Scholarships/FAQ

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Below is a list of frequently asked questions relating to the programme for scholarships, with answers tailored specifically for Wikimania 2014.

If your question is not answered here, please contact wikimania-scholarships@wikimedia.org or leave a message at Talk:Scholarships.

General

Q: What is a Wikimania 2014 scholarship?
A: A scholarship is an award given to an individual to enable them to attend Wikimania 2014 in London from 6–10 August 2014. This is achieved through the Wikimedia Foundation providing funds that will cover transportation, accommodation, and registration.

Q: Are all scholarships paid for by the Wikimedia Foundation?
A: No, some Wikimedia affiliate organisations such as chapters and thematic organisations are distributing and paying for their own scholarships – see #Affiliate scholarships for information about these.

Q: Who can apply for a Wikimedia Foundation scholarship?
A: Anyone can submit an application. However, scholarships will only be distributed to individuals with certain credentials – see #Scholarship eligibility.

Q: Where can interested users submit an application for a Wikimedia Foundation scholarship?
A: See Scholarships#Apply.

Q: When is the deadline for applications? When will the results be released?
A: See Scholarships#Important dates which gives the full planned timetable for the application and review process of Wikimedia Foundation scholarships.

Q: How will applicants for Wikimedia Foundation scholarships be notified of the results?
A: The e-mail address provided on the application will be used to notify an individual of whether their application has been successful or not. All applicants will be contacted at some point, regardless of the result. See Scholarships#Important dates for expected dates of notification.

Q: On what basis are the recipients of Wikimedia Foundation scholarships decided?
A: Using a pre-determined selection process and selection criteria, the Scholarship Committee reviews all applications for a Wikimedia Foundation scholarship and determines which are successful.

Q: How many Wikimedia Foundation scholarships are available?
A: No fixed number of scholarships are awarded; rather, there is a set amount of funding available to distribute, which amounts to approximately US$130,000. This is expected to fund approximately 100 scholarships.

Types of scholarships

Q: What types of scholarships are available?
A: There is only a single type of scholarship available from the Wikimedia Foundation for Wikimania 2014. Partial scholarships will no longer be awarded by the Wikimedia Foundation, but some affiliates might still do so – see #Affiliate scholarships.

Q: Why are partial scholarships no longer awarded by the Wikimedia Foundation?
A: The low acceptance rate of partial scholarships and the overhead in reimbursing for partial scholarships for Wikimania 2013 made it apparent that the funds would be better spent in offering more full scholarships.

Q: Are there country specific scholarships being offered?
A: Wikimedia Foundation scholarships can be awarded to a resident of almost any country. Affiliate scholarships are often country specific – see #Affiliate scholarships.

Scholarship eligibility

Q: Who is eligible to receive a Wikimedia Foundation scholarship to attend Wikimania 2014?
A: While anyone can apply for a scholarship to attend Wikimania, the most eligible candidates are active contributors to one or more Wikimedia projects, affiliates, or initiatives who have a clear interest in Wikimania and the Wikimedia movement. Participants in other free knowledge, free software, collaborative or educational initiatives are also encouraged to apply.

Q: Are there any age restrictions?
A: No, anyone is welcome to apply. However, if a child applicant is offered a scholarship, the consent of their parent(s) or guardian(s) will be required before it is awarded. For this process, a child is defined as someone below the age of eighteen years when their application is submitted.

Q: Do applicants have to agree to any terms or conditions before submitting an application?
A: Yes, they are located on the bottom of the application form – all terms and conditions must be checked off before an application form can be submitted.

Q: Why do applicants have to agree to some terms and conditions before submitting their application?
A: To ensure that they understand what they will be expected to do and what they will be required to pay for if they receive a scholarship.

Q: Do applicants have to sign-up to a privacy agreement before submitting an application?
A: Yes, this agreement is located on the bottom of the application form – all applications must indicate their consent to the agreement by entering their full name in the appropriate box. Applicants below the age of eighteen years (see above) must also have their legal parent or guardian enter their full name in a separate box.

Q: Why do applicants have to consent to a privacy agreement before submitting their application?
A: For legal reasons and to ensure applicants understand what will happen to the data they submit.

Q: If an applicant has received a scholarship or travel grant to attend a previous Wikimania, are they eligible to receive one for Wikimania 2014 as well?
A: Yes. However, applicants who have not previously received a scholarship will be favoured in the event of identical or similar overall scores – see Scholarships#Selection process for more information.

Q: If I can afford to travel to and attend Wikimania, should I apply?
A: Scholarship recipients are not selected based on financial need, as such factors cannot be assessed by the Scholarship Committee when reviewing applications. However, it is asked that applicants carefully consider their financial need against the needs of other applicants from all over the world. Many applicants do not have the financial means to attend Wikimania without this opportunity.

Writing a scholarship application

Q: Do applications have to be submitted in English?
A: No, but it is strongly recommended that they are, as English is the only language that all members of the Scholarship Committee can understand. In the event that an application is submitted in a language other than English, translation attempts will be made, but this may require the use of computer translators which do not always provide accurate translations. Note that as part of the phase one selection criteria, applicants must provide evidence of English language abilities that are at a level that would enable them to participate in Wikimania, which is primarily conducted in English.

