ACM SIGCHI aims to support the HCI community in a number of ways, including supporting community-building events and initiatives, and providing travel awards. This portal is currently open to applications. Please see the calls below, and note the guidelines for submissions. 

The Gary Marsden Travel Awards aim to support undergraduate/graduate students and early-career researchers (i.e., those who received their Ph.D. ≤5 years ago) in attending HCI conferences and events. We will prioritize presenters and first-timers. Please note the following:

  • You must be a SIGCHI member at the time of application in order to be eligible. Read about membership and how to sign up on the SIGCHI website
  • During pandemic-induced pauses on travel, we invite applicants to apply for covering costs such as conference registrations to make virtual travel more affordable.
  • We will award funds to no more than one presenter per submission. Also, we will award funds to no more than one student per advisor, per submission cycle.
  • Deadlines will be every two months, at the start of every odd-numbered month, starting with January 2021. Applicants can apply early, but their chances may be higher if they apply upon acceptance of their work at the event. If the number of applicants is too high, we may prioritize those with acceptances. Acceptances can include papers, posters/extended abstracts (including for workshops/symposia), works in progress, demos, case studies, etc.
  • We will try to offer faster turnaround times (two weeks) 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 one month.
  • ACM is engaging a travel agency to make travel arrangements and cover expenses for travelers who might like to use it. This should reduce upfront travel costs for those who avail the service.
  • For physical travel, we will also give you options to include carbon offsets in your budget. This is to balance the environmental costs of travel from our travel awards.
  • Travel awards information and updates will be conveyed here and on SIGCHI social media. We will also request conferences to post these on their 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 will evaluate applications along the dimensions of Diversity, Contribution, and Progress. Under Diversity, we will continue to prioritize applicants from the Global South. We will also consider other dimensions that the applicants are comfortable sharing, such as race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic background, institution, and so forth. An optional open-ended question asks 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, talk, etc. Please note that we will still also consider applicants who do not have accepted submissions. Under Progress, relevant for applicants who have previously received SIGCHI travel support, we ask for a statement of how the previous award has aided them in their academic progress since. While applicants can receive a GMTA twice, we will prioritize those who have not received one before.

Apply: You can submit your application using the button below. The next deadline is on January 15, 2021 (extended from January 9) at 11:59 PM AoE. Subsequent deadlines will be on March 9, May 9, and every other month thereafter. For transparency, recipients will be announced with each cycle, and any changes in evaluation metrics will be highlighted when relevant. Please email sigchi-4all@acm.org with any fixes/feedback for the travel form. 

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Gary Marsden, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa, was a passionate advocate for people–all people. A pioneer in the field of Information and Computer Technology for Development (ICT4D), he was an inspiration for his students, his colleagues, his community, the profession and, indeed, the world. After getting his doctorate and working for several years in London, he moved to South Africa to work at UCT in 1999. There, his research focused on mobile device interfaces with the goal of targeting inclusive design. He died very suddenly of a heart attack in December, 2013 at the age of 43, days before his birthday. It is in his honor and memory that this award is named. For more information on his rich life, see the memorandum in interactions magazine.


We 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.


We are grateful to the following team of volunteers for evaluating the applications: Zhengjie Liu, Anicia Peters, Gerrit van der Veer, Matt Jones, Simone Barbosa, Susan Dray, Jofish Kaye, A. J. Brush, Astrid Weber, Moira Burke, and Natalie Garrett.

Call for Proposals

The SIGCHI Development and Chapters Funds offer resources for the SIGCHI community to spur communication, innovation, and expansion of HCI at a local and global level. As we have in the past, we continue to prioritize projects in alignment with the SIGCHI Executive Committee’s Strategic Initiatives, including promoting inclusivity. We also strongly encourage proposals that align with SIGCHI's commitment towards addressing racial and other systemic injustices.

Given current limitations regarding travel, we are modifying our call to invite proposals focusing on virtual events and initiatives. We encourage applicants to think about creative and accessible ways to conduct and disseminate virtual events by exploring different media, e.g., using streaming services like YouTube Live or platforms for virtual worlds like Open Simulator or Mozilla Hubs. Guidelines in the ACM Report on Virtual Conferences may also be helpful. An excellent example of recent events that have gone virtual and put the SIGCHI's Development Fund's support to creative use include the "Engaging with Race in HCI" CHI 2020 workshop.  

We ask that proposals include plans for sharing lessons learned via experience reports for the SIGCHI community at large. Reports might include information on technologies and templates used, and reflect on the perceived success of some adopted services and tools, e.g., closed captioning, talk transcripts, video relay services, virtual reality settings, solutions for slow-Internet areas, podcasts, etc.

Examples of events we are looking to fund include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:

  • Events for connecting communities in different geographies, disciplines, or sectors (academia/industry)
  • Tutoring or paper-writing workshops for new authors to submit to SIGCHI-sponsored conferences
  • Distributed summer schools or mentoring activities
  • Online workshops for bringing people together to work and reflect upon HCI knowledge creation, access, and distribution

Mechanisms for orchestrating the events above may include:

  • Sharing pre-recorded talks, in the form of videos and/or podcasts, and holding a wider discussion session, to be recorded and shared
  • Using virtual reality and augmented reality tools and platforms to build and share knowledge or to experience a local issue in a more global way
  • Good old webinars, panels, pecha kucha talks, etc. 

Funding for each event/initiative will be capped at USD 5,000

The criteria for evaluation of proposals include:

  • Organizing Committee: We will look for relevant experience to signal success and organizing teams with complementary skills. We aim to prioritize proposals coming from members of the SIGCHI community (rather than members of the SIGCHI Executive Committee or organizers of SIGCHI conference events that may otherwise be funded).
  • Explanation of Need: The proposal must directly address one or more of the SIGCHI Executive Committee's Strategic Initiatives (see above), and elucidate how the project would provide value to SIGCHI members.
  • Feasibility of Plan: The proposal must convey a well-defined agenda with clear outcomes. The funding will be for a single activity, although the activity might take place over an extended time period. There must also be a plan for sharing takeaways and lessons learned with the SIGCHI community.
  • Suitability of the Remote Initiative: Since creative ways of engaging virtually are central to this call, we will aim to prioritize activities that do not include travel-related expenses.
  • Soundness of Budget: The proposal must include a clear and suitable budget, with justifications, as well as plans for soliciting other sponsors, if applicable.

This is an ongoing open call, but we strongly suggest you submit your proposal at least three months before your event. Proposals that are for chapters-specific events will be reviewed by SIGCHI VP of Chapters. Proposals for conference-supported events will be reviewed by SIGCHI VP of Conferences. All others will be reviewed by the SIGCHI Development Fund Committee (sigchi-dev-fund@acm.org). Information about what has been funded before by the SIGCHI Development Fund is on the SIGCHI Medium publication (www.medium.com/sigchi). 

If you have any further questions, please direct them to the alias: sigchi-4all@acm.org. 

SIGCHI