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CHCI Programs

Funding and support

CHCI provides funding and support to affiliated faculty and students 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.

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 their students are eligible to apply. If the applicant is a student, he/she must be a graduate student advised by a CHCI faculty member (including independent study advisees and students in the faculty member's graduate classes).

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 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.

Graduate Students: If you seek support for the costs of participants in your research, please submit a research proposal as follows:

  • Describe the background and plan for the study
  • explain why you need paid participants in your study
  • Include the IRB request
  • Specify which faculty you are working with on the research
  • Address whether the research falls under a funded project, and if so, please explain why funding cannot come from the funded project.

Proposals should be sent to Andrea Kavanaugh as a PDF file, and should not exceed two pages (not counting the IRB application).


The idea behind CHCI Playdates and our Hack+Snack events is to foster community and productivity among members of the HCI (human-computer interaction) community at Virginia Tech.

On the third Friday of each month the CHCI organizes the Playdate (8:30-9:30 am) held in the MAC/ICAT Learning Studio (Room 253). These Playdates feature CHCI speakers and their research. The speaker(s), title and abstract of the talk, and related information for each CHCI ICAT Playdate is advertised on the CHCI calendar and ICAT website.

Hack+Snack is a weekly gathering every Friday (2-5 pm) when the university is in session, open to anyone in the greater HCI community. Faculty and students congregate in the MAC/ICAT Learning Studio (Room 253) to focus on their current work, to meet with collaborators on class projects, to meet with faculty who are holding office hours, or any other work. At 5 pm, anyone who is interested can re-locate to a nearby  cafe or pub to share a snack together. Please join us for any or all portions of Hack+Snack on Friday afternoons. Come hack and snack with us!