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Student Research Competition


Kori Inkpen, Dalhousie University and Microsoft Research
Rob Miller, MIT

Student Research Competition: A Message from Kori and Rob

Rob Miller Kori Inkpen

The Student Research Competition, new at CHI 2007, provides a forum for undergraduates and graduate students to share their research results, exchange ideas and improve their communication skills, while competing for prizes. Sponsored by Microsoft Research, the CHI competition is a branch of the ACM Student Research Competition which hosts similar competitions at other ACM conferences in other areas of computer science.

The top three winners at CHI in each category (undergraduate and graduate) will receive prizes of $500, $300, and $200, respectively. The winners at CHI will go on to compete in the finals with winners from other ACM conferences.

The Student Research Competition FAQ answers some common questions, but if you have other questions, please email us at

Make submissions via the SIGCHI PCS siteexternal link.

The Student Research Competition has the following goals:

  • Give both undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to share their research results at CHI in a special forum that provides visibility for their work
  • Give students the opportunity to meet with and interact with CHI attendees to share ideas, gain new insights, and understand possible practical applications
  • Give students an opportunity to sharpen their communication skills, including visual, organizational, oral, and aural modalities
  • Provide detailed feedback to students about both research and presentation quality, from a panel of distinguished judges from industry and academia
  • Recognize and reward outstanding work by students

Submissions should describe recently completed or ongoing research conducted primarily by a single student (possibly under the supervision of a faculty advisor), in any of the topic areas covered by CHI. While there is no specific research problem for the research competition, competitors are encouraged to consider the CHI 2007 theme, "Reach Beyond".

The contest has two categories, one for undergraduate research and the other for graduate research. Three winners will be selected in each category. Research completed while the student was an undergraduate may be submitted to the undergraduate category even if the student is now a first-year graduate student.


Owing to the competitive nature of the Student Competition, CHI 2007 will not provide individual mentoring for potential submissions. Student authors may take advantage of mentoring opportunities with faculty and colleagues at their University as long as it remains mentoring and not active participation by the mentors.

Proof of Student Status

Participants must be undergraduates or graduate students pursuing an academic degree at the time of initial submission. Participants must provide a signed letter from their academic supervisor confirming that at least 50% of their working week is spent following an academic course of study. All students must provide proof of their student status on or before 15 January 2007.

Submission Review Criteria

Submissions will be reviewed by a committee of experts, and evaluated based on:

  • Quality of work
  • Novelty of approach
  • Significance of the contribution to the field of HCI
  • Clarity of written presentation

Twenty-five students (15 undergraduate and 10 graduate) will be chosen to participate in the competition.

At the Conference

The first round of the competition evaluates the research during a poster presentation at CHI. The presentation will be evaluated on two axes, given equal weight: (1) the research work itself, specifically its quality, novelty, and significance of the contribution; and (2) the presentation of the research, both visual aspects of the poster and the student's oral discussion.

Based on the results from the poster session, the judges will select students to advance to the second round. During the second round students will have the opportunity give a short presentation of their research (10 minutes) followed by a question and answer period (5 minutes).

The top three winners in each category (undergraduate and graduate) as determined by the judges' evaluation of the conference presentations, will receive prizes of $500, $300, and $200, respectively. Winners will be announced during the closing plenary and will advance to a final student research contest round where all SIG conference contest winners are evaluated to determine one overall student research contest winner.

Submission Requirements

Students should submit a short paper (6 pages maximum) submitted in the Conference Extended Abstracts Publication Format due 15 January 2007, 17:00 PST to the SIGCHI PCS siteexternal link

Paper should include:

  • Research problem and motivation
  • Background and related work
  • Approach and uniqueness
  • Results and contributions

Guidelines for Paper Submission

  • All submissions must be in English and must include title and author information, including author affiliation.
  • Faxed or emailed submissions are not acceptable. Late submissions will not be reviewed.
  • All submissions must be preceded or accompanied by a Proof of Student Status package (See Proof of Student Status section above) including (1) the student's university; (2) the student's ACM member number; and (3) whether the student was a graduate or undergraduate when the work was done.
  • The written paper should include a short abstract, keywords, body, and references (for more detail, please see the Conference Extended Abstract Publication Format).
  • Submissions must not contain proprietary or confidential material and should not cite proprietary or confidential publications. All submissions must be in the camera-ready format (PDF) specified by CHI. Due to tight publication schedules, revisions will not be possible. The submitted PDF version will be considered the final version of the paper.
  • Authors should review the Guide to Successful Submissions: Papers and CHI Notes, in particular, the section titled: "Describing the work clearly and concisely".

Publication Status

The Student Research Competition is not an archival publication that constrains future submissions. Your abstract and poster are not considered to be a prior publication of the work for the purposes of a future CHI Paper or CHI Note or for a journal publication.

Confidentiality of Submissions

Confidentiality of submissions is maintained during the review process. All rejected submissions will be kept confidential in perpetuity. All submitted materials for accepted submissions will be kept confidential until the start of the conference, 28 April 2007, with the exception of title and author information which will be published on the website prior to the conference. Submissions should not contain any information or materials that are proprietary at publication time.


Students accepted to the competition are entitled to a travel grant covering expenses for travel to CHI, including conference registration, transportation, lodging, and meals, up to a limit of US$500. Students must be members of ACM to qualify for these awards.

The top three (3) undergraduate and graduate winners, determined by the judge's evaluation of the poster and oral presentations, receive prizes of US$500, US$300, and US$200, respectively. All winners also receive an award certificate and two-year complimentary ACM membership with a subscription to ACM's Digital Library. Winners will be recognized during the closing plenary session of the CHI 2007 conference.

The winners of the CHI Student Research Competition also become eligible to compete in the ACM-wide SRC Grand Finals. The CHI winners are invited, along with their research advisors, to the annual ACM Awards Banquet to be recognized for their accomplishments. The Awards Banquet is where the Turing Award (the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for computing) and ACM's other prestigious ward winners are honored.

All participants' research abstracts will be included in the CHI 2007 Extended Abstracts and published in the ACM Digital Library. Abstracts will also be posted on the ACM Student Research Competition website, and the winners' research will be identified on the website, as well.

Submission Checklist

Well in advance of the deadline (15 January, 2007 at 17:00 PST):

  • Prepare a short paper (up to 6 pages) in the Conference Extended Abstracts Publication Format
  • Submit two files using SIGCHI PCS siteexternal link system. Submit:
    1. Your paper as a PDF in the "Upload the Paper" section and
    2. Your Proof of Student Status PDF under "Additional Files."

Important Dates

  • 15 January 2007: Deadline for submission of short papers and proof of student status
  • 9 February 2007: Notification of acceptance/rejection for submissions
  • 7 April 2007: Accepted participants submit completed posters for review by judges

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