The Gary Marsden Travel Awards support 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, in attending ACM SIGCHI conferences. See below for more details.

Email sigchi-4all@acm.org with any questions about GMTA or fixes/feedback for the application form. 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 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.
  • 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. If you do not have an accepted submission, however, you can still apply.
  • Overall, we will accept applications that demonstrate financial need and clear 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 you receive it. If you will need to apply for a visa, 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. 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 does 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.
  • Registration: Complimentary codes will be provided to cover any combination of conference registration and up to two workshops/courses.
  • 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, such as travel insurance, 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 requested for virtual or physical travel.
  • 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).
  • After submission, any changes to the budget need to be re-approved.
  • In the event that you need support for upfront costs, please contact us at sigchi-4all@acm.org beforehand.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Am I required to have a letter of support from my advisor/program chair? No, letters of support, while helpful, are optional. We can rely on the rest of the application to evaluate financial need and benefit to the applicant. 
  2. Can funds be used for travel outside of the conference dates?  Funds can only be used from two days before the conference to two days after.
  3. Can funds be used for travel insurance (or anything else not listed above)? ACM policy does not allow reimbursement of travel insurance, but if you would like to make a special request, please let us know in your application and we can consider making an exception.
  4. Can funds be used for a rental car? ACM will only reimburse rental cars with prior approval. If you are requesting funds for a rental car, you must include it in your budget when you apply and provide a justification for why it is required compared to cheaper options such as public transport or taxis.
  5. How do I submit receipts for reimbursement? If your application is accepted, you will later receive an email from ACM allowing you to upload receipts to a reimbursement portal. Receipts are required for any expense over USD 25.
  6. How can I get a visa support letter?  There should be an option to request a visa support letter when you register for the conference, or instructions on the conference website.
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