IEEE Conference on Network Function Virtualization and Software Defined Networks
9–11 November 2021 // Virtual Conference

Call for Doctoral Symposium

Important Dates

Paper submission deadline: August 16th, 2021 August 30th, 2021

Notification of acceptance: September 13th, 2021  September 22nd , 2021

Camera-ready deadline: October 11th, 2021

NFV-SDN Conference: November 9th-11th, 2021


The Doctoral Symposium is an innovative feature of the IEEE NFV-SDN conference series. It provides an opportunity for PhD students to discuss and get valuable feedback on their research work from experienced researchers from both industry and academia. It will help to build and strengthen collaboration amongst the communities researching and working in the areas of NFV and SDN.

The doctoral symposium has the status of an IEEE workshop and provides an excellent opportunity for networking amongst all participants. Accepted submissions are published in the conference proceedings and disseminated through the IEEE Xplore Digital Library.

The Doctoral Symposium Committee will present a Best Doctoral Paper Award. The assessment criteria for the award will include the potential of the thesis to impact future engineering practice as well as the novelty and contribution of the work to the field.


The forum is open to all researchers whose PhD thesis is in progress, or was recently completed (i.e., during 2020 or 2021). We particularly welcome submissions from PhD students at the beginning of their work when they have a well-defined problem statement and are developing their ideas on how to approach the challenges. Likewise, we are also looking for contributions from PhD students in more advanced stages who want to present their research results and share insights coming from their experience which might help others to progress their work.

Structure of Contributions

Submissions should indicate whether their work should be considered to be early-stage or late-stage. Contributions can be organized using a common structure for a research paper (e.g., abstract, introduction, related work, methodology/architecture, results, and conclusions) as well as variations thereof. Beyond this, please make sure that the following key aspects (as listed below) are fully covered and clearly discernible in order to stimulate discussion amongst the symposium participants.

Early Stage PhD Submissions

Early-stage PhD submissions should address the following key aspects:

  • Problem Statement: Describe the main research problem and motivation for choosing this particular topic.
  • State of the Art: Outline how the research is novel and complementary to existing work.
  • Challenges: Describe the research challenges and planned methodology to tackle them.
  • Current Status: Present the current status of the work, including any open questions or early indicative results.

Late Stage PhD Submissions

Late-stage PhD submissions should address the following key aspects and methodological components required for a sound research synthesis:

  • Problem Statement: Describe the main research problem and motivation for choosing this particular topic.
  • State of the Art: Discuss related work and how the research is novel and complementary.
  • Approaches and Contributions: Describe the applied research methodology; present the current status of the work and the results achieved to date (which may be preliminary).
  • Conclusions and Impact: Present the main conclusions, anticipated impact on the field and potential for industry adoption.

Submission Guidelines

Submitted papers must be written in English and formatted according to the standard IEEE double-column conference template (10-point font). Templates and examples in LaTeX and Microsoft Word are available for download at

Early-stage PhD papers should be two (2) to four (4) pages in length. One additional page is available for an over-length page charge of 100USD. Papers exceeding five (5) pages are not accepted.

Late-stage PhD papers should be four (4) to six (6) pages in length. One additional page is available for an over-length page charge of 100USD. Papers exceeding seven (7) pages are not accepted.

The number of authors must not exceed three (3) persons who are the PhD student and up to two (2) supervisors. Please clearly state the role of a supervisor in the author’s affiliation. If accepted, the PhD student is expected to present the paper at the Doctoral Symposium.

The Doctoral Symposium Committee will require evidence of status as a PhD student. This can be a letter from the supervisor or other recognized authority within the university.

Manuscripts are only accepted as PDF files (Adobe’s Portable Document Format) and must be submitted electronically through EDAS: Please also upload an auxiliary PDF file containing a signed statement from the supervisor that certifies the status as (former) PhD student and approves the submitted manuscript.

Doctoral Symposium Program Committee

Georgiana Caltais, University of Konstanz, Germany
Walter Cerroni, University of Bologna, Italy
Chiara Contoli, University of Bologna, Italy
Ayush Dusia, VMware Inc., USA
Igor Faynberg, Stevens Institute of Technology, USA
Molka Gharbaoui, CNIT, Italy
Danny Alex Lachos Perez, BENOCS GmbH, Germany
Guido Marchetto, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
Barbara Martini, CNIT, Italy
Tobias Meuser, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany
Antonio de la Oliva, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain
Levi Perigo, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
Miguel Razo, University of Texas at Dallas, USA
Sandra Scott-Hayward, Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom (Great Britain)
Kurt Tutschku, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden
Yang Zhang, University of Minnesota, USA

Doctoral Symposium Co-Chairs

Flavio Esposito, Saint Louis University, USA

Andreas Kassler, Karlstad University, Sweden

Helge Parzyjegla, University of Rostock, Germany

2021 Patrons

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