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.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.