Doctoral Symposium

The Doctoral Symposium will be co-located with MMSys'21. Accepted papers (if not opted out) will be published in the ACM Digital Library.
PhD Comics

Organization Call Before and at the Conference


Doctoral Symposium Chairs

Öznur Özkasap (Koc University, Turkey)

Christian Timmerer (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt and Bitmovin, Austria)

doctoral-symposium AT


MMSys'21 Doctoral Symposium (DS) will be part of the conference in Istanbul for people studying towards a doctoral degree in a field relevant to the themes of MMSys (refer to the calls here and here). If you are a doctoral candidate who has found yourself reading or referencing work presented at MMSys in the past, or if for you the scope of MMSys makes you feel that this is a community that you would benefit from being part of, then we would love for you to apply to join us in Istanbul.

The DS is a forum for you to share your work and ideas with fellow PhD students, and with more experienced researchers in your field. You will get the chance to give a presentation of your work, get feedback and suggestions, and participate in a practical group activity that will help you support each other with ideas for research approaches and having a great PhD experience. If you are successful in your application for a place in the DS, you will be invited to attend the rest of MMSys'21; the world’s leading international research conference on multimedia systems.

MMSys is an inclusive, growing and interdisciplinary community, so if you are not sure whether the specifics of your research are in scope then (a) they probably are, and (b) please email the chairs and they will do their best to advise you.

If you have established what your PhD research questions will be, but have still got at least a year before the submission of your dissertation, then that 'middle period' of the PhD is a great time to benefit from the DS.

Take part in the MMSys'21 DS by submitting a paper up to four pages (PDF format, excluding references) by the submission deadline (students are encouraged to submit early to potentially start the mentoring early). The paper should include the author name and affiliation, and should be in ACM style format. The paper should be well organised and structured in a way that demonstrates the links between the concepts presented. The paper should clearly specify:

  • A real-world problem that relates to and motivates the PhD
  • The concrete research problem(s) that the (proposed) PhD is addressing and how this fits into the bigger picture of other research that addresses the real-world problem
  • The objectives and scope of the research
  • The methods used to achieve the objectives and the proposed solution(s), including a brief description of the work done so far and a tentative plan for future work
  • The main contribution(s) of the research to multimedia systems and a justification why the contribution will lead to a PhD
  • If applicable, first results including an evaluation with respect to the state-of-the-art

Submissions must be made at They will be peer reviewed and accepted papers will be published in the ACM DL with the possibility to opt-out from publication in ACM DL. However, a paper submission is required to apply for the DS.

Before and at the Conference

If your participation has been approved for the DS, you will join a group of fellow doctoral students in Istanbul. It will be facilitated by the DS chairs and other experts from the MMSys community. You will be able to present and share your topic with the chairs, experts and other participants in a fun and inclusive environment. Before the conference, the DS chairs will find two mentors for each accepted paper who will be available for an in-depth discussion with the author as part of a dedicated session at the conference or/and even before/after the conference (e.g., using Slack).

At the conference, you will be asked to give a max five-minute talk on your paper to the entire MMSys'21 community. Regardless of whether you will present in person or online, you must prepare a recording of your talk based on the instructions below:

  • The talk must be no longer than five minutes and in mp4 format.
  • Video resolutions must be 720p or higher. Aspect ratio must be 16:9.
  • Subtitles are good to have, but optional (if they are available, they must be accurate and included as a separate track in the mp4 file, not burned-in).
  • Various options are available for recording your presentation; check here.
  • Submit your talk here (to be announced soon) by Sept. 14th.

The DS chairs will also award the author of the best DS paper with the ACM MMSys'21 Doctoral Symposium Award. Finally, PhD students with accepted DS papers are eligible to apply for SIGMM travel grants, for which a separate application is required.