SIGCHI Student Travel Grant

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. NOTE: THE PROGRAM HAS CHANGED IN MANY WAYS FOR 2017.

What is the SIGCHI Student Travel Grant?

The SIGCHI Student Travel Grant (SSTG) program is intended to enable students who lack other funding 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. The goal — not fully achieved in the program’s first year — is to pre-approve students for grants *before* a conference’s earliest submission deadline, so that *if* a student gets a submission *accepted*, that student can count on having a grant awarded for travel to the conference.

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.

Students are expected to apply for a SSTG for a particular conference. The application process is designed so that applications are due at least 6 weeks before the conference’s earliest submission date, and so that grants will normally be awarded at least one month before the conference’s earliest submission date. The sections below entitled “The application” and “The application process and deadlines” have more information.

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 an honorarium of up to $1,800 USD to partially cover conference registration and travel expenses including airfare (economy flights only), accommodation, subsistence, and other expenses necessary for attending the conference. Note: A change from 2016 is that complimentary registration is no longer provided as part of the grant – instead, the maximum size of the grant has been increased.

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 need not 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 the applicant is a student and a SIGCHI member at the time of application, and that the student cannot attend without the funding provided by the SSTG grant (as attested to by a letter from the student’s advisor). Applicants must not apply for another SIGCHI travel grant (including SSTG) while an SSTG application is being considered. An applicant is eligible to receive only one SSTG ever.

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 Rachel Bellamy, A. J. Brush, Thomas Erickson, Jofish Kaye, and Geritt van der Veer. Students advised by the SSTG chairs may not apply for this travel grant. 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 evaluation committee. The evaluation criteria include the student’s need and lack of funding alternatives, the requested budget, and benefits to the student of attending the conference. Naturally, applicants must also meet all the requirements listed in the “Who is eligible” section, above.

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 funding to attend the conference, and that no other sources of funding 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.

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 2 weeks after the appropriate deadline, which will generally provide them with at least a month in which to prepare a submission for the chosen conference.

February 1, 2017 (Notification of results by February 15, 2017) – CLOSED

  • RecSys 2017
  • UIST 2017
  • ICMI 2017
  • ChiPlay 2017

May 1, 2017 (Notification of results by May 15, 2017) – CLOSED

  • GROUP 2018
  • VRST 2017
  • SUI 2017
  • ISS 2017
  • TEI 2018
  • UbiComp 2017

August 1, 2017 (Notification of results by August 15, 2017) – Closed

  • CHI 2018
  • HRI 2018
  • IUI 2018


November 1, 2017 (Notification of results by November 15, 2017) – not yet open, check back Oct 1 2017

  • EICS 2018
  • DIS 2018
  • IDC 2018
  • TVX 2018
  • ETRA 2018
  • UMap 2018

  • UbiComp 2018
  • MobileHCI 2018
  • Group 2018

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 funding 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. A grant may not be saved and re-used for the same conference in a later year, or re-used for a different conference than it was awarded for.

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 an honorarium that is to be used for travel to the conference. SIGCHI student travel grants which are given as an honorarium may be considered taxable income. Specific questions regarding the taxation of any honorarium and personal tax liability should be referred to your local tax authority. As such, ACM and SIGCHI cannot respond to questions regarding tax issues.

If something occurs that prevents the student from attending after the honorarium is received, it is the responsibility of the student to contact ACM and return the honorarium, excepting those parts that can not be refunded.

Denied applications

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

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 funding page describes all the different types of Conference Support, Community Support and Student Support SIGCHI can offer to members, conferences and student members.