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CHI Conference: DC


Effective Date: June 1, 2014
Replaces: Previous SIGCHI Doctoral Consortium Policy
Responsible SIGCHI Officer: Vice-President for Conferences

This policy covers the doctoral consortium at the SIGCHI conference. It defines to what extent CHI conference chairs have flexibility in the organization of this venue and what must be implemented to meet the SIGCHI vision on it. It was last updated on June 1, 2014.

Objectives of the Doctoral Consortium Policy document

The aim of this document is to specify the ACM SIGCHI policy for the Doctoral Consortium venue at CHI conference. It defines to what extent CHI conference chairs have flexibility in the organization of this venue and what must be implemented to meet SIGCHI vision on it.

Description of the Doctoral Consortium

The Doctoral Consortium is a meeting of selected Ph.D. candidates that occurs just before the CHI Conference and in the same city as the conference. Each CHI conference must have a Doctoral Consortium venue. The candidates receive a fellowship to support participation in the CHI conference (see details below). Doctoral Consortium attendees are chosen by a review committee whose members make their decision based on letters of recommendation and a short abstract (same format as work-in-progress) of each applicant’s dissertation research; their participation is noted in the conference program and the extended abstract proceedings. At the Doctoral Consortium meeting, each student gives a research presentation to the other attendees and the faculty. Advice is given on each individual’s research. Group meals are planned to provide a less formal setting for discussions. Participation in the Doctoral Consortium is not a “right” of any Ph.D. student about to graduate but a selected honor conferred on the most promising Ph.D. candidates in the field.

Goals of the Doctoral Consortium

The Consortium has been set up in order to:
 Build a cohort group of new researchers who would then have a network of colleagues spread out across the world
 Guide the work of the new researchers by having the experts in the research field give advice
 Provide encouragement and support for the selection of HCI research topics
 Make it possible for the promising new entrants to the field to attend their research conference
 Illustrate the interrelationship and diversity of HCI research
 Make the new entrants’ experience at the CHI conference an enjoyable and rewarding experience, encouraging them to return and submit papers, panels, demonstrations, posters, etc. to the conference.

Organization Details

The Doctoral Consortium Chair is expected to be one of the research leaders in the community. The Consortium Chair, once appointed, selects 3 to 4 members to be on the Faculty. It is useful to not only have these members be leaders in the field but also people who work well with students. The Call for Participation in the Doctoral Consortium appears in the general program’s Call for Participation. Applicants are to provide a letter of recommendation from their thesis advisor, an extended abstract of their dissertation research and a curriculum vitae. The doctoral consortium committee will go over this information and select from 10 to 20 participants from the pool of applicants. Higher numbers of accepted students need the approval of the CMC and will be granted or not according to criteria like conference location, new communities involved, budget availability, etc. Selection will be based on the research potential of the applicant, and on the diversity of the domains. Each student applicant to the Doctoral Consortium must have finished his or her dissertation proposal and be one year or more away from obtaining their Ph.D. degree. Because participation in the Consortium is international and because degree systems differ considerably in each country, the intent of this statement can be interpreted as follows: The student should have conducted a significant enough portion of their research to understand how their works fits within the HCI field, how to do research and how to present it. The student should not be a new entrant into a doctoral program but have spent a reasonable time carrying out research (not coursework).

At the conference, the Doctoral Consortium will be announced in the program as a closed session at the conference, i.e., open to invited participants only. Participants in the Consortium will be listed in the final program.

The Consortium will take place on the two days preceding the CHI Conference. The sessions will consist of presented research and commentary by the faculty. A dinner will be provided on the first day. Lunch and two coffee breaks will be provided on both days. The Doctoral Consortium Chair is encouraged to invite 5 – 10 “notables” in the research field to attend one of the lunches or the dinner or stop by the coffee breaks to talk with the students (referred to later as associated guests). We have found that this has been one of the ongoing requests of the student attendees.

Lunches and the dinner are expected to be informal and at local gathering places in the Conference city. The purpose of these events is to support informal intellectual exchange and social interaction among the participants. A suggested budget amount for lunches is $10 – $15 per person and for dinners, $15 – $20 per person. This will, of course, depend on the city and on the budget available for the doctoral consortium.

An electronic version of sample Doctoral Consortium documents, e.g., acceptance letters, student instructions, etc. is handed over from the previous Doctoral Consortium Chair or from the SIGCHI Vice President for Conferences to the incoming Doctoral Consortium Chair.


A typical budget contains:
Conference travel money for student attendees (The fellowship mentioned below).
Incidentals, i.e., phone calls, postage, duplicating, etc. Since SIGCHI is a volunteer organization, it is still hoped that each volunteer’s parent organizations will pick up some of the costs.
Costs of social events. This includes a lunch and a dinner for all Doctoral Consortium participants and (possibly) associated guests.
Once accepted to the Doctoral Consortium, each student will receive the following support:
A fellowship of up to $750 (depending on the conference budget) to reimburse the student for the expenses related to attending the Doctoral Consortium.
A free conference registration.
Access to student volunteer lodging information and reservations.

Doctoral Consortium Chair

The Chair of the Doctoral Consortium is a member of the conference committee. In addition to being invited to the “Committee Thank You” dinner, they will receive (If this is not picked up by their sponsoring organization/employer) a two nights stay at the conference headquarters hotel. If there is more than one chair, they are expected to split the hotel reimbursement.

Doctoral Consortium Faculty

Each member of the Doctoral Consortium Faculty will receive one night lodging at the conference headquarters hotel (if this is not picked up by their sponsoring organization/ employer).

From: CHI DC Policy Document


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