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USENIX Grant Program Overview

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 computer scientists from academia or industry who identify as female or who are members of groups underrepresented 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.

Upcoming Grant Opportunities

By applying for a USENIX grant, you agree to have the following information shared with USENIX grant sponsors:
name, title, company/institution, and email.

Interested in applying? Please review the FAQs for Applicants below for important information about the application process and deadlines.

FAQs for Applicants

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

We will provide as much funding as possible based on both the amount of overall funding available to distribute to all applicants and the specific funding requests the applicants have made.

Student Grant recipients will receive a complimentary registration to the conference for which they have received their grant funding. Diversity Grant recipients will have their registration costs reimbursed by their grant funds.

The USENIX Grant Program rarely has enough funds to cover all travel and/or hotel expenses for grant recipients. To that point, when completing the expense request portion of your application, base your accommodation expenses on sharing a room at the conference hotel.

Note that expenses you request on your application may be adjusted by USENIX during the review process.

If you leave an expense request line empty, we will assume that you do not need financial assistance for that expense.

Where do I apply for grants?

Applications are located on the individual conference websites; look under "Attend" in the main menu for more information.

What is the timeline for the grant process?

Grant applications become available on our website about 3 months before the conference, with an application deadline set at approximately 7–8 weeks before the event. Notifications of awards are sent about two weeks after the deadline. This timeline may vary depending on the event; please use these dates only as a guideline, and refer to the grant page of the specific conference you're interested in attending for more specific dates and deadlines.

How are grant applications evaluated?

For Student Grants, preference is shown to:

  • Students whose areas of study significantly overlap with the conference topics and who write a concise essay (supporting statement) outlining their studies and research.
  • First-time applicants and those who have not received a grant in the past 12 months.
  • Students from institutions not traditionally represented at USENIX.
  • Financial need.
  • Degree level (undergraduate, graduate)
  • Students who are both presenting a paper at the event and do not have alternate sources of funding available to them.

For Diversity Grants, preference is shown to:

  • First-time applicants and those who have not received a grant in the past 12 months.
  • Applicants with significant financial need.
  • Applicants presenting at the event who do not have alternate sources of funding available to them.

Are Post-Docs eligible for grants?

Post-Docs are not eligible for Student Grants; however, they are welcome to apply for Diversity Grants if they meet the qualifications outlined above.

When should I register for the conference?

Do not register for the conference--even if you are an author or a presenter--until you are notified about your grant. If you receive a grant, we will send you detailed registration instructions. Student Grant recipients will receive a code for complimentary registration; grant funds are intended to be used for travel and/or hotel expenses.

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 deadline. For conferences that are expected to sell out, such as SREcon, spaces will be held for grant recipients to register.

When should I book my hotel for the conference?

Please reserve your hotel room well in advance; conference hotel rooms tend to fill up fast, and the conference discount rate may expire up to three weeks before the conference. Hotel reservations can usually be cancelled later if you are unable to attend, though please verify the hotel's cancellation policy prior to booking.

Note that sharing a room is a good way to help save expenses, and for the purposes of grants, hotel expenses are estimated based on the assumption that you are sharing a room.

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

Sign in to or create a USENIX account to upload a scan or photograph of your current student ID, or include a link to your specific school-hosted website (generic department or research website links are NOT acceptable).

Can I apply for and/or receive more than one grant?

Applicants can be awarded only one grant each calendar year. Those who qualify are welcome to apply for both a Student Grant and a Diversity Grant for the same conference, though only one grant will be awarded.

What if I need a visa?

If you are applying for a grant and require a visa to attend the conference, submit your visa application as soon as possible. You will need an invitation letter from USENIX to submit with your visa application. To request an invitation letter, please email us at conference@usenix.org and identify yourself as a student grant applicant (and presenter, if applicable) and include your mailing address.

If you are traveling to the conference from outside the U.S.A., see detailed advice from the National Academies about visiting the United States.

How many grants are awarded per event?

It depends on the event and the amount of financial support--from corporate sponsorship and other sources--we receive for that purpose.

How do I receive my funds?

Grant checks will be issued and available for pickup at the conference. These checks are drawn on a U.S. bank. Note that we will not be able to cash your check at the conference. Please be sure to make arrangements to cash the check on your own. We suggest you contact your bank for assistance, particularly if you are traveling from abroad.

When are applications due?

Applications and student IDs (if applicable) must be submitted online no later than the date and time stated on the website for the conference you wish to attend. Be sure to complete the submission process and watch for an email confirmation. If you do not receive email confirmation, check your email spam folder; if none arrives, contact conference@usenix.org as soon as possible. Unsubmitted drafts and late applications cannot be considered.

Who reviews the grant applications?

The grant review committee consists of USENIX conference staff, USENIX Executive Director, USENIX grant administrator(s), and event chairs or program committee members as needed. The USENIX Finance and Sponsorship teams also access awardee details for payment processing and coordination of available funds.

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

Student and Diversity Grant funds are considered taxable income for the recipient by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS). All grant applicants who are U.S. citizens or residents paying taxes in the U.S. will need to provide their tax ID (Social Security number).

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 Liz Markel, USENIX's Community Engagement Manager (liz@usenix.org). We are currently working to update the grant application form to correct this critical issue. Your legal name information is used only for preparation of tax forms, and is shared only with essential USENIX staff. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to Liz Markel (liz@usenix.org) and/or the Conference team (conference@usenix.org).

What should I include in my supporting statement?

Your Supporting Statement is the most important part of your application. It should be a thorough, well-written essay.

For Student Grant 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 class level, name your advisors/mentors, and detail your current funding situation as a student and/or department; and
  • Detail any relevant experience (but do not include links to your school research pages or resume).

For Diversity Grant applications, your Supporting Statement should:

  • State how the conference will help you in your professional career or studies;
  • Give details on your specific interests and on your current projects/curriculum.

Can I use my grant funds for CEU credits or to join USENIX?

No, grants can only be used for travel expenses and USENIX conference registration. However, students may join USENIX at a discounted rate; see the Student Membership page for details.

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

Contact the USENIX Conference Department (conference@usenix.org).