Call for Proposals

The Systems Testing Excellence Program (STEP) represents a major interdisciplinary collaborative research effort at The University of Memphis designed to position the university as a leader in systems testing research. The program has a unique partnership with the Global Testing Center of Excellence of the FedEx Corporation, serving as its key research and training partner.

The Program defines systems testing as a strategic and interdisciplinary area of interest encompassing all aspects of the testing of business systems including hardware testing, software testing, requirements testing and the testing of business rules. At a theoretical level it encompasses all forms of validation and verification of business applications using a systems thinking approach to ensure the successful development and application of technology in business.

To provide a kick-start to interdisciplinary research in systems testing, the STEP program is calling for proposals from faculty at the University of Memphis for research pertaining to all aspects of systems testing. The program will help establish the University as a research hub for the science of systems testing. Proposals should be between 8 and 12 pages in length and explain the following: justification for research, theoretical basis, research method, and expected contributions to both theory and practice, researcher bios, timeline and a short budget. Applicants are also encouraged to specify in their proposals opportunities and mechanisms for data collection and collaboration with the Global Testing Center of Excellence at Fedex Corporation. Faculty whose proposals are selected for funding will be designated as Systems Testing Research Fellows of the Fedex Institute of Technology. They will also be required to present their research at an International Workshop on Advances and Innovations in Software Testing that will be held at the University in the Spring.

Some specific areas of research interest include:

  • Initiate an incentive program for attracting high-quality post-graduate students to work on systems testing research areas at the University

  • Risk assessment models for designing testing plans

  • Risk tolerance in testing for software changes

  • Test automation issues, solutions, tools and frameworks students to work on systems testing research areas at the University

  • Testability analysis, verification and measurement for component-based software

  • Design for testability of components and component-based systems

  • Performance evaluation models and measurement metrics for testing environments

  • Testing of infrastructures: scaling and implementation issues

  • Cultural and professional differences between testing and development personnel

  • Interplay between unit and system testing in complex integrated systems

  • Career ladders and training needs analysis for testing personnel

  • Reassessments of the traditional role of testing in the SDLC 

  • Test scheduling and coordination in complex environments

  • Integrating security testing and systems testing

  • Inter-cultural and communication issues in dealing with offshore testing vendors

  • Decision and optimizations models for the outsourcing of testing work

  • Real-time testing management on a 24 x 7 basis

  • Process optimization of test planning and implementation

  • Serial and parallel testing cycles and structures for effective implementation

  • Data and load management issues in testing environments

  • Testing and disaster recovery failover capabilities

  • Platform independent testing methods and processes

For further information, please contact Dr. Robin Poston at rposton@memphis.edu or at 901.678.5739.