The goal of the Early Career Researchers Forum (ECRF-ICSA 2021) is to inspire and bring together early career researchers in the field of software architecture.


Accepted Papers

  • Razieh Alidoosti, “Ethics-driven Software Architecture Decision Making”
  • Hrishikesh Narayanankutty, “Self-Adapting Model-Based SDSec For IoT Networks Using Machine Learning”


The forum provides a vibrant place for discussing potential and ongoing research in any stage, from ideas to results. The forum strives to provide a friendly environment for early career researchers to get feedback on their work, exchange experiences, ask questions, and explore available research pathways. In addition, the forum stimulates interaction between early career researchers and experienced academic and industry members of the community by offering a two-stage submission process that will enable early career researchers to obtain one-on-one feedback on their papers before submitting them for review.


Participation is open to anyone who considers themselves an early career researcher, wanting to share research ideas and (preliminary or mature) results with their peers, and looking for an opportunity to inspire and be inspired, and to learn about research paths. Early career researchers in any stage of their research, including postdocs, Ph.D. candidates, undergraduate students, and industry researchers, are all welcome. In addition, we highly encourage and invite early career researchers presenting their work in the main ICSA conference to also participate in this forum.


Areas of interest include software architecture, component-based software engineering, and quality aspects of software and how these relate to the design of software architectures, as provided by the scope of the 2021 ICSA conference.

Types of Submissions

There are three ways of contributing to the program of the forum:

  • Ongoing Research Papers (4 to 6 pages) presenting previously unpublished research, including motivation, goals, preliminary results, planned next steps, and industry impact of ongoing research.
  • Research Abstracts (2 pages) outlining (preferably more mature) research of early career authors that are also presenting in the 2021 ICSA main program, and would like to actively engage in the forum. The research presented in the forum does not have to be the same research presented in the main track. However, if it is the same research, please note that these abstracts cannot simply be the same abstracts from the paper in the main track. The two pages should contain a short summary of the work, details of current and potential industry impact, and ideas for future research related to this work that the authors would like to discuss in this forum to obtain feedback.
  • Emerging Ideas (2 pages) outlining very early ideas on a possible research topic, such as a potential dissertation topic, with the goal of obtaining feedback from forum attendees.

In all types of submissions, we challenge the authors to think about the potential impact of their research on industrial practice (whether in the near- or long-term, based on the nature of the research), and to dedicate a section to the Industrial Impact of their work. The authors of Ongoing Research Papers will be assigned an experienced mentor who will help the author prepare for the actual submission (Stage 1), and advise on potential areas or impacts that the authors may be missing. The mentor’s feedback will need to be reflected in the revised submission as a condition for the paper to be accepted (Stage 2).


Ask your main research advisor (in case of research candidates) or supervisor (in case of PhD graduates or industry researcher) for a letter of recommendation. This letter should include:

  • Your name and position
  • Current status of your research
  • An endorsement of the publication of your submission

The letter should be in PDF format and should be sent directly by your advisor via e-mail to both ECRF-ICSA2021 Co-Chairs. This recommendation letter will be held confidential. The e-mail subject should have the subject “ICSA2021-ECRF Recommendation” plus your Last Name. Deadline for sending the recommendation letter: January 25th, 2021.

Formatting and Submission Instructions

All submissions must conform to the Author Instructions, and be submitted electronically via the EasyChair submission system (Early Career Researchers Forum track), by the submission deadline, and must not have been published before.

Important Dates

    • Abstracts submission: January 4th, 2021 
    • Full submission: January 11th, 202 
    • Round 1 Feedback: January 20th, 2021
    • Resubmission Due: January 25th, 2021
    • Papers due: January 25th, 2021
    • Acceptance notification: February 8th, 2021
    • Camera-ready due: February 19th, 2021 

Publication and Attendance

All accepted contributions will be published in ICSA 2021 Companion proceedings, and appear in IEEE Xplore Digital Library. At least one author of an accepted contribution is required to register and present the work at the conference. If you do not attend the forum your paper will not be published. There is no option for remote participation.

Presentation and Discussion

To further facilitate the discussions around the presented research topics, we assign discussants to each presentation. Please find the description of the discussant below. 

A presenter will give her/his talk about their research. Following the presentation, the discussants assigned to each paper will make brief comments (5 minutes), including some combination of:

  • how the paper made the discussant think differently about her or his own work
  • how the paper is related in some way to the discussant’s own work
  • some advice for the authors in continuing their work
  • identification of collaboration opportunities or synergies
  • discussion questions based on the presented paper


For more information please contact the ECRF Program Committee Chairs:

  • Philippe Kruchten (University of British Columbia, Canada) –
  • Catia Trubiani (Gran Sasso Science Institute, Italy) –

Program Committee

  • Aldeida Aleti, Monash University, Australia
  • Paolo Arcaini, National Institute of Informatics, Japan
  • Javier Camara Moreno, University of York, UK
  • Stephanie Challita, INRIA, France
  • Neil Ernst, University of Victoria, Canada
  • Ilias Gerostathopoulos, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL
  • Ian Gorton, Northeastern University, US
  • Pooyan Jamshidi, University of South Carolina, US
  • Anne Koziolek, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
  • Mehdi Mirakhorli, Rocherster IT, US
  • Elisa Yumi Nakagawa, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Robert Nord, Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute, US