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

The SIGCHI Development Fund (SDF) provides resources for the SIGCHI community to spur communication, innovation, and expansion of HCI at the global and local levels. The SDF offers grants for: 1) specialized conferences, 2) chapters, 3) sustainability activities, and 4) other types of community events/initiatives.

The SDF aims to support proposals in any of the above categories that experiment with new opportunities, reach out to new groups, innovate hybrid/virtual engagement, and promote equity, sustainability, accessibility, and mentorship. Overall, any initiative that fulfills the SDF aim and aligns with SIGCHI's commitment to addressing racial and other systemic injustices is welcome. All SIGCHI members are eligible to apply.

Update July 2023: The SDF also aims to support events and initiatives that center equity in as many aspects of their overall organization as possible. We have added an application question asking proposals to share if and how the overall organization of the event aligns with the SIGCHI Executive Committee’s priorities of accessibility, safety, sustainability, global participation, equity, and hybrid formats. Based on responses, we will re-evaluate the guidelines in three months. Please see more details and resources under “How is a proposal reviewed?” 

If you have any further questions, please look at the FAQ on the SIGCHI website or direct them to sigchi-dev-fund@acm.org.

What kinds of initiatives does the SDF support?

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

  • Events to promote/support diversity and inclusion at a SIGCHI conference.
  • Mechanisms to support underrepresented groups (disciplinarily or demographically) to present at a SIGCHI conference or one of its workshops.
  • Events for connecting different communities, which could be in the sense of geography, discipline, or academia/industry, etc.
  • Tutoring or paper-writing workshops for new authors to submit to SIGCHI conferences.
  • Summer schools or mentoring activities.
  • Initiatives organized by SIGCHI chapters.
  • Events to promote/support diversity and inclusion at a SIGCHI specialized conference.
  • Mechanisms to improve accessibility of events, e.g., sign language interpreters.
  • Ideas which increase attendance at SIGCHI conferences (e.g., around hybrid participation) and help develop the interest in the specific topic covered by the conference.
  • Ways to promote socio-ecological sustainability in HCI, which can focus on raising awareness or on hands-on activities about recycling, reusing or more responsible resourcing.

Recently funded initiatives, which can be used for inspiration, are published on the SIGCHI website.

Who can apply?

All SIGCHI members can submit a proposal. If the proposal is from the organizing committee of a SIGCHI conference, a letter of endorsement from the steering committee chair should be submitted also.

How much funding can a proposal request?

Grants are typically between USD 5,000 and 10,000 (or less), according to the submitted budget and whether the expenses are in alignment with the SDF goals stated above. 

If you need more than USD 10,000 in support for an initiative that is fully aligned with SDF goals, please, let us know in the submission form. Small grants are encouraged. The awarded amount will depend on funds available and applications received.

What can the fund cover?

Events/initiatives taking place outside of SIGCHI conferences (supported) can ask for covering any items aligned with the SDF and the proposal goals. In this case, funds are disbursed to the primary sponsoring organization indicated in the proposal (a university, a company, a non-profit, etc.) as a lump sum check.

Instead, if the event/initiative is (part of) a SIGCHI conference (sponsored), expenses will be mainly reimbursed. Conference registrations will be handled via the generation of complimentary codes, as we cannot reimburse registrations. We will not pay for the labor cost of ACM and/or SIGCHI members, gift cards (or similar), and services already provided by the conference itself or by SIGCHI (e.g., travel grant programs). Similarly, we discourage the purchase of equipment. All financial claims are guided by ACM policies on what can be claimed and how (for travel and non-travel expenses). Any funding award is tied to the specific activity and must not appear in the conference budget.

How is a proposal reviewed?

For the purpose of reviewing, proposals will fall under one of the following categories, which we will ask you to indicate in your application. Proposals can be 1) from SIGCHI specialized conferences, 2) from SIGCHI chapters, 3) for a sustainability activity, or 4) for a different type of community event. Each category has a dedicated budget, and reviews will be led by the VP Conferences, VP Chapters, AC Sustainability, and/or AC Community Support, respectively (see members of the Development Fund committee). Applying to one category does not prevent applying to another category at another time. 

Regardless of category, all proposals should address the following items and provide any other information about the event/initiative that seems relevant. The submission form has specific questions for each of these items:

  • Organizing Committee: We will look for relevant experience to signal success and organizing teams with complementary skills.
  • Primary Sponsor: The proposal must include the conference name if the initiative is happening at a SIGCHI conference. Otherwise, the proposal must indicate the organization that is mainly organizing and managing the event, such as a university, a company, a non-profit, etc. This organization will need to send an invoice to us with the total granted amount and fill out a tax form before the funding can be disbursed directly. Please note that, in this case, the initiative will be supported (not sponsored) by SIGCHI, and SIGCHI will not be financially or legally liable for the event. The FAQ page provides further details about this process.
  • Explanation of Value: The proposal must elucidate how the initiative would provide value to SIGCHI members, to the SIGCHI conference it is a part of, or to the chapters. It must also report the motivation behind the proposal, and how much the initiative is aligned with the SDF goals.
  • 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 period. There must also be a plan for sharing takeaways and lessons learned with the SIGCHI community.
  • Suitability of Format: Since events that offer multiple formats for participation can be more inclusive, accessible, and sustainable, we will prioritize hybrid initiatives that ask for funding towards this goal.
  • Soundness of Budget: The proposal must include a clear and suitable budget, aligned with the rest of the proposal and with justifications. The budget must follow a given template.
  • Alignment with EC priorities: We ask that organizers describe how the overall organization of their event/initiative aligns with EC priorities around accessibility, safety, sustainability, global participation, equity, and hybrid formats. We have put together guidelines for how events/initiatives might implement these priorities. These guidelines are intended to be generative, not prescriptive—we welcome feedback on their applicability, and ideas for implementation that would be best tailored to your event. Overall, it is not required for proposals to fulfill these guidelines in order for them to be funded. We also recognize that organizers of events that are part of larger ones, such as a workshop at a conference, may not be involved in all of these aspects of planning. We will review with the context and resources available for the event in mind, and preference will be given to those that demonstrate the greatest alignment.

