SIGMOD Santiago, Chile, 2024

SIGMOD 2024 New Researchers Symposium and Mentorship Program

Sigmod 2024 – New Researcher Symposium

Title: Advice from Early Ph.D. to Early Career: Communication Strategies for Collaboration, Student Supervision, and Peer Review

Time slot and date: Wed Jun 12, 15:00-16:30 (Tentative)

Session Chair:

Sainyam Galhotra,

Cornell University, USA

Jia Zou,  

Arizona State University, USA


Every year, the SIGMOD Conference includes a symposium with advice on starting a career in data management. These symposia are informative and entertaining, geared towards graduate students, junior faculty, and junior industrial researchers but often attract a broader audience.

This year's SIGMOD New Researcher Symposium is on "Advice from Early Ph.D. to Early Career: Communication Strategies for Collaboration, Student Supervision, and Peer Review" We have assembled an exciting panel with diverse viewpoints and perspectives on effectively communicating in various research and service scenarios.

The panel will begin with each panelist presenting their experiences and advice on communication strategies in research collaborations, student supervision, and peer reviews from early Ph.D. to early career. Then, a moderate Q&A session will be followed by an open forum for the audience to ask questions.


Anja Gruenheid (Microsoft)

Sujaya Maiyya (University of Waterloo)

Immanuel Trummer (Cornell University)

Li Xiong (Emory University) 

Ce Zhang (University of Chicago)

Anja Gruenheid works at the Gray Systems Lab at Microsoft in Zurich, Switzerland. Before joining Microsoft, she worked in Google's Data Infrastructure and Analysis team and Google Research's Structured Data Group. Her research interests are in the broader field of database systems. Before joining the industry, she was a PhD student in the Systems Group at ETH Zurich.

Sujaya Maiyya is an assistant professor at Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. Before joining Waterloo, she did a postdoc at Cornell University. She received her Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara. Her research interests broadly lie in distributed systems, databases, and data privacy and security. In 2021, she was recognized as one of the MIT EECS Rising Stars. Sujaya was also a recipient of the IBM Ph.D. Fellowship in 2020.

Immanuel Trummer is currently an Assistant Professor at Cornell Bowers CIS. He earned his PhD in Computer Science from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), where he was recognized with a Thesis Special Distinction. He received the NSF CAREER Award in 2022, a SIGMOD Best Paper Award in 2019, and a VLDB Best Paper Award in 2015. His research focuses on making data analysis more efficient and more user-friendly.

Li Xiong is a Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Computer Science and Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Emory University. She held a Winship Distinguished Research Professorship from 2015-2018. She has a Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology. She conducts research in the intersection of data management, machine learning, and data privacy and security. She has received six best paper or runner-up awards. She is an IEEE fellow.

Ce Zhang is currently the CTO of and the Neubauer Associate Professor of Data Science at the University of Chicago. His research mission is to make machine learning techniques widely accessible while being cost-efficient and trustworthy. Ce finished his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford. His work has received recognitions such as the SIGMOD Best Paper Award and has been featured and reported by Science, Nature, the Communications of the ACM, etc.

Mentorship Program:

The SIGMOD 2024 Mentorship Program is an exciting opportunity designed for budding researchers in the field of database management. This program aims to connect new researchers (PhD students and postdocs) with experienced mentors from academia and industry, fostering an environment of learning, networking, and professional growth. The objectives are as follows.

  1. To provide new researchers with guidance and advice on their research projects
  2. To facilitate networking opportunities within the field
  3. To offer insights into the latest trends and challenges in data management research
  4. Career Guidance: Provide advice on career growth (promotion, job search, relationship with advisor)

People seeking mentorship from underrepresented groups will be given priority.

Getting Involved

We invite aspiring and current database researchers from diverse backgrounds to join as mentors, mentees, or both. Participation is free of charge and open to individuals from any country, regardless of the languages they speak.

Becoming a mentor:Please sign up here.

Becoming a mentee:Please sign up here.

When there are more mentees than open spots, we maintain a waitlist and match as mentors become available.

The Proposed Agenda

The new researcher symposium will feature a 1-hr session on mentorship to kick-start this program. After SIGMOD 2024, mentors and mentees are suggested to meet remotely over the next year. Below is the suggested plan for those meeting.

When Mentoring stage
Before 1st Meeting Preparation Research your mentee / mentor
1st - 2nd Meeting Building Rapport - Share personal & professional journey (both ways)
- Discuss expectations of mentoring (including contact between meetings etc)
- Discuss and agree on logistics (meeting frequency, dates/times, location, duration etc)
2nd Meeting Setting Direction - Discuss and agree on goals of the mentoring (what will be the outcome of the mentoring)
3rd - 6th Meeting Progression - Explore career and professional direction
- Explore themes and uncover blocks
- Challenge mentee thinking/limitations
- Check in on goals of mentoring (are they still relevant/need changing?)
- Clarify career direction
- Start building a plan to achieve career goals
7th Meeting Winding Up - Develop a plan of support beyond mentoring (e.g. resources, introductions etc.)
- Be open about feelings about mentoring coming to a close
- Agree next session will be last mentoring session

Credits: Shazia Sadiq and the members of DEI committee

Organizing Committee

Sainyam Galhotra (Cornell University)
Jia Zou (Arizona State University)

In case of any questions or clarifications, please email