including other doctoral students at a similar stage of their dissertation research.

The Consortium will take place the day before the main conference (on Sunday, July 11, 2021), with the format including: student presentations with plenary discussions, individual 1:1 meetings with experienced researchers, interactive networking sessions, and panel sessions with a special emphasis on gaining insights regarding career paths after the PhD.

Prospective attendees should have written, or be close to completing, a thesis proposal (or equivalent). It is desirable that students not be so close to completing their PhD that the event would have little impact on their work, or so early that a topic has not been chosen. Before submitting, students should discuss this criterion with their advisor or supervisor.

To apply for a place at the Doctoral Consortium, candidates should submit a paper up to 5+1 pages in length, solely authored by the student – see submission guidelines below. Candidates will be selected based on the potential of their research for future impact on the field of information retrieval, as well as for the likely benefit to the student from participating in the Consortium. We note that SIGIR 2021 DC is deeply committed to improving the field of IR by making it more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We highly encourage women and students from other underrepresented groups to apply.

For each selected student, a one page extended abstract will be published in the SIGIR 2021 conference proceedings. Extended abstracts will be invited after selection, and should not be submitted with the proposal.

Doctoral students who submit to the Consortium are allowed to have previously published their research, and are encouraged to submit full, short, or demo papers of their work to the SIGIR 2021 conference and associated workshops.

Priority is given to students chosen to attend the Consortium when student support is determined for the conference, and generally grants will be awarded to chosen students. Application details for student support will be available on the SIGIR 2021 website (you must apply for the grant to be considered).

Submission Guidelines

Papers should be submitted through easychair in the following link (Doctoral Consortium track):

The submitted paper, solely authored by the student, will be the basis for detailed discussions at the Consortium. To get the most out of the discussion, it should include:

  • Motivation for the proposed research.
  • Background and related work (including key references).
  • Description of proposed research, including main research questions.
  • Research methodology and proposed experiments (where appropriate).
  • Specific research issues for discussion at the Doctoral Consortium.

In addition, a one page appendix to the paper (placed after the references) must include the following:

  • A detailed statement by the student explaining why they want to participate in the SIGIR 2021 Doctoral Consortium at this point in their doctoral studies, and how they hope it will contribute to the development of their work and potential future career.
  • A statement by the student’s advisor/supervisor saying how the student would benefit by attending the Consortium. Advisors should also specifically state whether the student has written, or is close to completing, a thesis proposal (or equivalent), and when they expect the student would defend their dissertation if they progress at a typical rate.

Format requirements

Submissions must be written in English, in PDF format, in the current ACM two-column conference format. Suitable LaTeX, Word, and Overleaf templates are available from the ACM Website (use the “sigconf” proceedings template).

The paper should be no more than 5 pages in length including all figures and references, but excluding the one page appendix. The first page must contain the title of the paper, full author name, affiliation and contact details, an abstract of up to 250 words, ACM Computing Classification System (CCS) categories, and up to 3 keywords describing the topic areas. Information about categories and keywords can be found in ACM Web pages on the computing classification system.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that their submissions use no unusual format features and are printable on a standard printer. Submissions will be reviewed by the members of the Doctoral Consortium Program Committee.

Doctoral Consortium submissions should be submitted in PDF through the EasyChair system (Doctoral Consortium track):

Doctoral Consortium papers will not be published in the SIGIR conference proceedings; only one-page extended abstracts, invited from accepted students will be published.

Doctoral Consortium Chairs

  • Hiroaki Ohshima, University of Hyogo
  • Barbara Poblete, University of Chile


For further information, please contact the SIGIR 2021 Doctoral Consortium Co-chairs by email to sigir2021-dc AT easychair DOT org.

Scroll to Top