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Conference Scholarships

Scholarships Help Members Attend Conference

Applications for 2017 will be accepted April 3- June 5.

Read what past scholarship recipients have said about receiving this opportunity to attend the ICMA Annual Conference and the value it added to their lives and careers!


Young Professional Scholarship Recipient

"I wanted to drop a note to thank you and ICMA for the opportunity to attend the conference as a Young Professional Scholarship winner. The experience was everything I expected and more. The breakout sessions were enlightening, the keynote speakers were inspiring and Kansas City was an amazing place to visit. As an early career professional, the experience was priceless.  Please extend my gratitude to all who were involved in the selection process and who make this opportunity possible for people like me.”- John McCarter, Management Analyst, Pearland, Texas 

Stene Scholarship Recipient

"Attending ICMA’s annual conference in Kansas City was a tremendous opportunity. Over the course of the conference, I received speed coaching from current City Managers, attended numerous insightful and engaging sessions, and I was able to connect with countless individuals that are passionate about local government and serving their communities. Perhaps most importantly, it reaffirmed my interest in the field of City Management and my desire to pursue a career in local government." - Will Provost, MPA Candidate and City/County Management Fellow at the University of Southern California 


Stene Scholarship Recipient

Alexander Vasquez, an MPA candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Read about Alexander's experience at the 101st Annual Conference in Seattle/King County.

Workplace Diversity Scholarship Recipient

"I am so empowered with the information I received at the conference and so thankful for the opportunity to attend. I have been so out of the loop due to the lack of funds for educational training  opportunities. This conference has armed me with the knowledge and resources that I need to explore to advance my career. I will be definitely checking out the opportunities listed below and can’t thank ICMA enough. If there is anything I can do to help in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact me."  - Allecia Chatman, Council Administrative Aide, Tulsa, Oklahoma 

Workplace Diversity Scholarship Recipient

"Attending the 101st ICMA Conference in Seattle, WA was an excellent opportunity. As a past ICMA Fellow, it was a relief to attend the conference as a scholarship recipient and to continue professional development and networking opportunities that has cultivated positive growth within my current position." - Chelsea Jackson, Purchasing Buyer, Smyrna, Georgia 

Small Community Scholarship Recipient

"Being a new manager from a small community in Maine, I was very fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend the Seattle conference last year.  What an experience!  The educational sessions were very rewarding and the networking with others from around the country and world was priceless!  Thank you ICMA for allowing me to participate with the best of the best in our profession!" - Christine M. Landes, Town Manager, Bethel, Maine


Edwin O. Stene Academic Scholarship Recipient

"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.

Denver, Colorado, 81st Annual Conference

Young Professional Scholarship Recipient, 1995

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. 

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. 

Scholarship Recipients receive:

  • complimentary conference registration
  • stipend to offset travel costs, in some cases

Conference Assistance Scholarships

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

1) The Young Professional Scholarship is open to any ICMA member with three 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, who are members of ICMA.  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 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 member of ICMA at time of application
  • Be a first-time ICMA Annual Conference attendee (this requirement is not applicable to persons who attended a past conference as a student member)
  • Be a full-time local government employee (no part-time interns please)
  • Submit a completed application (see below)
  • Demonstrate through an essay an avid interest in a career in local government management

Recipients of the Young Professional, Workplace Diversity 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 multiple categories, if they meet the eligibilty requirements.

Candidates for scholarships must be ICMA members at time of application. To get a membership application, contact ICMA’s Membership Services Department at 202/962-3680; membership@icma.org, or visit the website to join.  

How to Apply

1) You must be an ICMA member and logged into the ICMA website in order to submit an application.

2)  Once you are logged into the website, go to “my account”.  You will see “Awards” on the top blue menu bar.  Hover over the “awards” tab and you will see the link to apply for a conference scholarship.

3)  Alternately, if you are logged into the website you may go directly to the nomination form.

4)  Follow the online prompts and be sure to fill out all information.  Do not forget to upload the essay.  


Late applications will not be accepted. Questions regarding ICMA’s Annual Conference Scholarship Program should be directed to flittky@icma.org or (202) 962-3656.

*Members In Transition: MITs are granted complimentary registration to the ICMA Annual Conference. As well, there are a limited amount of funds available to provide travel stipends to our MIT members.  Interested parties should contact Rosalyn Ceasar at rceasar@icma.org or via phone at (202) 962-3544.

Additional Scholarship Opportunities

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 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
  • Copies of original transcripts of both graduate and undergraduate work.

Submit scanned copies of all materials to Felicia Littky at flittky@icma.org. By submitting letters of recommendation and transcripts, the applicant certifies these documents are accurate and  have not been altered.

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