Call for Student Competition

Important Dates

  • Application due (submit here): August 15th, 2020
  • Acceptance notification: August 20th, 2020
  • Development period starts: August 20th, 2020
  • Submission deadline: September 25th, 2020
  • Student Competition presentation: TBA
Submission Deadline


August 2020

everywhere on earth

MobileHCI Student Competition

The MobileHCI student competition is a competitive project, where teams of students from various levels of academic backgrounds (Bachelors, Masters and PhDs) and from various regions in the world, develop mobile solutions and demonstrate them to the MobileHCI conference attendees. It provides an excellent opportunity to network with both experienced HCI professionals, your peers and is also a platform to demonstrate your creativity,  knowledge and skills to an international audience. It provides MobileHCI attendees with new perspectives on how multidisciplinary teams from different disciplines and different parts of the world approach a common problem.

Fully Online Attendance

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s student competition is going to be 100% virtual (online)! This enables us to reach even more students and provides you an excellent opportunity to participate in the competition remotely.

Theme: Enabling Sustainable HCI Methods

A big aspect of this year’s MobileHCI conference is sustainability. Aligning with that, the focus of the student competition this year is ”Mobile HCI for Sustainability”. We expect the participants to design and develop projects that promote, ensure and help realising sustainable solutions. 

We would like the participants to think about measures to make our work as HCI researchers more sustainable in the future. The events around the COVID-19 pandemic have challenged well accepted HCI research methods and have opened our eyes for searching for new methods of HCI. For example, how do we conduct HCI research when the users and research labs are no longer accessible? When “the wild” is non-existent? When the world is in a lockdown and in a social-distancing mode? Thus, this is also an opportunity to think about creatively tackling these problems and designing solutions in ways that have a sustainable impact. In this line, we are looking forward to your creative ideas on dealing with the current and past problems related to conducting user studies.  

Teams are highly encouraged to present their research methods in an online, live, remote experiment setup for the conference. This enables you to collect divers data for your research and lets conference attendees test your method first hand. Win Win.

Some guidelines on approaching this:

  1. You can choose a research method or experimental design that you would like to adapt to the new situation in the world (this could be for example the contemporary HCI research method that you planned for your thesis work, or any standard HCI research method available in HCI literature or you can look through past MHCI literature and choose a typical MHCI study design) 
  2. Adapt the chosen method and show how this adapted version works sustainably (for example, how it could be effective even in a lockdown situation, how it helps sustainability (use less time, money, travelling, easier for participants, etc.)
  3. Discuss how it compares to the “old fashioned way”. Is it faster or less work, but compromises some of the data quality? What are the trade offs and benefits (no physical interaction but very divers sample)? Who is it suited for (students needing some quick feedback, pilot studies, big data collection)?
  4. Showcase your approach in a small demo experiment (documentation, presentation, poster, video) or collect data during the conference with a live remote experiment setup.

Procedure: How can I take part?

The steps involved in the MobileHCI student competition are:

  1. Registration: Teams send in their expression of interest to participate in the competition. This includes basic information about the team and the project idea. Teams must consist of 2 to 5 members. Follow the instructions on this form to submit your application (Deadline: August 15th, 2020).

    Your submission must include the following:

    1. Details of the at least two team members and one mentor (required)
    2. A description of your idea (one page max, single column, required)
    3. Link to supporting materials (e.g. images, video) if any (optional)
  2. The MHCI student competition committee picks the 10 most exciting submissions (Notifications due: August 20th, 2020)
  3. Groups will develop their deliverables.
  4. Submission of deliverables: The link for submitting the deliverables will follow once the teams have been picked (scroll down for a list of deliverables) (September 25th)
  5. Finalize your setup for remote virtual presentation (Deadline: TBA)
  6. Registration at the conference (Deadline: TBA)
  7. Virtual presentation and demonstration (on Date: TBA)

Contest Rules, Details, and Suggestions

Pre-Selection Criteria: Organizers will select a maximum of 10 teams based on usefulness, creativity, complexity, feasibility, and time/resource constraints.

Team Size: The minimum team size is 2 and the maximum team size is 5.

Team Composition: Each team member is limited to membership on only one team.

Eligibility: All participants must currently be enrolled as students (high school, college, university, Master’s program, PhD. students). 

Demo Code: We encourage you to open-source your code (if you’ll be coding). Conference organizers will create a GitHub organization to which all teams are expected to post their code. Note that teams will not be judged according to the quality of the code they submit.

Team members will receive a certificate from MobileHCI (we can send physical copies).


Extended Abstract

Teams will submit a non-anonymized paper (6 pages maximum) using the current ACM Master Article Template (please find the template here: link) summarizing their design solution and its evolution. Submissions not meeting the page limit or formatting requirements will be automatically rejected. This document should be submitted as a single PDF and the file must be no larger than 10 MB.


Teams should design a poster summarising their project idea, implementation and results. 

A video of your application/ installation

All teams must upload a video of their demonstration (in mp4 format, minimum 720p, maximum 15 minutes long). Depending on your project the video should showcase your method and some examples e.g. from a demo experiment. . See CHI 2019 “Guide to a Successful Video Submission”: for preparing a good video submission.

Why should I take part in the Student Competition?

There are many good reasons for participating! 

  • No travelling required – you can participate from anywhere in the word!
  • You’ll gain first hand experience about what it means to submit to and present at a high ranked HCI conference.
  • You’ll have the chance to present your inspiring ideas to a large audience consisting of student peers, experienced practitioners and experts from the field



We are currently still discussing the price structure. Our top priority is to use our budget to make the MHCI student competition as accessible as it has never been before. But we are eagerly looking to find awards to put on top. More information will follow shortly.

Either way, we will award an official SIGCHI certificate (physical certificates will be send via post).

We are looking forward to your submissions 🙂

What will the demos/presentations look like?

We are currently figuring out how to make the most of an online conference. That also means we are looking for ways to make your presentations and demos as exciting as possible and for you easy to present.

Right now we think that we will use a combination of Websites and Online-Meetings (e.g. Zoom) for online presentation. More detailed information will follow shortly.

Student Competition Chairs





If you have any questions please send it to:,
or contact us directly via or

We are looking forward to your submissions!