ECAI 2020 - Mentoring and Communication for Starting AI Researchers (MC4SR)

Starting AI Researchers are invited to apply for participating in any of the activities to be carried out under the MC4SR multidisciplinary program, to be held at the 24th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 2020), Santiago de Compostela, Spain, June 8-12, 2020.

It is worth noting that we consider Starting Researchers are those who have not been awarded a doctoral degree but also researchers with not more than three years of experience after getting their PhD. 

The MC4ESR program comprises the following main events:

1) 9th Starting Artificial Intelligence Researchers Symposium (STAIRS)

The 9th European Starting AI Researchers’ Symposium (STAIRS) is an international meeting intended to support Starting Researchers (those that have not been awarded a doctoral degree but also researchers with not more than three years of experience after getting their PhD). STAIRS is collocated with the ECAI2020 tutorials and workshops and has an independent program committee. In this edition, it will include two invited talks, as well as oral and poster sessions. 

It includes two main slots (afternoon of June 8 and morning of June 9) which comprise both invited talks and oral presentations of accepted papers. STAIRS participants are encouraged to attend the Doctoral Consortium (DC) and provide DC participants with their feedback and mentoring advice. Moreover, they are encouraged to take part in the Three Minutes Thesis (3MT) competition.

The Call for Papers is available here.

2) Doctoral Consortium (DC)

The DC provides an opportunity for Starting Researchers to discuss their research interests and career objectives with established researchers in AI, to do networking with other participants, and to receive mentoring about career planning and career options.

It includes two main sessions:

    • Morning of June 8 (training). The focus will be in training transversal and communication skills. Participants will learn how to present their work in oral presentations with emphasis in the practical case of a scientific elevator pitch for both academy and industry.
    • Afternoon of June 9 (Elevator Pitch for Starting AI Researchers – EP4SR). This session is addressed to DC participants without a PhD yet. In this contest session they will present their work to their peers and senior AI researchers, in the Elevator Pitch for Early Stage AI Researchers (EP4SR) contest. Accordingly, they are expected to leverage their work to the AI community and to receive feedback from elder researchers as well as guidance on future research directions. The contest winner will be awarded.

EP4SR is a contest aimed at dissemination of the ongoing research developed by Starting Researchers who have not got a PhD yet to the scientific community. The EP4SR participants must describe the key points of their work in a short time (about 1 min), through informal short face-to-face networking presentations that may be supported by a poster or few slides in electronic format, and use a language style not only oriented to specialists in their respective topics, but for non-specialized attendants. Thus, the improvement of communicative and dissemination skills is also one of the main objectives of this competition.

It is worth noting that afternoon of June 8 and morning of June 9, DC participants are free either to work on their presentations for EP4SR or to attend any ECAI tutorial or other MC4SR event. DC participants are encouraged to attend STAIRS and Lunch with an EurAI fellow.

Tentative Dates:

  • 14 April 2020: Deadline for DC applications: Apr 15, 2020
  • 25 April 2020: Notification of acceptance

Detailed Call For Participation will be launched soon

3) Three Minutes Thesis (3MT) Competition

The 3MT Competition is made up of two independent tracks:

  • Research2Society: Participants present the key points of their PhD thesis in 3 min, with a language style not only oriented to specialists in their respective topics, but also for non-specialized attendants.
  • Research2Market: in addition to presenting the thesis, participants must present how the results of his/her PhD could be taken to the market (the whole presentation must take 3 min). Models of social transfer, not necessarily market-oriented, will also be considered. Evaluation will be carried out by a jury which is made up of senior researchers coming out of ECAI sponsors.

Both Research2Society and Research2Market Competitions in ECAI2020 follow the rules of the original 3MT competitions started by the “University of Queensland.”

Detailed Call For Participation will be launched soon.

4) Lunch with an EurAI Fellow

Following a well-established ECAI’s tradition, registered Starting Researchers will meet EurAI fellows during lunch times on Wednesday 10 and Friday 12.

5) Job Fair

ECAI2020 will be holding a Job Fair, an informal event in a “meet-and-greet” atmosphere for Starting Researchers and professionals who are looking for jobs or internships. The event starts with a very brief introduction (not more than 1 min) from one representative from each organization followed by time where attendees will be able mingle and meet them for interviewing.

Companies, research organizations or universities willing to offer jobs or internships in the job fair, should contact the Conference Sponsorship Chair (Prof. Senén Barro,