Is there a specific timeline for the grant?

The SDF has an ongoing open call! You can expect notifications around one month after the submission. After the completion of the event, we will ask for a brief report.

The SIGCHI Executive Committee (EC) welcomes volunteers who are interested in working with us to improve and strengthen SIGCHI and support its processes. Through this open call, we plan to create a live record of volunteers whom we can match with openings across committee roles on the EC. 

You are welcome to nominate yourself or someone else. Please indicate your/your nominees' background(s) of relevance, commitments for volunteering, and availability as completely as possible. This is standard across our open calls. On average, these roles may take up 2-3 hours on a weekly basis, and 8-12 hours per month. Please reach out to sigchi-4all@acm.org if you have any questions.

Please note: 

  • Before SIGCHI appoints any volunteers, we must check their status on the ACM Sanctions Database. Once you agree to be considered for a role on a committee, you are confirming that you are okay with this look-up. If the database does produce a positive result, we will inform you so that you are able to withdraw your consideration, should you choose to do so.
  • The data collected by the SIGCHI Executive Committee in this and other surveys are used to inform future decisions that impact our community. 
  • You can withdraw your form anytime you believe you are no longer interested in volunteering. You can also withdraw your nomination as per your preference.

The Gary Marsden Travel Awards invite applications from undergraduate and graduate students, early-career researchers (such as those who are ≤ 5 years post-graduation), and those experiencing financial hardship or lacking institutional support, to attend ACM SIGCHI conferences. See below for more details.

For transparency, recipients are announced periodically on the SIGCHI website.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • You must be a SIGCHI member at the time of application to be eligible. Read about membership and how to sign up on the SIGCHI website. Please note, ACM membership and SIGCHI membership are not the same. You can check which one you have via MyACM
  • We will consider no more than one presenter per submission. Also, we will consider no more than one student per advisor, per GMTA submission cycle.
  • If we have a large number of applicants, we will prioritize first-time attendees and presenters. Acceptances can include papers, posters/extended abstracts, works in progress, demos, case studies, etc., though we may consider type of submission if we have many applicants. If you do not have a submission or it has not been accepted yet, however, you can still apply.
  • Overall, we will prioritize applications that demonstrate financial need and compelling benefit to the applicant in attending the conference. 

When should I apply?

  • There are seven deadlines per year: the 9th of January, February, March, May, July, September, and November at 11:59 PM AoE.
  • You must apply to a deadline that occurs more than one month prior to the start of the conference that you plan to attend. If you have a conference acceptance, we recommend applying as soon as possible after receiving it. If you will need to apply for a visa, please note that you may apply for the travel award before your submission has been accepted.
  • Normal turnaround times for decisions will be one month from the deadline (e.g., if you apply to the January 9 deadline, you will receive a notification around February 9). 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 during conference registration.

What can the award cover?

  • The awards cover both physical and virtual attendance at SIGCHI conferences. There are no limits on how many times you can receive GMTA support for virtual attendance. For physical travel, you can only receive support once every three years. 
  • The maximum amount awarded will depend on funds available and applications received in a given cycle.
  • Registration: Through complimentary codes, we can cover any combination of conference registration and up to two workshops/courses. You must list the items you would like covered in your budget.
  • Travel: Through reimbursement, we can cover flights, local transportation, lodging, meals, visa fees, childcare, one travel companion ticket, and mobility aids (e.g., scooters, walkers). Other expenses are not currently covered.
  • Carbon offsets should be estimated and included in the cost of registration if you are taking a flight. You can use websites such as Cool Effect to calculate costs.
  • Childcare funds can be reimbursed for virtual or physical travel, provided a receipt. For physical travel, funds can be used to cover childcare at the conference location or at home.
  • One travel companion ticket can be requested for physical travel, provided a justification for why it is needed (e.g., a care provider for an infant, sighted guide, personal care assistant).
  • Please update us via Submittable if you receive other funding while waiting for GMTA decisions. 
  • After submission, any changes to the budget need to be re-approved.

How are funds disbursed?

  • We typically provide registration via a complimentary code and reimburse other travel expenses. For reimbursement of travel expenses (not including registration), you would upload receipts to ACM's travel portal after the conference. Once your receipts are approved, you will receive your payment within 30 days (via wire transfer for recipients outside the US and via direct deposit or check for recipients within the US).
  • In cases of acute financial constraint, we are able to offer an advance for travel expenses, which will allow you to cover expenses prior to travel instead of waiting for a reimbursement. If you have been awarded a GMTA, and cannot cover your travel expenses yourself nor have someone cover them for you, email sigchi-4all@acm.org explaining your circumstances, and which expenses precisely you would need an advance for. If possible, mention and copy a mentor or advisor on the email who is aware of your situation and supports your request for an advance. If you are approved for an advance, you will need to fill out a budget and a US tax form. After the conference, you will need to submit receipts and return any unused portion of the advance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please see the FAQ on the SIGCHI website for questions about the application process, reimbursements, etc. For other questions or fixes/feedback on the application form, email sigchi-4all@acm.org

SIGCHI