Doctoral Consortium

The CHI PLAY 2020 Doctoral Consortium provides an opportunity for doctoral students to explore and develop their research interests in games and HCI in an interdisciplinary workshop, under the guidance of distinguished researchers. We invite PhD students, who feel they would benefit from dissertation feedback, to apply for this unique opportunity to share their work with other doctoral students and senior researchers in the field. The consortium consists of two events before the conference and two events at the conference. Before the conference, participants will engage in peer-review of all participants’ submissions in small groups and a small-group mentoring session. At the conference, all participants will present a video on their work during a special conference session. We have several scholarships to support DC attendance. These will be awarded after acceptance. 

The Consortium aims to (1) provide a setting where students can present their work and meet other students, (2) provide feedback on students’ current research and guidance on future research directions, (3) offer each student comments and fresh perspectives on their work from researchers and students outside their own institution, (4) promote the development of a supportive community of scholars and a spirit of collaborative research, and (5) contribute to the conference goals through interaction with other researchers and conference events. 

Important dates (23:59 AoE)

July 15, 2020
Doctoral Consortium submission deadline
August 10, 2020
Decisions sent to authors
August 10 – September 21, 2020
Small-group video peer review
September 3, 2020
August 30, 2020
Final camera-ready papers due
September 21 – October 5, 2020Small-group meetings with mentors
November 1, 2020Doctoral Consortium Workshop with full group, including presentation of revised video
November 2-3 (exact time TBA)Presentation of video in special conference session



The strongest candidates will be those who are at least in their second year, have a clear topic and research approach, and have made some progress, but who are not so far along that they can no longer make changes. In addition to stating how you will benefit from participation, both you and your advisor should be clear on what you can contribute to the Doctoral Consortium. Current graduate students pursuing a PhD project who would benefit from detailed workshop discussions of their doctoral research should submit a document and a video as described below.

Submission Document

The document should consist of a single PDF file that includes the following elements and is formatted appropriately. Please submit a single file. The Extended Abstract should be formatted using the SIGCHI interim format, and Appendices 1, 2, and 3 should then be attached. 

  • Extended Abstract. A 2 page research description (excluding references) covering central aspects of your PhD work, which speaks to the following key points:
    • Context and motivation that drives your dissertation research
    • Research objectives/goals/questions
    • Background/literature review of key works that frames your research
    • Hypothesis/thesis and/or problem statement
    • Your research approach and methods, including relevant rationale
    • Results to date and their validity
    • Dissertation status and next steps
    • Current and expected contributions
    • References (these don’t count towards the 4 page limit)
  • Appendix 1. A one-paragraph statement of expected benefits of participation for both yourself and the other consortium participants (i.e., what will you contribute as well as gain) (1 page).
  • Appendix 2. A letter of nomination from your primary dissertation advisor (1 page).
  • Appendix 3. Your concise current Curriculum Vita (1-2 pages)

Please do not use the former SIGCHI template but use the interim template instead, for more information, see the submission guidelines.

Submission Video

The submission video should cover the same topics as the extended abstract described above. Particular emphasis should be placed on motivating and situating your research, and in clearly stating your research questions. Since this is a visual medium, excellent submissions will find ways of showing important points rather than simply explaining them verbally.

The video must be no longer than 5 minutes in length. Please make sure that your video is playable on standard PC and Macintosh computers. We recommend that you encode your video as an MP4 using the H.264 codec.

It is essential for you to ensure that your submission is complete and in accordance with the format and content guidelines described above. Because the Doctoral Consortium Committee expects to receive a large number of applications, submissions that do not meet these requirements will be returned without review.

Review Process

The proposals will be evaluated by the DC chairs.

Review and acceptance decisions will balance several factors. These will depend on the quality of the proposal, and where you are within your doctoral education program. The group will be selected to exhibit a diversity of backgrounds and topics. Therefore, we are unlikely to accept more than two students from the same institution and almost certainly will not accept more than one student with the same advisor. To help the greatest number of students, attendees from previous CHI PLAY doctoral consortium are discouraged from applying. To attend a second CHI PLAY doctoral consortium, participants should make it clear how the second doctoral consortium would benefit them in a different way.

Candidates who have a clearly developed idea, who are formally considered by their institution to be working on their dissertation, and who still have time to be influenced by participation in the Consortium will receive the strongest consideration. 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.

Upon Acceptance

Authors of accepted submissions will receive instructions on how to submit a publication-ready copy, information about attending the Doctoral Consortium events before and during the conference, and about preparing the final version of their video. Authors will retain copyright to their submission. Obtaining permissions to use video, audio, or pictures of identifiable people or proprietary content rests with the author, not the ACM or the CHI PLAY conference. 

Before the Conference

Students and mentors will be assigned to small groups of approximately five: two mentors and three students per group. One of the mentors will be a DC chair, and the other will be a different senior member of the field. As far as possible, groups will be assigned such that they can meet together synchronously, taking time zones and schedules into account.

Small Group Peer Review: Students will be asked to get together with the other students in their group to watch the videos submitted by all participants together. Students will record critical, specific, and actionable feedback. After each video, students will collectively decide their top three pieces of feedback for the student in question. This feedback will be collected across all groups, and shared with that student. Students may schedule this meeting at their convenience between August 10 and September 21, 2020.

Small-Group Meetings with Mentors: Student groups will meet with their mentors to receive feedback on their papers and videos. This meeting will be one hour in length, and will be scheduled between September 21 and October 5, 2020.

Based on these meetings, participants are expected to update their video, taking into account feedback received from mentors and peers. This revised video will be presented at the conference.

During the Conference

Students will also present their final video and engage in live Q&A in a special session at the main conference. This session will be scheduled during working hours Ottawa time.

After the Conference

Doctoral Consortium papers and videos will be archived in the ACM Digital Library in the CHI PLAY 2020 Extended Abstracts.

Please direct any questions to

Scroll to top