Conference Scholarships

Scholarships Help Members Attend Conference

Scholarship period for the 2015 Conference is now closed.


The 2014 Stene Scholarship Recipient: Shanna Lodge, an MPA candidate at Villanova University, and a graduate intern at Willistown Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Read about Shanna's experience at the 100th Annual Conference in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County.

Members in transition. Young professionals. Small community employees. Many ICMA members are challenged by limited resources in their pursuit of gaining the very resources they need to better manage their communities.

To help members experience the difference the ICMA Annual Conference has made for so many others, ICMA offers Conference Assistance and scholarships. 

Think attending an ICMA conference won't make a difference in your career?  Think again!

Chris Anderson, City Manager of Central City, Nebraska, and former ICMA Mountain Plains Regional Vice President, tells how attending the 1995 Annual Conference as a Young Professional Scholarship awardee helped transform a job into a career.  Read or listen to Chris' story. 

Charlotte/Mecklenburg County, 100th Annual Conference, September 14-17, 2014

"Over the past few weeks, I have been reflecting on my time at ICMA’s Annual Conference in Charlotte. I had been anticipating the trip for months, ever since I learned I had been awarded ICMA’s Edwin O. Stene Academic Scholarship. I was not disappointed. For me, attending the conference was a time of connection. " - Shanna Lodge, MPA candidate at Villanova University, and a graduate intern at Willistown Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Boston/New England, 99th Annual Conference, September 22-25, 2013

“Attending the ICMA Conference in Boston was an excellent opportunity to learn from the best and network with colleagues from across the country. Oftentimes small communities don’t have the resources to provide professional development at the level that ICMA’s conference offers. I think that being able to bring back best practices and what I learn from others is vital for small communities so that we can learn how to do our jobs better and make the most of our limited resources.”- Christina C. Burns, Assistant Village Administrator/HR Director, Oswego, IL.

“Last year I received a Young Professional Scholarship to attend the Annual Conference in Boston.  As a younger member in the profession, this scholarship was significant in laying the right foundation to have a successful career in City Management.  I found the keynote speakers, sessions and networking opportunities highly beneficial in further developing my knowledge, skills and abilities as a public servant.  Thank you ICMA for developing the foundation of a next generation manager!” -Nathan D. Johnson, MPA, Assistant City Manager, Scottsbluff, NE

 "The conference was great!  It was an amazing opportunity to meet with other city managers and listen to some incredible speakers.  It’s truly a time to re-energize and re-invigorate oneself to better serve our communities.  Thank you ICMA!  It was an honor to be a ICMA Conference Scholarship award winner last year. I’m so glad I applied.  The conference was great.  Boston was great.  And, ICMA is great!! " -Maribel Reyna, City Manager, Delano, CA 

Conference Assistance Scholarships

ICMA’s Conference Assistance Scholarships are divided into four categories:

  1. The Young Professional Scholarshipis open to any ICMA member withthree years’ or fewer experience as a full-time local government employee. There is no minimum salary requirement, although salary may be considered during the evaluation process.  
  2. The Workplace Diversity Scholarship is open to women and minorities. It is the applicant’s responsibility to demonstrate (through additional information included in a required essay) how his or her background merits receipt of a diversity scholarship and how the local government and the community served will benefit from the individual’s conference attendance. There is no minimum salary or tenure cutoff for the Workplace Diversity Scholarship, although those factors may be considered during the evaluation process.
  3. The Member in Transition Scholarship is open to any member enrolled in ICMA's MIT program.
  4. The Small Community Employee Scholarship is open to any member serving in a small community with limited financial resources.  Applicants may self-select to apply for this scholarship. There is no minimum salary requirement, although salary may be considered during the evaluation process.

To be eligible for any of ICMA’s Conference Assistance Scholarships, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a first-time ICMA Annual Conference attendee (this requirement is not applicable to persons applying for the MIT scholarship nor those who attended a past conference as a student member)
  • Be a full-time local government employee (no part-time interns please/MITs excluded from this requirement)
  • Submit a completed application form (see below)
  • Demonstrate through an essay an avid interest in a career in local government management
  • Submit two recommendation forms signed by local government managers or administrators who are familiar with your work.

Recipients of the Young Professional, Workplace Diversity, MIT or Small Community Employee Conference Assistance Scholarships receive complimentary registration to the ICMA Annual Conference and may receive limited travel/hotel assistance based on distance traveled. Eligible candidates may submit an application to any or all scholarship categories. Candidates for scholarships must be ICMA members by the time they arrive at the ICMA Annual Conference in September and are eligible for a special half-price membership rate. To access a membership application, contact ICMA’s Membership Services Department at 202/962-3680;, or visit

Candidates to ICMA’s Conference Assistance Scholarship Program must submit the application form, essay, and recommendation forms by May 22 to:  njames@icma.orgLate applications will not be accepted. Questions regarding ICMA’s Annual Conference Scholarship Program should be directed to  Application and recommendation forms are found at the bottom of this page.

Stene Academic Scholarship Program

Each year, ICMA selects a graduate school student as the recipient of its $1,000 Edwin O. Stene Academic Scholarship, named in memory of Kansas University Professor Edwin O. Stene. ICMA also will provide the Stene scholarship recipient with complimentary registration to its  Annual Conference. Travel and housing expenses are not included the Stene Scholarship stipend.

Stene Scholarship Eligibility

Students enrolled by September of the year preceeding the Annual Conference as full-time graduate students specializing in local government at a college or university recognized by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Public Administration are eligible to apply for the Stene Scholarship. Applicants must have had little or no full-time experience in local government, internships excluded.

Applicants to the Stene Scholarship Program must submit four sets of the following:

  • A 3-to-5-page personal essay that demonstrates the student’s interest in local government and includes relevant professional and personal examples
  • A letter of sponsorship from the department head, dean, or director of the public administration/affairs/policy or related program in which the applicant is enrolled. Each graduate degree-granting program is permitted to sponsor only one applicant, and no student may apply without program sponsorship.
  • A letter of recommendation from an academic other than the student’s program head, dean, or director
  • A letter of recommendation from a local government manager, previous employer, or an additional academician
  • Official transcripts of both graduate and undergraduate work. ICMA requires that students submit one original and three copies of their transcripts.

Because the guidelines for the Stene Scholarship Program require that students submit at least one original set of all sponsorship and recommendation letters and transcripts, applications to this program must have been submitted by mail only by May 22 (late applications will not be accepted) to: ICMA Stene Scholarship Program, 777 North Capitol Street, N.E., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20002-4201. Address questions to


Scholarships are also available through the following state associations.  Please note some restrictions may apply:

  • Cal-ICMA (1st time conference attendee; affiliate or full member of ICMA; employed in a local government staff position)
  • Iowa (1st time conference attendee or not have attended in many years; member of IaCMA)
  • Illinois (1st time conference attendees only and must be a member of both ILCMA and ICMA)
  • ICMA Partners (open to all partners of ICMA members, who have not attended a previous annual conference)
  • WCMA (Open to full member of WCMA; must be a first-time attendee of the ICMA Conference)


2015 Conference Assistance Scholarship Application 

Conference Assistance Scholarship Recommendation Form

International city/County Management Association

  • 777 North Capitol Street, NE Suite 500
  • Washington, DC 20002-4201
  • 800-745-8780/202-962-3680
  • Fax: 202-962-3500
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