USENIX Conference Grant Programs

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If you are trying to register for NSDI '24 or register for PEPR '24, please complete your registration before or after this time period.

Interested in providing financial support for these grant programs? Contact sponsorship@usenix.org for more information.


About Our Grant Programs

Student Grant Program

The USENIX Student Grant Program provides funds to cover registration fees and assist with travel and accommodation expenses for full-time students attending accredited institutions who wish to attend USENIX conferences and workshops. Please note that USENIX relies on outside funding for student grants, and funding is strictly limited. We do not guarantee assistance to speakers or participants, and student grants rarely cover full travel costs.

Diversity Grant Program

As part of USENIX's ongoing commitment to encourage diversity in advanced computing, we offer Diversity Grants to support computer scientists interested in attending our conferences. All prospective applicants from academia or industry who identify as female or who are members of groups historically excluded in tech are encouraged to apply. Applicants must also work in or study computer science or a related field, and attend all days of the main conference program for which they are applying. Successful applicants will receive funds to help defray the expense of conference attendance.

Grants for Black Students

In addition to our Diversity Grants, we are pleased to offer grants to support Black computer science students interested in attending USENIX Conferences. All undergraduate or graduate computer science students who are Black, African American, or members of the larger African Diaspora are encouraged to apply. Applicants are also expected to attend the three full days of the main Conference Program, and to agree to be contacted by USENIX and grant program sponsors about future events and opportunities.

Upcoming Grant Opportunities

PEPR '24: (Submission deadline: Monday, April 29)

USENIX Grant Application Instructions

Key Things to Know for All Grant Applicants

  • Only apply for one grant per conference. USENIX will not consider applicants who submit multiple applications for the same event.
  • If you are a student, apply for a Student Grant or a Grant for Black Computer Science Students (depending on your eligibility). Diversity Grants are awarded to computer scientists and practitioners from historically excluded groups.
  • Award funds are distributed after we confirm that you have attended the conference. Be prepared to fund your travel until reimbursements are complete, usually within two weeks after the conference ends.
  • Only register for the conference once you know the status of your grant application. Notifications regarding the review of your grant application are usually sent within two weeks of the grant application deadline and before the conference’s Early Bird Registration deadline.
  • Only apply for a grant if you have no other source of funding to attend the conference, such as support from your employer or university. As a small non-profit organization, USENIX has limited grant funding available.

Apply for a Grant

Applications are located on the individual conference websites once registration opens for that event. Look under Attend in the navigation menu for Grant Opportunities and follow the link to the grant opportunity for which you wish to apply. Refer to the FAQs below for information about review criteria and guidance for completing the personal statement.

  • Student Grants: USENIX may offer student grants to contribute to travel, accommodations, and registration fees to enable full-time students to attend USENIX events.
  • Diversity Grants: As a part of USENIX’s ongoing commitment to encourage diversity in advanced computing, USENIX may offer diversity grants to support attendance by computer scientists and practitioners who identify as female or are members of groups historically excluded in technology.
  • Grants for Black Computer Science Students: USENIX may offer grants for undergraduate and graduate computer science students who are Black, African American, or members of the larger African diaspora.

Eligibility

  • Only apply for one grant per conference. USENIX will not consider applicants who submit multiple applications for the same event.
  • Applicants who have already received a USENIX grant within the prior 12 months will be deprioritized for consideration.
  • Applicants must demonstrate in their personal statement sufficient research or professional connections to the conference as appropriate to the grant type.
  • Conference presenters are eligible to apply for grants.
  • Applicants for Student Grants or Grants for Black Computer Science Students must have their advisor complete the Faculty Advisor’s Statement, linked in the application. Allow time before the grant application deadline for this to happen.

Wait for Your Application Status

Within approximately two weeks of the grant application deadline, USENIX will notify applicants of the status of their application via email from conference@usenix.org. Check your spam folder if you haven’t seen a response. If you do not receive a response two weeks after the grant deadline, contact the Conference Department as soon as possible.

Prepare to Attend

For those applicants who have received a grant offer, follow the instructions in your notification message to confirm whether you accept the grant, register for the event using the code provided, and reserve your hotel room. When booking accommodation, be aware that USENIX awards grants based on a shared hotel room rate. USENIX maintains a Google Group to facilitate communication among attendees seeking roommates. While you are not required to do so, we strongly encourage you to stay at the conference hotel and to book your guest room within the USENIX hotel guest room block.

Attend the Conference

Grant payment is contingent upon your attendance and participation at the conference. Be sure to check in when you arrive to receive your conference badge, and then watch for emails from USENIX about how to fully engage in the conference experience.

Receive Grant Payment

After the event concludes and once USENIX has confirmed your attendance, you will receive an email from finance@usenix.org with instructions to initiate a direct payment to you. This email typically arrives within two weeks after the conference ends. Make sure to check your spam folder if you do not see this message in a timely manner. Payment steps include confirming your contact information, providing U.S. taxation documentation (as needed), and setting up an account on BILL. If you do not receive a response two weeks after the conference end date, contact the Finance Department as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions about USENIX Grants

Where do I apply for grants?

