Doctoral Consortium

The ASSETS 2021 Doctoral Consortium (DC) will be held on Friday, October 15, 2021.

The overarching goal of the consortium is to encourage and prepare a group of promising young researchers dedicated to accessibility and assistive technology by:

  • Providing PhD students with a supportive forum to submit and receive high-quality feedback about their accessibility-related dissertation work from researchers outside their own institution, including student peers, faculty, and industry professionals.
  • Providing opportunities for participants to network with one another and senior members of the ASSETS community.
  • Enabling the student participants to attend the ASSETS 2021 conference, to contribute to the conference goals through interaction with other researchers and conference events, and to learn of potential career paths within academia and industry.

The DC co-chairs are Prof. Annalu Waller (Professor at the University of Dundee), Dr. Patrick Carrington (Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University). Please contact them at with questions or additional information.

Who Should Apply

We encourage doctoral candidates at an early-to-mid stage of their research to apply rather than students who have already made substantial progress towards their dissertation. The DC focuses on earlier-stage students because the goal is to provide feedback that can help guide and shape dissertation research agendas.

Applicants may also submit to the Student Research Competition, but the work described must be different.

Relevant Topics

Relevant topics for the Consortium are the same as for the conference as a whole. See the Call for Papers.

How to Apply

Each Doctoral Consortium applicant must submit a package of application materials and also request a letter of recommendation from their advisor.

The student’s Cover Letter, the Research Project Summary, and CV should be submitted to the Doctoral Consortium Submission site as separate PDF documents by Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 5 PM PT.

The Supervisor’s Letter of Recommendation should be received by Monday, June 28, 2021 at 5 PM PT.

Applicant's Materials

Submissions are not double blind submissions; the applicant's name must appear on the documents.

  • Cover Letter

    The cover letter should contain the following information:

    • A statement of interest in participating in the Doctoral Consortium
    • The full name of University and Department in which the candidate is earning his/her doctorate degree
    • The name of the primary supervisor
    • Full contact information, including address, telephone number, and email address
    • The title of the research and keywords pertinent to the research
    • The URL of the candidate's web page (if any)
    • What the candidate hopes to gain from the Doctoral Consortium
  • Research Project Summary

    The Research Project Summary must be 4-pages long, use one the following templates, and include: title, author information, abstract, keywords, thesis research summary, and references. References do not count towards page length.

    This extended abstract must clearly address:

    • The problem that the proposed research is addressing
    • The motivation behind this research, including a broad comparison with the related literature
    • The proposed solution, including a brief description of the proposed methodology to the solution
    • The stage of the candidate's program of study, including the status of the research (i.e., what has been done to date, and what still needs to be done)
    • The envisioned contributions to the accessibility field
    • Bibliographical references
  • The Candidate's CV

    The candidate is required to submit a CV (maximum of 2 pages) that relates her/his background, relevant experience, and research accomplishments.

Supervisor’s Letter of Recommendation

  • A letter on official letterhead from the primary thesis advisor/supervisor that briefly states what the advisor/supervisor expects the student to gain from and contribute to the consortium. Letters should be received by June 28, 2021 at 5PM PT. Please check back for details of how the letters need to be submitted.

Student Participant Selection Process

The Doctoral Consortium applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The originality of work
  • The importance of the work and potential impacts to the accessibility field
  • The soundness and correctness of the proposed approach to address the problem
  • Balance overall in terms of geographic areas and topics covered


Following the Doctoral Consortium, the participants may be invited to submit revised and updated papers for publication in a 2022 issue of the SIGACCESS Newsletter.

Sign Language Interpreting or Captioning

Upon request, sign language interpreting or captioning will be provided for the Doctoral Consortium, and all other ASSETS events. Requests for an interpreter or captioner must be indicated on the conference registration form when registering for ASSETS 20211.

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 5PM PT,
  • Notification of acceptance (doctoral consortium): Wednesday, July 14, 2021.


Since ASSETS is being held virtually, the Doctoral Consortium will also be held remotely.


The main event starts on Friday, October 15, 2021. The current plan is as follows:

  • TBD


The chairs can be contacted at .

  • Annalu Waller, University of Dundee, UK
  • Patrick Carrington, Carnegie Mellon University, USA


  • Anke Brock, ENAC, University Toulouse, France
  • Yeliz Yesilada, Middle East Technical University, Cyprus
  • Simon Harper, University of Manchester, UK
  • Clayton Lewis, University of Colorado, USA
  • Richard Ladner, University of Washington, USA
  • Daniel Herron, Facebook, UK 
  • Professor Weiqin Chen, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
  • Aqueasha Martin-Hammond, IUPUI, USA
  • Yu Zhong, Google, USA
  • Erin Buehler, Google, USA
  • Rachel Menzies, University of Dundee, UK
  • Michael Crabb, University of Dundee, UK