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WikiConference North America 2019 • Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
RegistrationTravel GuideUnconference

2019 Theme: Reliability

Other Focus Areas:

Relationship Building & Support
Inclusion & Diversity
Editor Recruitment & Retention
Tech & Tools
Harassment, Civility, & Safety

Your topic here!

WikiConference North America 2019 will be taking place November 8-11 in Boston, Massachusetts. November 9th and 10th will serve as the conference's main programming days, filled with workshops, seminars, tutorials, panels, and presentations from the community and organizations affiliated with the movement. This year's conference is developed in collaboration with the Credibility Coalition, and we're excited to have two communities coming together to learn and share together.

This year's theme is the reliability of information, and we invite scholarship applicants interested in exploring the reliability of information on Wikimedia platforms and beyond, and solutions in that space. We also have several focus areas that the community has expressed interest in, listed to the right.

We're pleased to be able to offer staggered scholarships to offset the travel and/or lodging expenses of select attendees. Scholarship eligibility criteria, the application timeline, and the evaluation process are described below. There's also a Frequently Asked Questions section, and you may ask additional questions on the talk page.

Scholarship applications closed on September 22. Thank you to all that applied! View the timeline below for when scholarship notifications will be going out.

Scholarship eligibility criteria

  • Any Wikimedian who lives in North America and actively contributes to any Wikimedia project.
  • Any person involved in information quality, reliability, or credibility.

Scholarship application timeline

Date Comment
Sep 1-20 Application period is open for those who live in North America
Sep 22 Last day to apply for a scholarship
Sep 23-29 Notification of scholarship awards
Sep 30-Oct 7 Awardees must acknowledge if they accept the scholarship award and plan to attend
Oct 8- Notification of scholarship awards to Waitlisted applicants

Scholarship evaluation process

Phase Type Comment
1 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.
2 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.
3 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
  • Research or scholarship involving Wikimedia projects
  • Research or scholarship involving information quality and reliability

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

I'm thinking about applying for a scholarship

  • Question: I can't arrive in time to attend all the events. Are scholarship awardees expected to attend everything? (Hackathon, Culture Crawl)
  • Answer: No, they are not.
  • Question: Are academic scholarships available?
  • Answer: Yes. Submitters of academic presentations are eligible for scholarships.
  • Question: If I qualify for a scholarship, when do I get the money?
  • Answer: Reimbursement for eligible travel expenses, up to the award amount, will be made within 30 days after the conference, as long as the reimbursement procedure (form completion; copy of receipts) is followed within the prescribed time period. Full details regarding reimbursement process will be made via email to scholarship awardees.
  • Question: I can't afford to pay for a plane ticket, lodging, etc. in advance. Can you make an exception and give the money to me in advance, or book these things on my behalf.
  • Answer: Sorry, but unfortunately, we are not able to do so.

I applied for a scholarship and was awarded one

  • Question: Will I be notified about my program submission before October 7th, when I have to confirm if I'm accepting my scholarship?
  • Answer: Yes.
  • Question: Is it possible for me to get the scholarship money before booking my flight?
  • Answer: Sorry, but no.
  • Question: If my flight is more than the scholarship award, will you increase my award?
  • Answer: Sorry, but no.
  • Question: 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 soon! Reimbursements will occur after you attend the conference (up to the maximum of your scholarship award).
  • Question: My flight would be 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.
  • Question: I bought a plane ticket, but I my situation has changed and I am no longer able to attend the conference. Will you reimburse my cancellation fee?
  • 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.
  • Question: Have you made arrangements with any hotels or hostels that offer a "group rate", and if so, is there a "group code"?
  • Answer: Yes! Refer to our 2019 Travel page for a list of lodging options, including our negotiated group rates.
  • Question: 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.
  • Question: 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.
  • Question: What expenses are reimbursable by the scholarship award?
  • 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.
  • Question: How do I submit my receipts for reimbursement? Can I just give them to you at the conference?
  • Answer: Full details regarding reimbursement process will be made via email to scholarship awardees.
  • Question: When is the deadline to submit my receipts for reimbursement?
  • Answer: Full details regarding reimbursement process will be made via email to scholarship awardees.
  • Question: I can’t be reimbursed personally, but the organization I work for can. Is that possible?
  • Answer: Yes.
  • Question: If I am sharing a room with someone else who will be paying the bill (or for multiple people sharing an Airbnb), can this be submitted for a partial reimbursement by multiple scholarship recipients?
  • Answer: Yes. When you submit your receipts for reimbursement, indicate what part of the lodging expense was yours.

I applied for a scholarship and was waitlisted

  • Question: I was told I was Waitlisted for a scholarship. What does that mean?
  • Answer: Being Waitlisted means that if additional scholarship funds become available, your status might change to scholarship awardee. Additional scholarship awards might become available if a new sponsor provides funding. Another way that an additional scholarship award might become available is if a scholarship awardee is unable to attend.
  • Question: When can I expect to find out if my status changes from Waitlist to Awardee?
  • Answer: This could happen anytime up to the day that the conference starts, as sometimes scholarship awardees have to cancel at the last minute. So if you want to attend the conference, don't delay in making travel arrangements.

I have additional questions

Scholarship committee