CHCI Playdates

CHCI Playdate

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

Travel Funding Program

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

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 travel to relevant HCI conferences in three categories (an individual can only receive funding in any category once per academic year):

a) Up to $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.

b) Up to $300: when the applicant is the presenting author of an accepted, peer-reviewed workshop paper, poster, or other small contribution.

c) Up to $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. Travel 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). Travel awards can still be applied toward costs related to virtual conferences, for example, the cost of publishing a paper in virtual conference proceedings.

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 (e.g., CS grad council, GSA).

Funding decisions will be made 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 their travel.

To apply, submit the travel fund application form and a travel approval form to Andrea Kavanaugh.

In cover email, state: name of conference, name of advisor, and type of participation (full or short research paper/poster/workshop, student volunteer).

Matching Funds for
HCI+Art+Design SEAD Grants


 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.

CHCI offers a variety of programs that provide funding to faculty and students. In addition, the Center’s grants specialist and community-building events facilitate groups of faculty in the pursuit of larger external grants.

Grant support

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 Lisa Jansen 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.

User Study Funding Program

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

a) Describe the background and plan for the study

b) explain why you need paid participants in your study

c) Include the IRB request

d) Specify which faculty you are working with on the research

e) 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).

Hack and Snack

CHCI Hack and SnackHack+snack is a weekly event at Virginia Tech hosted by the Crowd Lab, the Center for HCI, and ICAT. Dr. Luther launched the hack+snack in early 2015, and it’s been running ever since. Come hack and snack with us!

Please contact the Hack+snack Coordinator, Melanie Trammell, with any questions, or visit during her office hours at Hack+snack from 2pm – 4pm.


Every Friday, starting at 2pm, we gather in the Learning Studio of the beautiful Moss Arts Center. Anyone interested in HCI — students, faculty, staff, and friends — is welcome. For the first couple hours, we “hack,” a loose term for any type of focused work: programming, writing, designing, analyzing data, etc. We recommend picking a concrete task that you can start and finish while you’re there.

Faculty and TAs also use the hack+snack as a place to hold their office hours. It’s often faster and more convenient for students to get answers when so much diverse HCI knowledge is co-located around them. The room has whiteboards, reconfigurable furniture, wifi, and lots of outlets.

After the hack winds down around 4-5pm, we move on to the “snack” portion of the event. We’ll head over to a nearby restaurant — often the Blacksburg Taphouse, walking distance from Moss Arts — for a happy hour, with free appetizers courtesy of CHCI. Grab a drink or stay for dinner.


The idea behind hack+snack is to foster community and productivity among members of the HCI (human-computer interaction) community at Virginia Tech. Everyone is busy, so this event is not intended to compete with other calendar obligations. Instead, it’s an environment and an excuse to do work you already planned to do.

Since HCI is interdisciplinary, we’re scattered across different departments and buildings on campus. This event brings us together physically and regularly to get things done and enjoy informal socializing.