Conference Scholarships

ICMA conference scholarship opportunities are now closed for 2019. Look for information on the 2020 scholarship opportunities in the spring.

Many ICMA members are challenged by limited resources in their pursuit of gaining the tools 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 | Deadline: June 10, 2019

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 any ICMA member who is female, a minority, or identifies as LGBTQ.  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 can self-select to apply for this scholarship. There is no minimum salary requirement, although salary might be considered during the evaluation process. 

Conference Assistance Scholarship Eligibility

To be eligible for any of ICMA’s Conference Assistance Scholarships, an applicant must:

  • 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 or a fellow).
  • Be a full-time local government employee (no part-time interns).
  • 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 can 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;, or visit the website to join.  

How to Apply for the Conference Assistance Scholarship

  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 can 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. (Essay must be named with NO SPACES in the name of the document- example- SmithEssay.doc.)
  5. Applications are due June 10, 2019.

Late applications will not be accepted. Questions regarding ICMA’s Annual Conference Scholarship Program should be directed to or 202/962-3551.

*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 MIT members. Interested parties should contact Rosalyn Ceasar at or 202/962-3544.

Stene Academic Scholarship Program | Deadline: June 10, 2019

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. As is done for all student members of the association, ICMA provides the Stene scholarship recipient with complimentary registration to its annual conference. Travel and housing expenses are not covered by ICMA; however, the Stene scholarship stipend may be used by the recipient to cover these expenses.

Stene Scholarship Eligibility

Students enrolled by September of the year preceding the annual conference as full-time graduate students specializing in local government at a college or university recognized by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and 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 graduate transcript.

Submit scanned copies of all materials to Scott Robinson at By submitting letters of recommendation and transcripts, the applicant certifies these documents are accurate and have not been altered.

Other Scholarship Opportunities

ICMA 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 MIT members. Interested parties should contact Rosalyn Ceasar at or 202/962-3544.


Once again, Cal-ICMA will offer three scholarships to the ICMA Annual Conference. The scholarships will provide complimentary registration and a travel stipend to cover some of the lodging and related transportation expenses. 

Cal-ICMA Scholarship


The Local Government Hispanic Network will offer a scholarship to the ICMA Annual Conference in recognition of individuals who are emerging leaders in local government by demonstrating professional excellence and leadership skills in their organization and their community. 


Again this year, NACA, the National Association of County Administrators, will offer the J. Thomas Lundy Scholarship to the ICMA Annual Conference. The scholarship includes complimentary registration and up to $1,500 for travel and lodging expenses. Applicants must be NACA members and also must be first-time conference attendees.

NACA Scholarship

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!

"The ICMA scholarship allowed me to attend the conference in San Antonio. The experience I had and the knowledge I gained has been instrumental in helping me to be a better city manager. I hope to attend every year." - Michael Ceci, city manager, Farrell, Pennsylvania, recipient of the Small Community Scholarship for the 103rd ICMA Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

"My conference experience was outstanding! One of the most impactful moments was the general session, sitting there among professional managers from all over the U.S. I've been telling many of my colleagues in Michigan that they absolutely need to consider making it to an ICMA conference soon."- Vester Davis, assistant to the city manager, Grand Haven, Michigan, recipient of the Young Professional Scholarship for the 103rd ICMA Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

"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, recipient of the Stene Scholarship for the 102nd ICMA Annual Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

"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, recipient of the Workplace Diversity Scholarship at the 101st ICMA Annual Conference in Seattle/King County, Washington.

"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, recipient of the Small Community Scholarship at the 101st ICMA Annual Conference in Seattle/King County, Washington.


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