Scholarships

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WikiConference North America 2018 will take place in Columbus, Ohio, on October 18–21! We're pleased to be able to offer $500 scholarships to offset the travel and/or lodging expenses of select attendees to this conference. Scholarship applications closed on August 22, 2018.

Eligibility

Any Wikimedian who lives in North America and actively contributes to a Wikimedia project.

Timeline

Applications Open: July 13, 2018
Application Deadline: August 22, 2018
Notification of awards: August 31, 2018 By September 5, 2018
Notification of acceptance from recipient: Due September 12, 2018

Evaluation process

  • Phase One – Eligibility assessment: All applications will be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee, with a score of zero (fail) or one (pass) awarded on an application-by-application basis.
  • Phase Two – In-depth evaluation: All applications that pass Phase One will be reviewed in more detail by the Scholarship Committee, with a minimum of three reviewers per application. Each reviewer will independently examine and score each application against the Phase Two selection criteria to reach a final score for each application.
  • Phase Three – Final approval for scholarships: There will be an average final score generated for each applicant based on the Phase Two reviews. The final awarding of the scholarships will be to encourage diversity regarding gender, region, language, and Wikimedia projects.

Phase One: Eligibility

Applications will fail Phase One if any of the following apply:

  1. The candidate is currently banned by any Wikimedia project and does not have significant contributions to other Wikimedia projects.
  2. The candidate has been globally banned from Wikimedia projects.
  3. The candidate has been banned from any Wikimedia event under the Safe Space Policy.
  4. The application entirely or primarily consists of content which is off-topic or abusive.
  5. The application fails the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN) requirement, a provision in the fiscal sponsorship agreement with the WMF for anyone potentially receiving funds from this grant.
  6. The applicant has failed to make a reasonable effort to answer the questions on the application form.
  7. The applicant has failed to demonstrate any significant Wikimedia contributions or activities which may merit the awarding of a scholarship.

Examples of "significant Wikimedia contributions or activities" are as follows:

  • Active contributor to a Wikimedia project (e.g. Wikipedia, Commons, or Wikisource), with at least 500 contributions (edits)
  • Organizer of Wikimedia events (e.g. Wiki Loves Monuments, edit-a-thons, etc.)
  • Mediawiki code contributor, gadget or other tool-builder for Wikimedia projects
  • Wikimedia Foundation Grantee or Researcher
  • Wikimedia Administrator, CheckUser, Bureaucrat, Steward, or OTRS volunteer

Phase Two: In-depth

Each reviewer will grade the applicants on a scale of 0 to 10 based on Collaboration, Leadership, Impact, and Potential. These will cover many aspects of one's activity as noted below:

  • Contributions to Wikimedia projects
  • Demonstrated collaborative activities (either online and offline) related to Wikimedia projects
  • Offline work related to Wikimedia projects, including contests, weekly collaborations, etc.
  • Blog posts, reports, social media management, etc., that demonstrate a valuable contribution to the community.
  • Event participation (paper, talk, workshop, hackathon, panel, discussion, poster, etc.)
  • Role within most active Wikimedia community (editor, administrator, bureaucrat, etc.)

Phase Three: Final approval for scholarships

There will be an average final score generated for each applicant based on the Phase Two reviews. The final awarding of the scholarships will be to encourage diversity regarding gender, region, language, and Wikimedia projects.

Scholarship universal best practices

The review team will follow the universal best practices adopted by the Wikimedia Foundation Scholarships Program. The following expenses are eligible for reimbursement:

  • Travel (to and from the conference, as well as during the conference)
  • Lodging

Reimbursements will be made after departure from the conference according to the process outlined in the awardee's email. Wikimedia District of Columbia, the conference's fiscal sponsor, is disbursing reimbursements. Every reimbursement request that is submitted through the required format is processed and paid individually. WMDC will occasionally cluster multiple requests from a single individual into one payment if the requests are processed at the same time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Are scholarship awardees expected to attend all the pre-conference events as well? (Hackathon, Culture Crawl)

Answer. No, they are not.

Q2. When will academic scholarship awards be announced?

Answer. Academic scholarship committee will be announcing its awards soon.

Q3. Will I be notified about my program submission before September 12th, when I have to confirm if I'm accepting my scholarship?

Answer. Yes, program submission notifications will go out on or before September 12th.

Q4. I can’t be reimbursed personally, but the organization I work for can. Is that possible?

Answer. That's not a problem. We can issue a check to whomever the scholarship awardee wants.

Q5. I am planning to buy the plane tickets now. Would I be receiving the money after I purchase them or do I need to let anyone know about it first?

Answer. Buy them now! In mid September, Scholarship Awardees will receive follow-up instructions regarding: registration details, saving your travel receipts, reimbursement process after the conference, and so forth.

Q6. Can I show the bill and reimburse if it gets more than $500?

Answer. Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse for more than $500 per awardee.

Q7. Will it be possible if I can get the money before booking?

Answer: Unfortunately, the terms of the scholarship award are such that scholarship awardees are required to check-in at the conference before they are eligible to receive reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses.

Q8: In case I am not able to make it, will I be allowed to reimburse if I have booked the tickets and some cancellation charges?

Answer: We recommend that you book a refundable flight if you have doubts about being able to attend as travel reimbursements are only available for those who attend the conference.

Q9: I accepted the scholarship award. Do I also have to Register or is that automatic?

Answer: Registration is not automatic, but it is free. Please register using the information in the Registration email you should have received by now.

Q10: What expenses are covered by the scholarship?

Answer. Travel to and from the conference, as well as local travel in Columbus, e.g. airport shuttle, bus, taxi peer-to-peer ride-sharing, etc. Also, lodging and meals in Columbus during the conference.

Q11: What's included in the free Registration?

Answer. Registration includes free participation in all four days of the conference as well as lunch on the days when that is provided.

I don't understand what you mean by: "I just realized that this ticket includes the housing." Note, conference organizers are NOT coordinating

Q12: My flight is cheaper if I arrive a few days before the conference or if I leave a few days after the conference. Is it ok if I book a flight whose dates are beyond that of the conference?

Answer. Yes, your flight will be covered if your travel dates are a few days before and/or after the conference, bearing in mind that the scholarship grant covers a maximum of $500 in travel reimbursement.

Q13: How do I submit my receipts for reimbursement? Can I just give them to you at the conference?

Answer. Save your receipts for all of the reimbursable expenses noted in Question #9, and submit them through our online system after we provide you with the link. You'll be filling out an online form and attaching a copy of the receipt. You may either scan the receipt or use your phone to take a copy of it in order to attach it to the online form. You do not need to provide the paper receipt.

Q14: When is the deadline to submit my receipts for reimbursement?

Answer: You have until 30 days after the conference, November 21, 2018, to fill out the online reimbursement form through our Podio system, and include the necessary receipts.

Q15: I ordered a T-shirt when I registered. Are you mailing it to me?

Answer: If you ordered a T-shirt during the Registration process, it will be provided to you at the conference check-in desk.

Q16: I didn't order a T-shirt during registration. Can I buy one at the conference?

Answer: T-shirt purchase instructions will be available at the conference.

Academic scholarships

The Wiki Education Foundation is offering a separate scholarship process for academics submitting presentations under the Academic Peer Review Option. If you have completed a conference submission and checked the academic peer review option, you will automatically be considered for a Wiki Education Foundation academic scholarship.

Submitters of academic presentations are still eligible for general scholarships, and may apply at this link.

Scholarship committee