2013Q3 Reports: Student Research Workshop Chairs

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Submissions and Presentation:

As was the case last year, this year we have solicited and accepted both Research and Thesis Proposal papers. We accepted 25 papers out of the 52 valid submissions. Each submission was assigned two reviewers. Out of the 25 accepted papers, 22 will be presented as posters during the ACL-2013 poster session and 3 will be presented orally in parallel with the main-conference’s short paper session.

Submission Policy:

In order to solicit substantial papers, we kept the maximum length of submissions at six pages as for the 2012 ACL SRW, but we did not count the references towards the page limit.


The co-chairs of the ACL 2013 Student Research Workshop (SRW) are Anik Dey (The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology), Sebastian Krause (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence), Ivelina Nikolova (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), and Eva Maria Vecchi (University of Trento). The faculty advisors are Steven Bethard (University of Colorado at Boulder & KU Leuven), Preslav I. Nakov (Qatar Computing Research Institute), and Feiyu Xu (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence). The program committee consists of 52 members, of which 12 are students.


We posted the first Call For Papers on October 9th, 2012, and the submission form was closed on March 10th, 2013. We started the bidding process shortly thereafter, and announced the assignment of papers to reviewers on March 15th. The notification of acceptance and rejection was sent out on April 24th. Following the scheduling of the last years, we set the SRW deadline after the main conference long paper deadline and before the short paper deadline. Such staggered deadlines made it easier for those reviewing for both the main conference and the SRW.


Eleven students applied to the pre-submission mentoring service, of which two later cancelled their request for this service due to them not being able to send in a paper draft on time. We assigned a senior member of the research community to each of the remaining nine students for feedback on their paper drafts.


At the time of writing this report (June 26th 2013), we have not yet fixed the distribution of the received funding. To get an idea of the required number of travel grants and to have a point to start the funding distribution from, we send out an e-mail to the authors of accepted papers on May 21st in which we asked them to apply for support within one week by replying to that e-mail. 19 students from the SRW returned to us with their funding request on time. In addition, four students from the main conference indicated interest in financial support.

Similar to the last year, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) provided the largest fraction of the funding. In addition, five more funding sources were available.

  • source: NSF -- amount: 19k$ -- restrictions/purpose: SRW only; airfare only for students from USA/Canada on US carriers; housing & registration for SRW participants of any origin
  • source: NSF leftover 2012 -- amount: 7k$ -- restrictions/purpose: same as above
  • source: QCRI -- amount: 3875 $ -- restrictions/purpose: SRW portion of poster session/dinner
  • source: EU project Multilingual Web LT -- amount: 1520 $ -- restrictions/purpose: airfare for European students participating in main conference/SRW
  • source: EU project META-NET -- amount: 1520 $ -- restrictions/purpose: airfare for European students participating in SRW only
  • source: ACL Walker Fund -- amount: 10k$ -- restrictions/purpose: airfare, housing, registration of students participating in main conference/SRW, but with preference for participants of main conference
  • source: Google Dev. Countries award -- amount: 2k$ -- restrictions/purpose: airfare for students from developing countries, both SRW and main conference

From the current budget draft, it looks like we will be able to reimburse all 19+4 students for the full registration costs of the conference and a fixed amount of money for housing purposes. Regarding the travel support, we will probably be able to compensate the 19+4 students for most of the airfare/bus/train costs.

Suggestions for next year’s organizers:

Distribution of funding to students:

The NSF probably continues to be the most generous provider of student funding for the SRW, while at the same time being quite restrictive with the selection of recipients of support. The workflow we followed for distributing the different available funding sources to the students might therefore be useful for the coming SRWs as well:

  1. After the acceptance notifications, send out an e-mail to the authors asking for a) confirmation of participation and b) applications for funding support. Ask them to provide the following details: institution, PhD or Master’s degree student?, country of departure, estimation of airfare costs.
  2. Find out what the accommodation costs for one person are in the area of the conference (cheap to semi-cheap hotel).
  3. From NSF funding: Try to cover all students' (who replied to 1.) early-bird registration fees (ACL membership costs might need to be added to this). If possible, try to cover the accommodation costs from 2. as well.
  4. Use the remaining funding for travel support with respect to the particular restrictions of the available funding sources.
  5. Send Priscilla Rasmussen an Excel sheet with the suggested distribution of funding. (She can provide an example sheet on request.)
  6. Inform students about the support they will receive w.r.t. to registration, housing, and travel costs. Urge them to register before the early-bird prices become unavailable.

Responsibility for financial needs of students from main conference:

  • Who is responsible for financially supporting student participants of the main conference? Should the SRW organizers reserve some of their funding for these students?
  • If the SRW organizers are indeed responsible, the SRW organizers should ask Priscilla Rasmussen to forward all requests for funding to them. In addition, the SRW organizers should put information about application for student support on the main conference’s website as early as possible to avoid confusion about the responsibility of this matter.
  • If the SRW organizers are NOT responsible, clarify how much money from the student-support funding sources of the main conference is available for SRW participants (ACL Walker Fund, Google Developing Countries Award, Student travel assistance of the local chapter of ACL).

Proceedings Generation:

Decide early who is responsible for compiling the final SRW proceedings. This is a complex task with a lot of documentation to read beforehand and some dry runs needed before the actual proceedings can be produced. Links: