ACM SIGCHI Gary Marsden Student Development Fund

last update: December 26, 2019

Note: The application submission deadlines are 15th of February, May, August and November each year.

Purpose

In recognition of Gary Marsden’s contributions and inspiration in HCI4D, ACM SIGCHI establishes Gary Marsden Student Development Fund. The purpose is to support growth of HCI in developing worlds by sponsoring SIGCHI student members who are from and currently based in developing countries to attend HCI relevant conferences or SIGCHI (co)sponsored summer/winter schools.

Processes

Who decides on who gets this award

A special committee set up by the SIGCHI EC consisting of five people including a chair and a vice-chair of the committee will make the decisions. The chair is appointed by the EC. Other committee members including the vice-chair are then proposed by the committee chair for approval by the EC. The committee will serve the same term as the EC.

Decision Process

The reviewing and awarding process runs every three months in a year in four cycles. The application submission deadlines are 15th of February, May, August and November. Each application is reviewed based on the qualification of the student, the contribution they will make at the event as well as the relevance and quality of the event in terms of its helpfulness to the student’s development in HCI. The total fund awarded each cycle should be within the fund quota for each cycle, which is one fourth of the annual fund quota. Unused funds for a cycle will be used for the following cycles. The number of award recipients and the maximum fund for each recipient are decided by the deciding committee based on the application review.

The reviewing and awarding process is as follows:

  • The chair receives and collects the applications.
  • The chair circulates the qualified applications to all committee members.
  • The committee members review the applications and send their votes to the chair.
  • The chair puts all votes together and allocates the results by the number of votes the applicants have got. The chair circulates the results and the votes to all the members for confirmation.
  • For every applicant that the committee would like to support, the event organizers will be asked to confirm that the applicant has an active role in the event (accepted contribution; accepted as Doctoral consortium student; or accepted as student volunteer etc.)
  • The results are relayed to all the applicants (including successful and failed) and the event organizers for the successful applicants.
  • The process is mainly conducted by email communications.

Conflicts of interest between committee members and applicants will be managed to ensure the integrity of the process. The reviewing results are sent to the applicants in three weeks after the application deadline.

Who can apply

Any SIGCHI student member who is an university student at any level (Bachelors, Masters, or Ph.D.) from and currently based in developing countries, who has received an invitation to attend from the chair of an HCI relevant conference or a SIGCHI (co)sponsored summer/winter school, can apply for the fund. An event may provide such an invitation based on accepted contributions, such as papers, as a doctoral consortium student, or a volunteer of any kind (such as student volunteer) for the conference or attendance of the summer/winter school. The list of countries from which students are eligible to apply is available at isi-web.org.

How to apply

The applicant needs to submit the application to the committee chair at sigchi-GaryMarsden-fund-chair@acm.org with the following seven documents in PDF format:

  1. A letter containing a statement by the applicant explaining the nature of the participation including the role the applicant will take in the event as well as why and how it is helpful for their career in HCI.
  2. A copy of the document showing that the applicant is currently a SIGCHI student member.
  3. The email message from the event organizers showing acceptance of the applicant’s participation in the form of publication, doctoral consortium submission, or as a student volunteer etc.
  4. The URL of the event website and the contact details of the event organizers.
  5. A copy of the Student ID card of the applicant showing the student status at the time of application.
  6. A letter from a faculty member at the university where the applicant currently has the student status. It must state support to the application, mentioning how the student would benefit from attending this event, and indicating if the University can (or cannot) partly contribute financially.
  7. A statement of the requested funding amount and a brief justification of the funding needs, as well as any fund obtained or might be obtained from other sources for this purpose. It must also list all the awards the applicant previously obtained from this fund as well as from SIGCHI in general.

