SIGCHI Student Travel Grant

SIGCHI Student Travel Grants have been replaced by the Gary Marsden Travel Awards. We are not accepting applications for this program. This page exists for reference as we wrap up previous commitments to covering travel costs.

An introduction to the SIGCHI Student Travel Grant (SSTG), including details on what is covers, who is eligible, the evaluation committee and criteria along with the application process (form, letters of support) and deadlines.

What is the SIGCHI Student Travel Grant?

SIGCHI recognizes that presenting research at our conferences is an important aspect of a student’s professional, educational and research development. Further, student involvement in our conferences is fundamental to our development as a research community. This travel grant provides a mechanism to allow more students with a demonstrated financial need to attend our conferences. The SIGCHI Student Travel Grant (SSTG) program is intended to enable students who lack other support opportunities to attend SIGCHI sponsored or co-sponsored conferences. This travel grant is intended to support students whose intention is to present at a SIGCHI sponsored conference, not just attend. Our first priority is to offer provisional grants to students before they submit papers, so that if a submission is accepted, the student can count on having a grant awarded for travel to the conference. Our second priority is to offer grants to students who have papers and other publications accepted for a conference.

Students are expected to apply for a SSTG for a particular conference. If successful, they will receive a provisional grant, dependent on them having a publication accepted for the conference. A grant awarded for one publication type at a conference (like a paper) can be used for another publication type (like a poster) at the same conference.  Awardees are allowed to apply their award to other SIGCHI-sponsored conferences if they are not accepted into their original conference. Awardees have 12 months to use their award from the date of acceptance. If a publication is accepted at another SIGCHI-sponsored conference within that 12 month period, proof of acceptance should be sent to  

Applications for a conference open at the deadline before the conference’s earliest submission deadline, and remain open until all the slots are taken up or until the last round of acceptances from the conference.

What does this grant cover?

The SIGCHI Student Travel Grant program provides needs based financial assistance to students who hope to present at selected SIGCHI sponsored or co-sponsored conferences. Each award consists of reimbursements of $1,800 USD, awarded through the SIGCHI Travel Grant System, to partially cover conference registration and travel expenses including airfare (economy flights only), accommodation, subsistence, and other expenses necessary for attending the conference. Complimentary registration is not provided as part of the grant, but must be covered from the grant.

Who is eligible?

The grant is for students who hope to present their work at a SIGCHI (sponsored or co-sponsored) conference. The work in question may have other co-authors, and the co-authors don’t need to be students; it is mandatory that the student be involved in presenting the work. The presentation must take place in a venue that is “public” — i.e. one that any conference attendee can go to such as papers, notes, demos or posters. Submissions to restricted venues, such as workshops or doctoral consortia (e.g., whose attendance is restricted to accepted authors), does not qualify. Other eligibility requirements are that:

  • Advisors may only write one recommendation letter per conference per submission round. If we receive multiple recommendation letters from one advisor, we reserve the right to reject all submissions from that group.
  • The student cannot attend without the support provided by the SSTG grant (as attested to by a letter from the student’s advisor)
  • Only one student per paper can apply
  • Only one grant per department in an institution will be awarded.
  • An applicant is eligible to receive only one SSTG ever.
  • A student can only submit one application per submission round, so the student must choose between the conferences for that submission round.
  • Preference will be given to first-time attendees over repeat attendees of a conference.
  • Preference will be given to PhD students unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • The applicant must be a student and a SIGCHI member at the time of application.
  • The applicant has not applied for another SIGCHI travel grant (including SSTG) while an SSTG application is being considered.
  • Preference will be given to full paper submissions over other submission categories.

Evaluation committee

Applications for this travel grant will be evaluated by a committee consisting of two or more SSTG chairs. The SSTG chairs are currently A. J. Brush, Moira Burke, Jofish Kaye, and Astrid Weber, assisted by Natalie Garrett. Real and apparent conflicts of interest between committee members and applicants will be managed to ensure the integrity of this travel grant program.

Evaluation criteria

Applications will be reviewed members of the committee. The evaluation criteria include the student’s need and lack of alternatives, the opportunity for the attendee to improve the diversity of the conference, and the benefits to the student of attending the conference.

The Application

The SSTG application has two parts: an application form that is submitted by the student; and a letter of support from the student’s advisor that the student will attach to his or her application.

The application form

A link to the application form will be found in the next section; the link will be active starting about a month before the application deadline. Besides gathering basic information about the applicant, the form asks the applicant to provide a title for the work they would present at the conference, and a budget that describes the requested travel expenses such as airfare (economy only), lodging, food, and other expenses necessary for attending the conference. The maximum that may be requested is $1,800 (US).

The letter of support

A letter on official letterhead from the student’s advisor, or the chair of their department or program is mandatory. The letter must affirm that the student requires support to attend the conference, and that no other sources of support are available. Other background material — where the student is in their research, particular benefits to the student of attending the conference, etc., — will make the application stronger. The letter must be in the form of a pdf, and it must be provided to the student to attach to his or her application. It cannot be provided under separate cover.

