The Gary Marsden Travel Awards support undergraduate and graduate students, early-career researchers (such as those who are ≤ 5 years post-graduation), and those suffering from financial hardship or lacking institutional support, in attending ACM SIGCHI conferences. Please see our call for applications for specific eligibility criteria, details of the award, and review timelines.
Submit your application at: https://sigchi.submittable.com/submit/248684/gary-marsden-travel-awards
There are seven deadlines: the 9th of January, February, March, May, July, September, and November at 11:59 PM AoE. If we are offering extensions, the new deadline will be noted on the application website. You must apply to a deadline that occurs more than one month prior to the start of the conference that you plan to attend (we recommend applying as soon as you have your conference acceptance). For transparency, award recipients will be announced periodically on the SIGCHI website. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about GMTA or fixes/feedback for the application form.
Frequently asked questions
I need to apply for a visa. Can you expedite my application? You can mark your application as fast-track and we will get back to you around two weeks after the GMTA cycle you applied to.
It has been two weeks/one month; when will I receive a decision? While we do our best to work with these timelines, there may be reasons for delays, such as receiving a large number of applications. We notify every applicant, whether they are accepted or not, so you will not be waiting indefinitely. We thank you for your patience!
Do you offer extensions on deadlines? No, we generally cannot extend deadlines. We receive a significant number of applications, which require weeks to pre-process and review in time for the conferences applicants are applying to attend.
Preparing your application
Am I required to have a letter of support from my advisor/program chair? No, letters of support, while helpful, are optional. We will rely on the rest of the application to evaluate financial need and benefit to the applicant.
Can my budget include expenses outside of the conference dates? Funds can only be used for expenses from two days before the conference to two days after. If you purchase flights outside of conference dates, costs should be comparable or cheaper to flights within the conference dates.
Can funds be used for travel insurance? ACM policy does not allow reimbursement of travel insurance, but if you would like to make a special request, please let us know in your application and we can consider making an exception.
Can funds be used for a rental car? ACM will only reimburse rental cars with prior approval. If you are requesting funds for a rental car, you must include it in your budget when you apply and provide a justification for why it is required compared to cheaper options such as public transport or taxis.
Receiving the award
What does my award cover? If you requested support for registration, we cover this through a complimentary code or refund if you have already paid. If you requested support for other travel expenses, we cover this through reimbursements; you will need to submit receipts after the conference. If you requested support for both registration and other travel expenses, your reimbursable amount will be your total awarded amount minus registration.
How do I submit receipts for reimbursement? If your application is accepted, you will later receive an email from ACM allowing you to upload receipts to a reimbursement portal. Receipts are typically accepted after the conference is over. Receipts are required for any expense over USD 25 and should contain the amount paid and your name if paid with credit card.
Can I still be reimbursed if my flights are outside of the conference dates? If you purchase flights outside of conference dates (beyond two days before or after the conference), costs should be comparable or cheaper to flights within the conference dates.
How can I get a visa support letter? There should be an option to request a visa support letter when you register for the conference, or instructions on the conference website.
How can I get a financial support letter? We suggest using your GMTA acceptance email as we generally do not provide financial support letters.
What if I need support for upfront costs? If your application is accepted, one option is asking if your university can pay for expenses such as flights and lodging (you may ask an advisor or other staff how to go about this). Then through the regular reimbursement process, ACM can either send you the money to pay your university, or ACM can pay your university directly.
About Gary Marsden
Gary Marsden, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa, was a passionate advocate for people—all people. A pioneer in the field of Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), he was an inspiration for his students, his colleagues, his community, the profession and, indeed, the world. After getting his doctorate and working for several years in London, he moved to South Africa to work at UCT in 1999. There, his research focused on mobile device interfaces with the goal of targeting inclusive design. He died very suddenly of a heart attack in December, 2013 at the age of 43, days before his birthday. It is in his honor and memory that this award is named. For more information on his rich life, see the memorandum in interactions magazine.
Travel Awards, Past and Present
We reaffirm our commitment to fostering equitable participation in SIGCHI venues. We acknowledge that much work remains to be done on addressing underrepresented voices in our community. Like other SIGCHI community support initiatives, our travel awards are committed to supporting diversity and inclusion, locally and globally, from a racial/ethnic perspective as well as attending to different dimensions of marginality, including cultural differences, social roles, sexual orientation and gender identity, structural positions, geographic marginality, physical/psychological marginality, as well as epistemic marginality. Multiple efforts are underway to dedicate more resources to these margins, and to be as inclusive as possible in all we do.
Previous iterations of this program were the SIGCHI Student Travel Grants and the Gary Marsden Fund, which were merged into the Gary Marsden Travel Awards in December 2020. We are grateful to the following volunteers for supporting and reviewing for these programs in the past: Zhengjie Liu, Anicia Peters, Gerrit van der Veer, Matt Jones, Simone Barbosa, Susan Dray, AJ Brush, Astrid Weber, Jofish Kaye, and Natalie Garrett. Current reviewers for the Gary Marsden Travel Awards will be listed under SIGCHI committees.