What can be covered

Subsistence of not more than $3,000 USD in the case of SIGCHI (co)sponsored conferences, $2500 USD in the case of other types of conferences, and $2,000 in the case of SIGCHI (co)sponsored summer/winter schools. The following expenses can be covered by reimbursement:

  • travel (economy class flight tickets, ground transportation),
  • accommodation (student housing if available),
  • registration at the ACM or SIGCHI student member rate (Registration is only covered for SIGCHI (co)sponsored conferences)
  • meals during the conference.

A maximum fund for each award recipient is decided by the fund committee based on the application review and the available fund quota.

Please note: Visa fees can not be covered according to ACM policy.

How expenses are reimbursed

All the subsistence expenses up to the maximum fund for the award recipient set by the committee is reimbursed by receipts and following ACM processes for reimbursement.

Provisional Award

An applicant can apply for a provisional award from this fund before their contribution is accepted by the conference or even before the contribution is submitted to the conference. When the contribution is accepted, 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. For a provisional award, contributions to restricted venues, such as symposium, workshops or doctoral consortia (e.g., whose attendance is restricted to accepted authors), or student volunteers, summer/winter school attendees do not qualify. A student can only submit one application per application cycle for a provisional award. Only one provisional award per department in an institution can be awarded.
For this category, the applicant needs to submit the application with the following six documents in PDF format:

  1. A letter containing a statement by the applicant explaining the nature of their expected contribution, the role the applicant expects to take in the event as well as why and how it is helpful for their career in HCI.
  2. A copy of the document showing that the applicant is currently a SIGCHI student member.
  3. The URL of the event website.
  4. A copy of the Student ID card of the applicant showing the student status at the time of application.
  5. A letter from a faculty member at the university where the applicant currently has the student status. It must state support to the application, mentioning how the student would benefit from attending this event, and indicating if the University can (or cannot) partly contribute financially.
  6. A statement of the requested funding amount and a brief justification of the funding needs, as well as any fund obtained or might be obtained from other sources for this purpose. It must also list all the awards the applicant previously obtained from this fund as well as from SIGCHI in general.

A provisional award becomes a full award once the committee chair of this fund receives proof that the student’s contribution, as described above, is accepted by the conference — generally the email message from the event organizers showing acceptance of the applicant’s contribution is sufficient. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the committee chair with proof of acceptance. Only after a provisional award has become a full award, the subsistence up to the maximum fund for the award recipient set by the committee can be reimbursed by receipts and following ACM processes for reimbursement. A provisional award awarded for one contribution type at a conference (like a paper) can be used for another contribution type (like a late-breaking-work poster) at the same conference, but not for the type of contributions to restricted venues. Provisional awards are not transferable between conferences or between successive years of the same conference.

Multiple Funding Requests

SIGCHI understands that students applying for any of our funding 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 funding or support (e.g. SIGCHI Student Travel Grant, Gary Marsden fund, SV position, conference specific travel grant), it is essential that you disclose the following:

  • any funds/support you have already been offered or awarded from any source,
  • any funds/support you have applied for (and are awaiting an outcome),
  • 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 funding or support from anything related to SIGCHI that they will disclose any subsequent funding or support offered from other sources, prior to taking support (financial or otherwise) from SIGCHI.

Students are eligible for one SIGCHI travel grant from any source. The committee will consider making one additional award if the funds are available and the committee deems the second request to be exceptional.

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. He pioneered the field of Information and Computer Technology for Development (ICT4D) and, in his own wonderfully unpretentious way, he changed the world in positive ways for his students, his colleagues, his community, the profession and, indeed, the world. A self-described geek, he created technology with people rather than just for them, so that the result would actually meet their needs and empower them. After getting his doctorate and working for several years in London, he moved to South Africa to teach at UCT in 1999. There, his research focused on mobile device interfaces because mobiles are ubiquitous in most of the “developing” world, and he became world- renowned for his work. He died very suddenly of a heart attack in December, 2013 at the age of 43, just days before his birthday. It is in his honor and memory that this award is named after him.
For more information on his rich life, see the memorandum in interactions magazine.

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