Applications are located on the individual conference websites once registration opens for that event; look for “Grant Opportunities” under "Attend" in the navigation menu for more information.

Which grant should I apply for?

The USENIX Grant Program includes Student Grants, Grants for Black Computer Science Students, and Diversity Grants. The availability of each type of grant may vary from event to event. Applicants should submit a single application for the type of grant for which they are most eligible.

If you are a student, you should apply for Student Grants or Grants for Black Computer Science Students (according to your eligibility) when available, as those typically have the most robust funding available. Diversity Grants are intended to provide support for graduates, computer scientists, and practitioners from historically excluded groups.

Do not submit multiple grant applications to a single conference. USENIX will not consider applicants who submit multiple applications.

How much grant funding will I receive, and what will be covered?

All grant recipients will receive a complimentary registration to the conference for which they have received their grant.

Additionally, USENIX provides travel funds to assist with hotel and airfare. The award for travel funds is based on the amount of overall funding available to distribute to all applicants and the specific funding requests the applicants have made. If you do not request travel or registration coverage, we assume you have funding otherwise and will not award non-requested fees.

The USENIX Grant Program rarely has enough funds to cover all travel and/or hotel expenses for grant recipients. When completing the expense request portion of your application, base your accommodation expenses on sharing a room at the conference hotel. USENIX may provide a grant that is less in value than the expenses requested.

When will I find out whether grants will be available for the conference I want to attend?

Grant applications open when the conference program is available and registration is open. The applications are linked from the conference website; the availability of each type of grant may vary from event to event. USENIX makes every effort to secure funding for grants for its events and offers grants at most conferences.

Can I apply for and receive more than one grant?

USENIX will not provide multiple grants to a single individual for any event. Applicants should submit a single application for the type of grant for which they are most eligible. Do not submit multiple grant applications to a single conference. USENIX will not consider applicants who submit multiple applications for a single event. If you are a student, you should apply for a Student Grant or a Grant for Black Computer Science Students (according to your eligibility). Diversity Grants are intended to support computer scientists and practitioners from historically excluded groups.

When will I be notified about the status of my grant application?

USENIX strives to send notifications to student grant applicants within two weeks following the grant application deadline and before the conference's Early Bird Registration deadline. We notify all applicants—those who are being awarded a grant and those who are not—of their application status. If you do not receive an email during this time, please check your spam folder for a message from conference@usenix.org. If you do not receive a response two weeks after the grant deadline, contact the Conference Department as soon as possible.

How are grant applications evaluated?

For our Student Grants Program, preference is shown to:

  • Students whose areas of study significantly overlap with the conference topics and who write a strong and concise supporting statement outlining their studies and research;
  • First-time applicants and those who have not received a USENIX grant in the past 12 months;
  • Students from institutions not traditionally or frequently represented at USENIX;
  • Financial need;
  • Degree level (priority is given to graduate students, with consideration for undergraduates engaged in relevant research);
  • Students who are presenting a paper at the event and who do not have alternate sources of funding available to them.

For our Grants for Black Computer Science Students Program, preference is shown to undergraduate or graduate computer science students who are Black, African-American, or members of the larger African diaspora.

For our Diversity Grant Program, preference is shown to:

  • Computer scientists and practitioners who identify as female, Black, African-American, members of the larger African diaspora, LGBTQ+, Hispanic/Latinx, Indigenous, or members of other historically excluded groups, as described by the applicant in the supporting statement;
  • First-time applicants and those who have not received a USENIX grant in the past 12 months; and
  • Applicants with a strong supporting statement, especially one that includes detail about how an applicant represents a diverse community and/or historically excluded group(s).

What should I include in my supporting statement?

For Student Grant and Grants for Black Computer Science Student applications, your supporting statement should:

  • Outline your current research, studies, or curriculum related to the conference topics;
  • Tell us why attending the event will be beneficial to you;
  • State your educational/university class level, name your advisors/mentors, and detail your current funding situation as a student, particularly your academic department’s ability to support your participation; and
  • Detail any relevant experience (but do not include links to your school research pages or résumé).

For Diversity Grant applications, your supporting statement should:

  • State how the conference will help you in your professional career or studies;
  • Illustrate how you represent a diverse community or historically excluded group(s);
  • Provide details regarding your specific interests and your current projects.

I am a poster presenter; am I eligible for a grant?

Yes, poster presenters are eligible for grants. If you are presenting a poster at the conference, you should check "no" to the application question regarding presenting a paper but mention in your supporting statement that you are presenting a poster. If the grant deadline occurs prior to poster presenter notifications, please mention that you have submitted a poster to the conference and plan to attend if the poster is accepted.

Are postdoctoral researchers eligible for grants?

Postdocs are not eligible for either type of Student Grant; however, they are welcome to apply for Diversity Grants if they meet the above-mentioned qualifications.

When are applications due?

