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You are here: Home Conferences Funding SIGCHI Specialized Conferences Development Fund Objectives, Criteria and Making a Proposal

Objectives, Criteria and Making a Proposal

This page (which was last updated on Dec 8, 2016) describes the objective and process involved in applying for the ACM SIGCHI Specialized Conferences “Conference Development Fund”. This funding mechanism is an experiment from 2015 - 2018 and will be reviewed regularly by SIGCHI. Conferences are expected to break even and not return a surplus. We request conference steering chairs to make submissions several months in advance of when the funds are needed.

However, in the past conferences have returned a surplus and this fund is a means to redistribute some surplus back to the community. It is worth noting that there is also a distinct "SIGCHI Development Fund", which may be suitable to consider rather than this fund.

In the past, people have referred to a "community grant", "community fund", "surplus", "return", "float" and "rollover". These concepts no longer exist. Instead, this SIGCHI Specialised Conferences Development fund replaces all of these concepts. From July 2015, this fund is the only means by which SIGCHI redistributes some funds back to the community. (update added in July 2016)

Eligible conferences are ACM SIGCHI Specialized Conferences which are SIGCHI Sponsored or Co-Sponsored (>= 50%) conferences. Each of these conferences has a Steering Committee (details of which can be found here: The "SIGCHI Conference Development Fund" fund is not available for in-cooperation events.  

With its mission to develop the field of HCI, SIGCHI has been making efforts to create new and support existing conferences addressing specific topics of HCI. SIGCHI is providing financial resources through the SIGCHI Conference Development Fund to support activities that are helpful for (co-)sponsored specialized conferences. SIGCHI is providing these financial resources based on the financial history of a conference series to support activities that can be helpful beyond the standard budget. The financial history of a conference is related to the Surplus/Loss returned to the SIGCHI from the conferences series, as measured since 2011, which is explained in the section on Potential Amount.  

If you are involved with a conference (eg. a local chair, general chair or DC chair) and you are interested in making a proposal for this fund, then please note that applications to this fund should come from the chair of the Steering Committee of the conference series.

We encourage you to discuss your proposal with a member of the SIGCHI Core Conference Management Committee in advance, but it is not required. When you are ready to submit your proposal, send it via e-mail to:

Applications will be considered by the SIGCHI Conferences Board.

Funding Criteria

When considering supporting an activity, SIGCHI would like to see that such funding will increase attendance, help develop the interest in the specific topic covered by the conference, support organizers facing contingent challenges but will not create an unsustainable precedent (i.e. organize an event that the conference series will not be able to maintain but that might create expectations from the attendees of the conference towards future events).

We have added further guidance to this page on (26/2/2016) with respect to support for travel within a proposal. Any travel grants are capped to provide $1,500 for domestic travel and $2,000 for foreign travel (per person).

Any proposal which involves additional volunteer effort (and hence reimbursement) needs to comply with the SIGCHI Policy for Volunteer Reimbursement at Sponsored Conferences.

Due to the source of the funding (coming from surpluses produced by previous conferences) SIGCHI will not provide long term continuing support but will only address specific needs.

The absolute criteria for funding are:

  • Ideas which increase attendance, help develop the interest in the specific topic covered by the conference
  • Ideas which help address contingent challenges eg. due to location of the conference, loss of a traditional source of funding
  • Ideas which wouldn’t typically be in the standard budget for a conference and which do not create an unsustainable precedent
  • Ideas which provide value to SIGCHI members who attend the conference
  • If the activity is the beginning of what could become a perpetuated event, the proposal must include a plan for obtaining continued funding from sources other than the SIGCHI Conference Development Fund
  • Funding may be only for the current year and funding for future years must be requested annually and cannot be guaranteed.

Potential amount

The amount that can be requested through the SIGCHI conference development fund is based on the overall financial history of the conference series.

Before preparing the grant proposal you should refer to the link to the overall financial history of the conference series which was provided during the Council of Steering Committee Chairs: CSCC meeting in Denver on Dec 8th 2016.

If you cannot locate this link, and you are a steering committee chair,  contact who can provide you with the overall financial history of the conference series. That amount is also available through the steering committee chair of the conference series. The total amount available for funding is, 50% of the overall financial history of what surplus/loss has come to SIGCHI.

The overall financial history of the conference series is calculated from the sum of the surpluses and losses of each conference starting from 2011 (included). That overall financial history is updated every year by including the surplus/loss of the conference and removing (if any) the previously agreed financial supports. Every financial support starting from August 2015 is accounted for. Previous funding (which occurred through other schemes are not taken into account).

Any funding award is tied to the specific activity and is paid by the ACM SIGCHI and does not appear in the conference budget. However, only costs associated with the proposal can be claimed from the awarded funding. Any shortfall between costs and budget remain in the overall financial history of the conference series.

The Proposal

Proposals can be submitted by a steering committee chair with their committee’s endorsement.

An suitable proposal should answer the following questions:

  • Title: What is the project to be called?
  • Conference: What is the conference and its location?
  • Subject matter: What is the purpose of this project?
  • Funding: How much funding is requested?
  • Expenses details: How the requested funding is implemented in detail? Any grant request which includes travel support should note that grants are capped to provide $1,500 for domestic travel and $2,000 for foreign travel (per person).
  • People: Who speaks for, and take responsibility for this project?
  • Relevance: Which conference attendees and conference series attendees this project is relevant to?
  • Potential value: What is the potential value of the proposed project to conference attendees? How does it support the organizers or the policy of the conference series leadership?
  • Additional funding: Have you considered other sources of funding? Will someone match SIGCHI Conference Development Funding? If your conference is co-sponsored, can you demonstrate support from the other sponsors?


If you are awarded?

Both your application and final reports will be placed online here so all members can see how this fund is managed and used. Your proposal should have one named person who will be responsible for collecting all the claims into a single set.

If you are involved in any activity funded under the conference development fund please do not submit any claims directly to the ACM or SIGCHI. All claims need to be collected and coordinated by a named person associated with the proposal first. This person will check and forward them. 

  1. This named person should ensure all the claims you are planning to submit are within the overall budget
  2. This named person should collect all the claims to ensure the total set of claims is within the budget agreed
  3. This  named person should submit all the claims as advised if the proposal was approved
  4. A one page report on the proposal should be submitted (including details on budget vs spend) along with the claim.


SIGCHI Contact: VP for Conferences -

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