Talk:Scholarships

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Scholarships for people who previously received scholarships

In the past I have heard comments that people who attend Wikimanias become better candidates for attending future Wikimanias, and thus receiving a scholarship in one year makes a person a better candidate to get a scholarship in a future year. While I want the best candidates to get scholarships, I also like the idea of new people getting a chance to attend Wikimania.

Is there any policy about priority of applicants who have not attended a Wikimania in the past? If not, the application ask about this, and can there be some system for giving higher priority to new attendees as compared to people who have gotten scholarships in the past?

Is this already discussed somewhere? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:50, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

What you heard is incorrect. If anything, people who were previously awarded scholarships are less likely to receive another one. While it haven't as far as I can remember been an official criterion, if two candidates were fairly close and there's only one scholarship available, it went to the candidate not previously attended/award scholarship. -- KTC (talk) 15:13, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Katie is right that generally in the past the system has favoured new recipients over repeat ones. However, the system has been completely changed this year, and repeat recipients are now required to answer an additional question on what they got out of their scholarship and why they should have another one. Poor answers will naturally lead to a lower score. Furthermore, any 2014 scholarship recipient who failed to submit a post-conference report on-time is disqualified at Phase 1 from receiving a scholarship again. CT Cooper · talk 16:49, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Funding schemes not listed here

Are there other funding schemes not described here by means of which people can get their attendance at the conference funded? For example, is it possible for someone to volunteer to organize some aspect of the conference, and either have their scholarship application prioritized here or otherwise have their travel funded through a budget related to the conference? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:50, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Some Wikimedia affiliates will offer their own scholarships using their own budget and criteria – some will re-use the applications submitted to the WMF, others won't. I don't have any further details about these at this time. It has been confirmed that there will be a separate budget set aside by the WMF for some speakers, to ensure that such individuals can attend. As for those individuals volunteering to help run the conference, last year domestic travel expenses for getting to/from London, along with registration, was paid for them by the conference organisers, independently from the Scholarships Programme. I don't know what the arrangement for this year will be. CT Cooper · talk 16:59, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Per recent posts on the Wikimedia-l mailing list, Wikimedia Italia (Wikimedia Italy) have announced that they will be offering scholarships directly i.e. not through the WMF system. Wikimedia España (Wikimedia Spain) unfortunately is not able to offer scholarships this year. CT Cooper · talk 15:30, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

What constitutes paid work?

"individuals whose participation is tied to paid work are not eligible for a scholarship."

I help to manage a few third-party MediaWiki installations as part of my full-time career. My contribution to the Wikimedia movement is in the usage and feedback/contribution to MediaWiki. Bug reports, code commits, feedback, user group, SMWCon organizer/presenter, etc.

The majority of my work is currently tied to my current position, but not exclusive to. I maintain a volunteer-backed wiki separate from work and have intentions to keep involved in the WM/MW community even if I leave my current position. This language is a little unclear for me. Am I eligible for a scholarship?

The fussiness between paid work and volunteer work in your case does potentially complicate matters, though based on what you've said and after a quick look at your contributions, I'm inclined to say yes, you're eligible for a scholarship and it would be worth making an application. CT Cooper · talk 23:03, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
This is a great question; apologies for the unclear wording. "Paid work" relates to individuals who receive compensation from Wikimedia organizations (including the foundation) in order to execute their activities in Wikimedia projects, events, or initiatives (i.e. staff or contractors). If your current paid position is not funded through a Wikimedia organization or the foundation (either by direct employment or through a contract), then you should be eligible for a scholarship. Feel free to message me or send and en email to wikimania-scholarships@wikimedia.org if you'd like to discuss this more. --Shouston (WMF) (talk) 00:21, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

FUTURE SUGGESTION: Waive Registration fees or even offer hotel only scholarships

while i know it is too late to apply this award to current (2015) Wikimania it seems that more could attend if the scholarships were more than just FULL or NONE

reasoning includes: since airlines offer free rides to frequent travelers and some of those programs allow transfer of those points/miles some persons might be able to get there for their vacation (aka holiday) but not afford the hotel and/or meals while at the conference.

further, significant contributions should have their work recognized by reduced or even waived fees to the conference. it is insignificant enough to give out 50% reduction in fees to recognize contributors who due to income or job status would otherwise be ineligible for aide. (Or God forbid, actually wants to pay their own way) and frankly such a discount can easily increase the revenue received especially at a location like Mexico City which is near (a relative term) large populations that can travel at their own expense (like USA and Canada for the 2015 conference) you don't need to be a math expert to understand that if a 50% reduction in fees result in three times as many paying the reduced fee that the net income is significantly increased to almost 150% of the net income of the higher fee.

and since i assume that Wikipedia qualifies for 501c Non-Profit status in the USA (and similar tax breaks in other countries) I would suggest that staff look into organizing the donation of airline miles and credit card points as additional funding options for the scholarships of future conferences.

