SIGCHI is a volunteer-led organization. A range of exciting opportunities are open to people interested in volunteering some time to SIGCHI, its conferences, or publications. A volunteer freely offers to take on an unpaid role associated with the SIGCHI activities. SIGCHI offers volunteering opportunities for any stage of your career. Activities range from being a student volunteer at a conference, being reviewer for conferences and journals, or volunteering for committees – including becoming part of the executive committee for SIGCHI.
Our members are spread across the world, and volunteering for SIGCHI will enable you to strengthen your global network, learn about the exciting work happening across the world, and help shape the future of the field.
How do I volunteer?
What do I need to know to volunteer?
How to get involved with SIGCHI
How to get involved in one of the SIGCHI conferences
There are a large number of volunteering opportunities within the organisation of over 20 sponsored and over 40 in-cooperation conferences and SIGCHI publications. The vast majority of these volunteering opportunities are managed independently by each individual conference or journal. All of these go to considerable effort to ensure that they are inclusive, accessible and transparent. These opportunities are usually advertised on the individual conference and journal websites, and publicised widely on their social media pages.
If you would like to register as reviewer for SIGCHI conferences, this can be done via the Precision Conference System (PCS):
You can always directly contact the steering committee or general chairs of the conference you are interested in volunteering at. However, by the time a conference website is online, many of the roles will already be filled, so it’s important to approach people during prior conferences, at town hall meetings, and by volunteering to review with PCS.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I get involved in my local HCI community?
SIGCHI has a growing population of chapters worldwide, and many seek volunteers to assist with chapter operations, special services, speaking at technical meetings, etc. Some locations seek volunteers to start a local SIG. Check out the Local SIGCHI Chapters Index for more information.
What opportunities are there to volunteer?
There are a number of sponsored and co-sponsored SIGCHI conferences each year. Thousands of volunteers work on these conferences annually. There are many different opportunities at different timescales that requires different levels of experience to be able to succeed at.
A volunteer wouldn’t expect to be a reviewer of a research paper without having authored one themselves. Likewise, taking on a role as the chair of a large track within a conference requires extensive experience in many different aspects of a conference. Volunteer selections are made in as open and transparent a way possible, allowing selections to be made in as inclusive way as possible. Selections are made on a wide variety of criteria, including prior expertise, previous volunteering experience, availability and time commitments. We want as many people in the SIGCHI community to be able to take on volunteering positions – there’s always work to be done!
What are typical pathways for volunteers?
For students, one typical pathway to volunteering is through student volunteering at one of the SIGCHI conferences. This is a fantastic way for students to learn about the logistics involved in running a conference.
Another entry point for student or early career volunteers is as reviewers for conference submissions. Every year, SIGCHI conferences receive thousands of submissions (papers, posters, etc.) and reviewing support is essential for preserving high-quality content at these conferences.
Successful volunteering experiences in any of these pathways is a starting point for additional volunteer opportunities, such as participating on a conference’s program committee.
Why would I do this?
Being a volunteer gives you the opportunity to give back to the HCI community or SIGCHI in terms of publications or conferences. In practice, being a volunteer is a great opportunity to network, to develop new skills and to enhance your knowledge of HCI.
Of course, the best way to answer this question is to talk to others about what they get out of being a volunteer. There are some nice pieces online which people have written up on “academic service”. For example, in 2016 the then ACM SIGCHI VP for Publications, Cliff Lampe, wrote an article entitled “ “Why I love academic service” in which he further cited an article by Heather L. Pfeifer on “How to be a Good Academic Citizen: The Role and Importance of Service in Academia“. Each of these is worth reading if you would like to get a sense of why existing volunteers see service as important.
For more information, please contact Priya Kumar, ACM SIGCHI Adjunct Chair for Volunteer Support (firstname.lastname@example.org)