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 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

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.