Applications and proof of student status (if applicable) must be submitted online by the date and time stated on the website for the conference you wish to attend. If you do not receive email confirmation once you have submitted your application, check your spam folder; if none arrives, contact the Conference Department as soon as possible. We will not consider unsubmitted draft applications and late applications.

Who reviews the grant applications?

The grant review committee consists of USENIX staff and, in some cases, the event chairs. The USENIX staff also access awardee details for payment processing, donor reporting, and coordination of available funds.

When do I receive my grant funds?

Grants are paid out after the conference and after USENIX confirms your attendance. You must attend all days of the conference to be eligible to receive your grant funding. Please check in and pick up your name badge when you arrive at the conference.

Payment is made once you complete each step of the payment process, including confirming your contact details, providing U.S. taxation documentation (as needed), and setting up an account on BILL. The payment process is detailed in an email from finance@usenix.org sent to you after the event.

How do I receive my funds?

Grants are awarded directly to the recipient; grants cannot be issued to a third party, such as a student's host institution. You will receive your grant award as a direct deposit or wire transfer to your bank account after the conference. You must attend each day of the conference to be eligible for your grant award, but you do not need to provide receipts or other proof of travel purchases. You will receive emails from our Finance Department the week after the conference with further instructions.

Be aware that grant payments issued are for the amount of the travel fees awarded, not for the conference registration fees. Grant recipients receive a discount code for complimentary registration, which should be used when registering for the conference for which they have received the grant.

When should I register for the conference?

Do not register for the conference, even if you are an author or a presenter, until you receive notification about your grant application, which typically occurs prior to the hotel and Early Bird Registration deadlines. If you receive a grant, we will send you an email with detailed instructions and a discount code to enter upon registering to receive complimentary registration. Grant funds are intended for travel and hotel expenses and are distributed after the conference once your attendance is confirmed.

If you are not awarded a grant, you may register using the standard online registration form. Student registration fees do not increase after the Early Bird Registration deadline.

When should I book my hotel for the conference?

You may reserve your hotel room as soon as registration opens for the event. Conference hotels tend to fill up fast, and a limited number of rooms are available at the discounted USENIX rate. We strongly encourage you to book your hotel room within the USENIX guest room block. We recommend booking accommodation that may be canceled if you are ultimately unable to attend the conference.

Note that sharing a room is an excellent way to help reduce expenses. In determining the value of a grant, hotel expenses are estimated based on the assumption that you are sharing a room. USENIX maintains a Google Group to facilitate communication among attendees seeking roommates and ride sharing. You can sign up for free to find attendees with whom you can share a hotel room, taxi, shuttle, or other ride-share service. Please include the name of the conference you are attending in the subject line when posting a new request.

How do I prove my student status for a student grant?

To best expedite the process, carefully read the instructions on the student validation submission page to ensure your submission meets the required criteria. To validate your student status, sign in to your USENIX account (or create an account if you are new to USENIX) and click here to upload documentation verifying your current student status. Allow several business days following the submission of your validation for processing. We recommend that you submit your student validation at least a week in advance of the grant application deadline.

What if I need a visa?

Visa applications for travel to USENIX conferences may require a support letter from USENIX. To request an invitation letter, you must first register for the conference you wish to attend, including the completion of payment. You may then email the Conference Department with your letter request. In your email, include your name, the conference you are registered for, and your full mailing address. If required by the passport agency, include your passport number and date of birth. Allow several business days following submission of your email for processing.

If you are traveling to the conference from outside the United States, the National Academies provide detailed advice for making the trip.

How many grants are awarded per event, and what is covered?

The number of grants awarded depends on the event and the amount of financial support we receive for that purpose from corporate sponsorship, donors, and other sources. Grants are awarded based on your request and frequently can only cover partial expenses. If you do not request travel or registration coverage, we assume you have funding otherwise and will not award non-requested fees.

Do I need to save my receipts?

No, there is no need to save and submit travel receipts. USENIX awards a lump sum toward your travel and lodging and does not require documentation of individual expenses.

Why do I need to provide my tax ID or Social Security number?

The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers grant funds taxable income for the recipient. All grant applicants who are U.S. citizens or residents paying taxes in the U.S. must provide their tax ID (Social Security number) to receive their grant funds. Tax-related questions should be directed to an accountant; USENIX is not legally able to advise you on this issue.

What if my legal name does not reflect the name I use to register for the conference?

On the application, you will be asked to provide your name. Please enter your preferred name in this field. If your preferred name does not match your legal name for U.S. tax purposes, please contact the Conference Department. Your legal name information is used only to prepare tax forms and is shared only with essential USENIX staff. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Conference Department.

Can I use my grant funds for CEU credits or to purchase a USENIX membership?

No, grants can only be used for travel expenses for the specific conference that you apply for. Students are always eligible to become a USENIX Student Member.

What if I cannot attend the conference after accepting the grant? Can I receive a credit and transfer the grant to a future conference?

The USENIX Grant Program’s goal is to offer opportunities to attend conferences to those who have financial need. If you are not able to attend, the opportunity is passed to the next qualified applicant.

Whom do I contact about a grants-related question not covered here?

Contact the USENIX Conference Department.