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Matthew Horton <[log in to unmask]>
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Matthew Horton <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 20 May 2014 09:34:51 -0400
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BCS HCI Doctoral Consortium 2014

- Dr Paul Cairns, York University
- Vicky Hurst, Swansea University
- Prof. Harold Thimbleby, Swansea University

What is a Doctoral Consortium?

A doctoral consortium is a one-day event in which to discuss with your peers (researchers in HCI) your research, practical problems of doing your research and your experiences in a critical but supportive context. It builds confidence and challenges you to do even better with your research. Crucially it helps you explore and find solutions to the timeless PhD problems of not knowing what you — nor your supervisor nor your department — know. If you don’t know what you don’t know, what do you do? You go to a Doctoral Consortium!

How do you attend the BCS HCI Doctoral Consortium?

Some people say you should first do your research and then write it up, and then write the abstract that summarises what you achieved. This approach presupposes you know what you are going to do over the entire time of your research project! A wiser alternative is to write a fantasy abstract on Day 1. The fantasy abstract is your best attempt now at what your abstract will be when you have finished. You will continually revise your fantasy abstract as you progress with your research. Your fantasy abstract is your goal, what you would like to say you have achieved. To attend the Doctoral Consortium, you must submit a two page paper summarising your research thesis and contributions. Of course, you will not have finished your thesis yet, so please write it as a fantasy abstract; a piece of HCI research that you would love to have achieved but written as if you had already done it and it had worked as you hoped! Your submission must be prepared in the BCS HCI style at, including title, fantasy abstract, with detail and references as appropriate. Like any paper, there should be an introduction, a brief section explaining the methodology used to justify the claims of the paper (for example, Grounded Theory, Making, Controlled Experiment, Field work, Action Research, Programming, etc), discussion, conclusions, and references. Abstracts of sufficient quality will appear in the conference proceedings. However, the Doctoral Consortium may invite researchers on the consortium who for one reason or another do not gain a published abstract.

Deadline: 23rd May 2014

Notification of acceptance: 20th June 2014

Date of Doctoral Consortium: 9th September 2014

We look forward to meeting you!

What happens at the BCS HCI Doctoral Consortium?

After submitting an abstract that is accepted, you will be invited to attend a full day event at the BCS HCI Conference. This will require your full time presence from the time it starts, nominally at 9am through to an evening meal and celebration with other attendees; you should plan to finish around 9pm. We would expect you to arrange your own accommodation before and after the day. Students attending the doctoral consortium are expected to be available to carry out some SV duties during the main conference. In return for this all DC members will receive free admission to the conference and accommodation. Students will have to fund there own travel to and from the conference.

People attending previous Doctoral Consortia have come away reinvigorated with the excitement and impact of their research. They have come away with clear and specific plans on how to succeed and make deliberate progress towards completion. You will also make new friends, contacts and collaborators from around the world.

The details of the Doctoral Consortium will be designed to best match the needs of the people selected to attend. You can expect to learn how to succeed in vivas, writing, international travel, and achieving a successful career, whether as a researcher, as an academic or in some other area such as leading in industry. You will also learn about the wide range of resources available to you to support your research work.

Note that material discussed at the Doctoral Consortium is confidential to the participants.

Brief Bios

Paul Cairns is co-editor of the leading book, Research Methods for Human-Computer Interaction (Cambridge University Press) and has research interests in the experience of playing digital games, number entry error and modeling users. See

Harold Thimbleby is the author of the leading book, Press On (MIT Press). See Both books are available from Amazon of course!

Vicky Hurst is a research manager at Swansea University.

Submission Format

Papers should use the same template as shorts and have the following structure:

- Title
- Author
- Abstract (~200 words)
- Introduction
- Methodology
- Discussion
- Conclusions
- Acknowledgements
- References

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