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WikiConference North America 2019 • Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
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WikiConference North America 2019 will take place in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 8–11! We're pleased to be able to offer staggered scholarships to offset the travel and/or lodging expenses of select attendees to this conference.


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


Applications Open: September 1, 2019
Application Deadline: September 20, 2019
Notification of awards: By September 29, 2019
Notification of acceptance from recipient: By October 7, 2019

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 applicant has failed to make a reasonable effort to answer the questions on the application form.
  6. The applicant has failed to demonstrate any significant Wikimedia contributions or activities which may merit the awarding of a scholarship.
  7. The applicant resides outside North America.

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

  • Active contributor to a Wikimedia project (e.g. Wikipedia, Wikidata, WikiCommons, Wikisource, etc.), 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. Hacks/Hackers, the conference's fiscal sponsor, is disbursing reimbursements. Every reimbursement request that is submitted through the required format is processed and paid individually. Hacks/Hackers 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. Will I be notified about my program submission before October 7th, when I have to confirm if I'm accepting my scholarship?

Answer. Yes.

Q3. I can’t be reimbursed personally, but the organization I work for can. Is that possible?

Answer. Yes.

Q4. 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! Reimbursements will occur after you attend the conference (up to the maximum of your scholarship award).

Q5. If my flight is more than the scholarship award, will you increase my award?

Answer. Sorry, but no.

Q6. Is it possible for me to get the scholarship money before booking my flight?

Answer: Sorry, but no.

Q7: In case I booked my flight but I am not able to make it to WCNA, will you reimburse my cancellation charges?

Answer: Sorry, but no. If you are unsure you will be able to make it, we recommend purchasing travel insurance or trying to book with airlines that do not have cancellation charges, such as Southwest.

Q8: 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 that will be sent to scholarship awardees.

Q9: What expenses are covered by the scholarship?

Answer. Travel to and from the conference; local travel in Boston during the conference, e.g. airport shuttle, bus, taxi, ride-sharing, etc.; lodging; meals in Boston during the conference.

Q10: What's included in the free Registration?

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

Q11: 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, it is ok to book your flight beyond the dates of the conference.

Q12: How do I submit my receipts for reimbursement? Can I just give them to you at the conference?

Answer. Save your receipts and take a photo of them . You will be submitting 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.

Q13: When is the deadline to submit my receipts for reimbursement?

Answer: You have until 30 days after the conference, December 11, 2019, to fill out the online reimbursement form, and include the necessary receipts.

Q14: Are academic scholarships available?

Answer: Yes. Submitters of academic presentations are eligible for scholarships.

Scholarship committee