Q: Are applicants expected to answer all the questions on the application form?
A: Yes, except when not applicable or relevant to the applicant. If an applicant fails to make a reasonable effort to answer the questions, their application will likely fail the phase one selection criteria.

Q: Why does the application form ask for some personal information?
A: To assist in the distribution of scholarships and for the purposes of diversity monitoring. Note that recipients will be selected based only on factors given in the selection process.

Q: What Wikimedia project usernames should applicants list on their application form?
A: All usernames that have been used by the applicant for contributing to Wikimedia projects. Unused accounts need not be listed. In any case there is no obligation for applicants to list all accounts they own or use for editing.

Q: Can applicants provide links to pages on other websites as evidence in their answers?
A: Yes, if it's appropriate. Reviewers will consider all relevant information available to them when reviewing applications.

Q: How much are applicants expected to write when answering the questions?
A: Enough to give reviewers a clear picture of the applicant – guidance on what to write is provided with the phase two selection criteria. The appropriate length for an answer varies from applicant to applicant depending on what they have to show. For most applicants, between three and five normal sized paragraphs per question answer will be sufficient. Reviewers do not expect to receive an essay, but overly short answers will usually fail to support the application clearly enough.

Q: Can well known/established users skip the questions asking about their participation in Wikimedia projects, interest in Wikimania etc?
A: No. Having more contributions should normally mean providing longer answers, not shorter ones and definitely not no answers at all. On grounds of fairness, all applicants are expected to make a reasonable effort to answer the questions as per the phase one selection criteria.

Scholarship value and reimbursement process

Q: What does a Wikimedia Foundation scholarship pay for?
A: A Wikimedia Foundation scholarship will cover the cost of an individual's round-trip travel costs as arranged by the Wikimedia Foundation travel agency, shared accommodation as arranged by the Wikimedia Foundation, registration for Wikimania, and some meals during the conference (within the conference venue). If you are interested in attending the pre-conference events on 6–7 August, accommodation will be covered for this as well.

Q: What expenses are not covered by a Wikimedia Foundation scholarship?
A: Expenses that are not covered include any incidental costs (new passport, travel guides, plug adapters, clothes, etc.), local transportation during the conference (including airport transfers), meals outside of the conference venue, and all expenses associated with any vacation taken outside of the conference dates of 6-10 August. Please note that during the conference, some meals are provided. The Wikimedia Foundation will not normally cover the cost of obtaining a visa (see Travel) – exceptions may be made upon request.

Q: How will the Wikimedia Foundation pay for the expenses of scholarship recipients? Send them the money? Reimburse them?
A: The Wikimedia Foundation will pay directly for conference registration fees, travel, and shared accommodation. For the booking of transport, applicants are required to use a travel booking service contracted by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Q: Can Wikimedia Foundation scholarship recipients book their own travel arrangements and ask for reimbursement?
A: No, as a condition of submitting an application (see Scholarships#Scholarship eligibility), all applicants must agree to use the travel booking service provided by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Q: When should I register for Wikimania?
A: People who receive a scholarship will be provided a special code to register for the conference. All final decisions for the Wikimedia Foundation scholarships should be announced by mid-April (see Scholarships#Important dates; the page will be updated in the event of a delay).

Q: Will the Wikimedia Foundation provide visa assistance?
A: The Wikimania organising team will provide an invitation letter for all scholarship recipients requiring a visa to attend the conference (see Travel). However, we expect individuals to cover their own visa expenses as well as contacting the British Consulate on their own or through a visa service in their home country. The UK accepts applications for visas 90 days prior to the expected date of entering the UK. If you have questions about this, please contact wikimania-registration@wikimedia.org.

Affiliate scholarships

Q: What affiliates are providing scholarships for attending Wikimania 2014?
A: This is an ongoing process. See Scholarships#Affiliate scholarships for the full list.

Q: Do applicants interested in both a Wikimedia Foundation scholarship and an affiliate scholarship need to apply twice?
A: It varies. Most affiliates will be using the applications for Wikimedia Foundation scholarships to select their recipients, meaning making additional applications directly to the affiliate will not be necessary. However, some affiliates require separate applications. See Scholarships#Affiliate scholarships for more information.

Q: If an affiliate requires separate applications, what is the deadline to apply?
A: That depends on the affiliate in question – see Scholarships#Affiliate scholarships.

Q: Who is eligible for an affiliate scholarship?
A: Most affiliates will only provide scholarships to individuals who are relevant to them, such as those who have contributed to Wikimedia projects in languages of interest to the affiliate, or who live in the country where an affiliate is based. See Scholarships#Affiliate scholarships for affiliate-by-affiliate details.

Q: How do affiliates decide who receives their scholarships?
A: Final decisions on successful applications are usually made by the affiliates themselves. If an affiliate is using applications for Wikimedia Foundation scholarships (see above), they may take the reviews completed by the Scholarship Committee as a starting point. The affiliates which do not use these applications will carry out their own review and selection process independently of both the Scholarship Committee and the Wikimedia Foundation.

Q: How do affiliate scholarships differ from Wikimedia Foundation scholarships?
A: They usually cover the same or similar expenses, but it varies from affiliate-to-affiliate – see Scholarships#Affiliate scholarships.

If your question is not answered here, please contact wikimania-scholarships@wikimedia.org or leave a message at Talk:Scholarships.