PhD Forum


The European Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases (ECMLPKDD) includes a PhD student forum on machine learning and knowledge discovery.

The purpose of this forum is to provide an environment specifically for junior PhD students to exchange ideas and experiences with peers in an interactive atmosphere and to get constructive feedback from senior researchers in data mining, machine learning, and related areas.

The focus of discussions at the PhD Forum will be the work in progress of junior PhD students with 1-3 years of research experience towards their dissertation.

During the forum, researchers with experience in supervising and examining doctoral students will participate and provide constructive feedback and advice to the participants. This is an excellent opportunity for developing person-to-person networks to the benefit of the PhD students in their future careers.

Submission information

The ECMLPKDD PhD Forum spans various topics of data mining, machine learning, and work in related fields such as databases, artificial intelligence, statistics, information retrieval, multimedia, and the Web. Topics in specific domains such as bioinformatics and the more general science informatics are also encouraged. Participants with interdisciplinary work across the areas are particularly welcome.

The PhD Forum is open for two types of submissions:

  • Accepted papers at ECMLPKDD (Research or Applied Data Science tracks): The authors of papers accepted to the Research or Applied Data Science tracks (with a PhD student as the main author) have the opportunity to summarize their work in the PhD Forum.
  • Work-in-progress papers: We also welcome submissions from PhD students at the early and middle stages of their PhD work. As a guideline, we recommend that the submission is structured to explain 1) what the problem is, 2) why it is important, 3) why existing solutions in literature are insufficient, 4) how your approach works, and 5) optionally some preliminary experiments (4 pages, max 6 pages).

The purpose is to obtain feedback regarding future plans and technical feedback on the research topic and writing. Note:

  • For work in progress papers, the only criterion for acceptance is that the submission is clearly structured and written in the English language and that it is of sufficient maturity to enable the audience of the PhD Forum to provide constructive feedback.
  • Papers will not be formally published. However, unless the authors opt out, they will be made publicly available through the conference website.
  • All accepted papers will be presented in a short format (5 minutes) + questions.
  • First authors must be PhD students who are less than 4 years into their PhD. Co-authors may include the research advisors, committee members, and other collaborators as needed.
  • The PhD student must register for the conference and be present at the PhD Forum.
  • We will ask each PhD student to participate in the review process by reviewing one paper.

Submission instruction

The papers must be written in English and formatted according to the Springer LNAI guidelines. For accepted ECMLPKDD papers, you may simply submit the accepted PDF.

Author instructions and style files can be downloaded at

Electronic submissions will be handled via EasyChair (submissions are now open). Please submit in the PhD Forum Track.

Important dates

  • Submission deadline: Thursday, June 25, 2020 Thursday, June 11, 2020
  • Author notification: Thursday, July 9, 2020
  • PhD Forum: Monday, Sept 14, 2020 (to be confirmed)


For any additional questions, you can contact the PhD Forum Chairs (Marinka Zitnik and Robert West) at phd_chairs[at]