I am afraid I will not be joining this conference due to financial difficulties that not even a scholarship could solve but the next North American meet is on my bucket list (perhaps in Chicago?) --Qazwiz (talk) 06:51, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for taking the time to share your reviews. There will be a feedback and review process for scholarships some time after the conference is over, and some discussion on bringing back partial scholarships in some form would be welcome. As it stands, the reasons partial scholarships are not offered by the WMF are given at Scholarships/FAQ#Types of scholarships. CT Cooper · talk 19:50, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Number of applications

For those interested, 602 603 scholarship applications were submitted this year. That's about half the number that were submitted for Wikimania 2013 and 2014, which received 1,219 and 1,168 applications respectively. I don't think this huge drop is necessarily a cause for concern though, as efforts were made this year to minimise applications by readers and others who were unlikely to receive a scholarship, which could explain this change. There may be fewer applications, but I suspect there are more of higher quality. CT Cooper · talk 19:51, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

What's the Number of Scholarships ?--Touzrimounir (talk) 20:57, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
That depends on the final budget and the general costs of sending the best scoring applicants to Mexico, though a good working number is 100 scholarships; 110 were distributed last year. These numbers are only WMF scholarships though – other Wikimedia organisations give plenty more. CT Cooper · talk 13:53, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
The total number of applications has been corrected. CT Cooper · talk 20:59, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Phase 1 decisions

Phase 1 of the review process for WMF funded Wikimania scholarships is now complete. Out of a total of 603 applications, 473 have passed Phase 1, while 130 did not. All applicants will be notified by e-mail shortly on the current status of their application. Due to the high quality of applications submitted this year, reviewers are going to be very busy in Phase 2! Tough decisions will have to be made as there is roughly only one WMF scholarship available for every five Phase 2 applicants. Final decisions will be announced in early April. CT Cooper · talk 21:15, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

All applicants should now have been notified of Phase 1 decisions by e-mail. Please e-mail wikimania-scholarships@wikimedia.org if you have applied but haven't been notified. CT Cooper · talk 17:49, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Mail lost

Dear CT Cooper --Greetings. I have been selected for Wikimania 2015 Mexico city scholarship by the Wikimedia Foundation. I have received email also regarding this. But unfortunately I have lost this mail in my mail box due to some error in my system and mistake by me. Hence, I request you to kindly arrange to resend the mail, so that I can continue the process. Sorry for inconvenience. My User name in Wikipedia అహ్మద్ నిసార్ (Ahmed Nisar). I have sent an email to wikimania-scholarships@wikimedia.org too. Please look into this matter. అహ్మద్ నిసార్ (talk) 09:33, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

@అహ్మద్ నిసార్: Unfortunately, I can't find an e-mail from you in our inbox. Could you please re-send it.
I'm sorry to hear that you lost your e-mail and I'm sure having it re-sent won't be a problem. @EYoung (WMF): Are you able to assist here? CT Cooper · talk 11:20, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Don't worry, I've found your email and sent a response. I'll make sure the e-mail is re-sent shortly. CT Cooper · talk 11:24, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
@CT Cooper: ....... thanks for your quick response. Anxiously waiting for the mail..... thanks for your kind act. అహ్మద్ నిసార్ (talk) 19:00, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

Scholarship and registration

When is the deadline for the registration on https://wikimania2015.eventbrite.com ?
Because at this moment I am in the process of the changing my passport and not able to put my passport code into the form.
What should I do?
--Ochilov (talk) 07:22, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

(group/personal) Travel insurance

@EYoung (WMF), Shouston (WMF), CT Cooper: Does WMF provide group travel insurance to scholarship recipients this year (and in future WMF travel grant programs of any kind)? To the best of my knowledge, yes :-) --EYoung (WMF) (talk) 15:00, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

relevant background infomation
  1. - Many countries require a travel insurane as a condition for visa and/or entry into the country. I guess Mexico does not require a travel insurance for visa/entry.
  2. - Personal travel insurance is not reimbursible according to WMF travel policy [1]?
  3. + WMF provided group travel insurance (FrontierMEDEX) for staff and scholarship recipients at Wikimania 2014 in London.
  4. + I just learned of an terrible incident happening to one of the 2015 Wikimedia Conference attendees. (flight delay/missed connection/thef of properties during transit) I don't know how to help him yet.

--Taweetham (talk) 05:36, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

To follow-up, I just sent an email to @EYoung (WMF), Shouston (WMF): + CC: wikimania-scholarships AT wikimedia.org regarding the question here. --Taweetham (talk) 00:36, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Scholarship information package/Hotel confirmation

@EYoung (WMF), Shouston (WMF), CT Cooper: It is now less than a week before Wikimania 2015. I wonder if we are going to have information package, hotel booking, insurance confirmation for scholarship recipients. (For example, see [2] for Wikimania 2014.) Or I miss this important email from the WMF scholarship team?


Many of us are from countries where these documents are required just to check-in at the airport -- or else they will risk being refused to travel. I use this public talk page here to post a question for the interest of everyone. --Taweetham (talk) 23:30, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

We will be sending all this information to scholarship and grantees in the next day or two. --EYoung (WMF) (talk) 23:49, 8 July 2015 (UTC)