Advisors may only write one recommendation letter per conference per submission round. If we receive recommendation letters for multiple students in one research group, we reserve the right to reject all submissions from that group. Only one grant per department in an institution will be awarded.

The Application Deadlines and Link to the Application Form

SIGCHI Student Travel Grants are offered for the conferences below, categorized by their grant application deadlines. A submission link for each deadline will be activated beginning approximately one month before the appropriate deadline; applications may be submitted at any point up to the deadline. Applicants will be notified of the results of their application approximately 2 weeks after the appropriate deadline.

Q1- February 1: RecSYS, UIST, ICMI, CHIPLAY, CSCW, AutoUI
Q2- May 1: VRST, SUI, UbiComp, TEI, ISS, GROUP
Q3- August 1: CHI, HRI, IUI
Q4- November 1: IDC, ETRA, UMAP, MobileHCI, DIS, TVX, EICS


The following dates for 2020 are indicative only and are subject to PAF/TMRF approvals and the continued support of this program.

*All planned 2020 grant applications are on hold for the foreseeable future. You cannot apply for a travel grant right now. All SIGCHI travel grants are on hold.
We will honor previous commitments to covering travel costs.

Q3 Deadline: August 1, 2020*

*All planned 2020 grant applications are on hold for the foreseeable future. You cannot apply for a travel grant right now. All SIGCHI travel grants are on hold.
We will honor previous commitments to covering travel costs.
  • CHI
  • HRI
  • IUI

Q4 Deadline: November 1, 2020*

*All planned 2020 grant applications are on hold for the foreseeable future. You cannot apply for a travel grant right now. All SIGCHI travel grants are on hold.
We will honor previous commitments to covering travel costs.
  • IDC
  • ETRA
  • UMAP
  • MobileHCI
  • DIS
  • TVX
  • EICS

The Outcomes of the Evaluation Process

Two weeks after the submission deadline, applicants will be notified that their application has provisionally accepted or denied.

Provisionally Accepted applications

If an application is provisionally accepted, it means that the applicant will receive support to attend the conference, if and only if the student has a submission accepted for a public venue (i.e. a venue that can be attended by any participant in the conference). It is acceptable for a student to submit a paper, have the paper rejected, and re-work the paper for another venue such as work-in-progress, posters, etc., if the conference’s schedule permits that.

If the submission you proposed in your application is NOT accepted, you may resubmit the work to the same or a different SIGCHI-sponsored conference.

For example, if you submitted a paper, and it was rejected, you might rework the submission as a demo, note or work in progress for the same conference, or you might submit a revised version of the paper (or demo, note or work in progress) to a different conference. Keep in mind that the reworked submission must be for a public contribution category (e.g., it would not be OK to rework your submission for a workshop, doctoral consortium or workshop-style symposium.)

If you do NOT have any submission accepted for presentation at a SIGCHI-sponsored conference in a public venue within one year of the provisional acceptance date, you will NOT receive the grant. There are NO exceptions to this.

Accepted applications

A provisionally accepted application becomes fully accepted once the SSTG Chairs receive proof that the student’s submission, as described above, is accepted by the conference — generally the email accepting their submission is sufficient (for conferences/venues like CHI/papers that issue conditional acceptances to all papers it accepts, the conditional accept letter is sufficient). IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STUDENT to contact the SSTG chairs with proof of acceptance within two weeks of receiving that acceptance.

Once the SSTG chairs receive proof of acceptance, ACM will issue reimbursements for travel costs to the conference. SIGCHI student travel grants which are given as a reimbursement may be considered taxable income. Specific questions regarding the taxation of any reimbursement and personal tax liability should be referred to your local tax authority. As such, ACM and SIGCHI cannot respond to questions regarding tax issues.

Denied applications

Applications that are not accepted are denied. If an application is denied, the applicant is free to apply for another SSTG grant.

Multiple support requests

SIGCHI understands that students applying may be seeking or have awarded partial support from other sources. This is to be encouraged and welcomed!

However, if you are applying for any SIGCHI support (e.g. SIGCHI Student Travel Grant, Gary Marsden, SV position, conference specific travel grant.) it is essential that you disclose the following:

  1. any funds/support you have already had offered or awarded
  2. any funds/support you have applied for (and are awaiting an outcome)
  3. any funds/support you are planning to apply for.

Given our limited funds in SIGCHI, it is essential that everything is disclosed in any application so that the respective committee can fairly consider all applications in light of all possible supports.

Finally, we expect anyone who is offered any type of support or support from anything related to SIGCHI that they will disclose any subsequent support or support offered from other sources, prior to taking support (financial or otherwise) from SIGCHI.

For Further Information

If you have questions about the contents of this page or the SSTG program, please email

Please note:

This is only one type of Student Support SIGCHI offers. Our support page describes all the different types of Conference Support, Community Support and Student Support SIGCHI can offer to members, conferences and student members.

Managed by Conferences