Student Research Competition

SRC Competition 2020

Proposals for the Student Research Competition are due by May 25, 2020. Please submit your proposal to Dr. Sonia Stephens (

2020 Undergraduate SRC Participants

  • Kenyan Burnham, Adam Narine, and Christopher Trotter – “Instructor Roles in Higher Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic”
  • Jessica Escobar – “Understanding Patient Perception of Medical Artificial Intelligence: A Proposed Qualitative Study”
  • Rita Flanagan – “Principles of Technical and Public Communication as a Provisional Framework for Undergraduate Students Writing with and About Indigenous Peoples”
  • Sanjana Ponnada – “Improving User Experience and Accessibility of CDC’s COVID-19 Symptoms Self-checker with Better Design Practices: The Role of Design in Effective Risk Communication”

2020 Graduate SRC Participants

  • Sarah Fadem – ” Designing a Decision Aid for Patients Considering Bone Marrow Transplant”
  • Mary Le Rouge – “How Literate Responses to Technical Communication Can Promote Practical Responses to Environmental Change”
  • Nicole Lowman – “Advising the Buffalo Police Advisory Board: Toward a More Usable Technology”
  • AJ McCormick – “Communicating with Generation Z: Graphic Design for Instructor-Created Classroom Documents”
  • Nupoor Ranade – “The Real-Time Audience: Data Analytics and Audience Measurements”
  • Danielle Stambler – “Eating Right and User Experience with an Employee Wellness Program”
  • Allison Styes – “Resolving the Shortcomings of Human Centered Design in Transcultural Communication”
  • Francine Sutton – “Examining UX Design Principles and Older Adults’ Preference of Online Appointment Scheduling Using a mHealth Application”
  • Katie Walkup – “Disrupting Dominant Narratives: Mental Health, Early Warning Systems, and Threat Construction”
  • Hua Wang – “Social Media in Accommodating Sex Education Exigency in China”
  • Chenxing Xie – “Topic Modeling-based Web Architecture Redesign”


Download the SRC 2020 Call in PDF format

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on the Design of Communication (SIGDOC) invites you to submit a proposal to this year’s ACM Student Research Competition (SRC) sponsored by Microsoft. The SRC offers a unique forum for undergraduate and graduate students to present their original research at a well-known ACM sponsored conference before a panel of judges and attendees.

The SRC consists of several rounds of competition, beginning with the initial submission process. Up to 15 undergraduate and 15 graduate students will be selected, based on their proposals, to enter the SRC that will be held at SIGDOC, Oct. 3 – 4, 2020 in Denton, TX, USA.

The selected students will receive travel grants from Microsoft that will pay a portion of their travel to the conference. ACM’s SRC program covers expenses up to $500 for all students invited to an SRC (students are responsible for their conference registration and ACM membership, which begins at $19/year).

The SRC consists of two rounds of competition at the conference, as well as the possibility to move on to a grand finals competition at a later date. Students interested in submitting proposals should be prepared to come to the conference with a poster and an oral presentation (with accompanying PowerPoint) based on their proposal topic.

Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to submit proposals of up to 800 words on topics related to the design of communication, including user experience, information architecture, documentation, interaction design, and user research methods, in research, education, industry, recreation, and social exchanges. Contributions may include studies of design processes, research methods, pedagogical practices, deployment analyses, and situated use studies related to the design and use of communication systems and artifacts.

  • Proposals due: May 25th, 2020 (Acceptances by June 9th, 2020)
  • Extended Abstracts due: July 6th, 2020 (Reviewer comments back by July 21st, 2020)
  • Final version of Extended Abstracts due: August 14th, 2020

Should I submit to the SRC?

Student Research Competition FAQ 

Topics of Interest

Proposals should address topics including, but not limited to:

  • Content strategy
  • Technical communication
  • User experience
  • International and intercultural communication design
  • Learning systems/environments
  • Open source design solutions
  • Collaborative platforms
  • Design methods and principles
  • Digital humanities and design
  • Project management
  • Information design and architecture
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Experience architecture

Submissions are due May 25, 2020. By June 9, 2020, proposal reviews will be completed and students will be notified whether they are accepted to present at the conference. Extended abstracts are then due July 6, 2020 (with reviewer comments returned by July 21, 2020). Final extended abstracts will be due August 14th, 2020.

First Round Competitions

The first round of competition is a poster session. This is your opportunity to present your research in the areas specified in the Call for Submissions. Judges will review the posters and speak to participants about their research; a group of semi-finalists will be chosen to present at the second round of the competition.

Second Round Competitions

Semi-finalists continue by giving a short presentation of their research before a panel of judges, with a supporting PowerPoint presentation. Evaluations are based on the presenter’s knowledge of his/her research area, contribution of the research, and the quality of the oral and visual presentation. Three winners will be chosen in each category, undergraduate and graduate, receiving $500, $300, and $200, respectively.

The SRC Grand Finals

First-place undergraduate and graduate student winners from the SRC will advance to the SRC Grand Finals. A different panel of judges evaluates these winners against each other via the Web. Three undergraduates and three graduates will be chosen as the SRC Grand Finals winners. They are invited, along with their advisors, to the annual ACM Awards Banquet, where they receive formal recognition.

The requirements for participation in the SRC are:

  • You must be a current ACM student member (rates begin at $19/year)
  • If selected to participate in the SRC, you must register for the SIGDOC 2020 conference
  • You must still be a student at the time of the conference
  • You must submit an extended abstract of no more than 800 words on a topic of relevance to the host conference, SIGDOC 2020
  • Only undergraduates may propose team-based research. Graduate students must propose individual research projects.
  • For undergraduate teams, one person should be designated by the team to attend the conference and make the oral presentation. This person along with another team member will be eligible for travel reimbursement for up to $500.00
  • If you propose to the SRC, you cannot propose to the main SIGDOC conference (and vice versa). You must choose which one to participate in

To learn more about the SRC, visit

If you have questions, email the Student Research Competition chair, Dr. Sonia Stephens (