Gary Marsden Travel Awards

Our travel awards have been redesigned based on a survey we distributed to SIGCHI members in June 2020. Please read our SIGCHI Medium post for details. Previous iterations, the SIGCHI Student Travel Grants and the Gary Marsden Fund, can still be referenced as we wrap up application cycles. 

The Gary Marsden Travel Awards aim to support undergraduate and graduate students, as well as early-career researchers (or those who received their Ph.D. ≤5 years ago), in supporting SIGCHI conferences and events. In many parts of the world, early-career researchers struggle to support conference travel, but the value to be gained from their attendance is tremendous, both to them and their students/mentees. We will prioritize presenters and first-timers. Please note the following:

  • Deadlines will be every two months, or at the start of every odd-numbered month, starting with January 2021. Applicants are welcome to apply early, but their chances may be higher if they apply upon acceptance of their submissions. If the number of applicants is too high, preference may be given to those with acceptances.
  • A Fastrack option will offer faster turnaround times for applicants who need to apply for visas. Note that ACM policy allows for visa letters to be generated upon paper acceptance. Normal turnaround times will be approx. 1 month.
  • ACM is engaging a travel agency to make travel arrangements and cover expenses for travelers who would prefer to use it. This may reduce flexibility in some cases, but it will also reduce upfront travel costs, which were viewed as a serious concern by prior awardees.
  • Carbon offsets will be purchasable through ACM, to balance the costs of travel from all travel awards.
  • Travel awards information and updates will be conveyed here, on SIGCHI social media and conference websites.
  • Recipients of *other* SIGCHI travel support (e.g., SIGCHI awards) can redirect travel support to a student through GMTAs. The student awardee will be determined by the GMTA committee, unless the said recipient intends to identify who they wish to support.

Evaluation: We plan to evaluate applications along the dimensions of Diversity, Contribution, and Progress. Under Diversity, we will look at dimensions that applicants are comfortable sharing, such as race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic background, country of origin/residence, and so forth. We have included an optional open-ended question asking applicants to convey how they view themselves as adding diverse perspectives to the conference, and contributing back to their communities post-conference. Under Contribution, we ask applicants what they will be contributing in terms of a written product, a talk, etc. Under Progress, and this is only relevant for applicants who have previously received SIGCHI travel support (they can receive a GMTA twice), we ask for a statement of how the previous award has aided them in their academic progress since.

Apply: We will resume travel awards from January 9, 2021. The following deadlines will be on March 9, May 9, and every other month after. In the interest of transparency, recipients will be announced with each cycle, and any changes in evaluation metrics will be highlighted with each cycle. Please check out the application form and email us with fixes/feedback.

Commitment: We’d like to take a moment to 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 along these margins, and to be as inclusive as possible in all that we do.