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CHCI Programs

Funding and support

CHCI provides funding and support to affiliated faculty and student members for several types of activities, including conference participation (in person or virtual), matching funds for HCI+Art+Design SEAD Grants from ICAT, grant support (through a staff person for pre-award guidance and assistance), and user study support (i.e., funds to compensate study participants). Each of these activities are described in greater detail below.

Students: To qualify for the different forms of funding support described below, you must be a member of CHCI. Please find more information here.

The Center for Human-Computer Interaction (CHCI) invites proposals for internal planning grants leading to large-scale externally funded research efforts in the broad area of “human-centered AI.” The goal of this program is to identify and support interdisciplinary teams of researchers in convergent research areas to prepare for submission of large external grant proposals. In this context, “large” grants are defined as externally funded projects with a total budget of $2M or more. A CHCI planning grant will support new or existing teams to perform activities, such as team building and project scoping, that are necessary to enable the submission of a competitive large proposal in the future. This internal planning grant should lead directly to an external proposal submission as a next step, but the external submission may be a stepping stone to the envisioned large grant (i.e., an external planning grant or small grant).

Please see the funding call for proposals & cover sheet for more information. 

The goals of the CHCI conference funding program are to build the reputation of the center at important HCI conferences related to CHCI focus areas and to help faculty and students attend conferences that will enhance their careers. For students, this funding can be used to supplement funds from other sources such as the GSA or the CS grad council.

The conference funding program provides support for both traditional and virtual conference participation.  Support can be applied to registration and/or travel-related costs for traditional conferences, or for registration, paper publication or related costs for virtual conference participation.

CHCI affiliated faculty and students are eligible to apply.

Awards will be made for participation in relevant HCI conferences in three categories (an individual can only receive one CHCI conference award, regardless of category, per academic year):

  • $400: when the applicant is the presenting author of an accepted, peer-reviewed paper at the conference. It is expected that these will be full papers or short papers that will appear in the proceedings.
  • $300: when the applicant is the presenting author of an accepted, peer-reviewed workshop paper, poster, or other small contribution.
  • $200: when a student applicant is not presenting any work, but wishes to attend the conference to expand their knowledge of HCI or enhance their future career. Awards in this category will only be given once per student for all their years at VT.

The conference must be a general HCI conference or a conference directly relevant to one or both of the CHCI research thrust areas (Social Informatics and Immersive Experiences).

The applicant must demonstrate need (i.e., the work described in the paper is not already supported by a research grant) and efforts to obtain funding through other sources.

Funding will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Standard awards of $400, $300, or $200, as described above, will be given automatically for applicants who meet all the requirements. Requests for larger awards will be discussed and approved by the CHCI Executive Committee.

Students supported by CHCI for travel expenses will be asked to give a brief (15-20 min) talk about their research before or after the conference.

To apply, submit the conference funding application form and a travel approval form in advance of your travel to Andrea Kavanaugh. In the cover email, state the following: name of conference, name of advisor, and type of participation (full or short research paper/poster/workshop, student volunteer), and amount requested if requesting more than the standard award.

A SEAD grant is eligible for CHCI matching funds if:

  • The ICAT proposal has a CHCI member from a creative discipline (currently SOVA, ID, or Music) as the principal investigator. Proposals with other CHCI members as PI and an art+design faculty affiliate as co-PI will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but the funds must clearly be supporting creative work.
  • The proposed work has a clear relationship to HCI (i.e., the work should involve interactive technologies).
  • The SEAD grant is awarded by ICAT.
  • The PI has not received CHCI matching funds in the last 12 months.

Eligible CHCI members who have been awarded an ICAT SEAD grant can apply for matching funds by sending email to Andrea Kavanaugh with the original ICAT proposal and a budget justification for the additional funds. CHCI will match up to $ 1000 on a $ 3000 SEAD mini grant and up to $ 5000 on a $ 25,000 SEAD major initiative grant. As long as the proposal is eligible and the budget justification is acceptable, the matching funds will be awarded automatically (i.e., there will not be an additional merit review beyond the ICAT review process).

Awardees will be required to acknowledge CHCI support in any dissemination of the work (e.g., publication, presentation, exhibit, performance), and will be asked to speak about the work at an appropriate CHCI meeting or seminar.

An important aspect of CHCI’s mission is to support interdisciplinary grants and proposals related to HCI. CHCI has a dedicated grants specialist whose role is to help faculty with all pre-award activities, including:

  • Identification of funding opportunities
  • Meeting coordination
  • Proposal development
  • Budget development
  • Approvals and submission

CHCI affiliated faculty can contact Holly Williams for help with any of these items on proposals that will be fully or partially submitted through CHCI. For more information on proposal submission options available to CHCI faculty, contact Doug Bowman.

The user study funding program provides up to $400 (maximum) in funds to compensate participants in user studies or experiments related to HCI.

CHCI affiliated faculty and students are eligible to apply.

To apply: please complete this user study funding request form and submit it along with your letter of approval from the IRB to Andrea Kavanaugh. You will need to be logged into google services with your .vt account to access the form. Applicants should obtain funding approval before beginning their user study, as they may need to submit a control plan, if funded.


CHCI researchers present highlights of their work at least once a month at ICAT Playdates (9-9:30 am) via livestream video. Each CHCI ICAT Playdate is advertised on the CHCI calendar and  ICAT website.

CHCI researchers present highlights of their work at least once a month at ICAT Playdates (9-9:30am) via livestream video. Each CHCI ICAT Playdate is advertised on the CHCI calendar and ICAT website.