Scholarships

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Scholarship applications are now closed. All applicants were notified of final decisions on 1 May 2014. Thank you for all the great applications! A list of scholarship recipients can be found at meta:Grants:TPS/Wikimania scholars#2014 WMF Scholarship Recipients for Wikimania. Please leave feedback here.

Wikimania 2014 Scholarships Programme

Wikimania 2014, the 10th annual international conference of the Wikimedia movement, is being held between 6 and 10 August 2014. The venue is in the Barbican Centre, London. The Wikimedia Foundation is offering a limited number of scholarships to offset the cost of selected individuals' attendance at Wikimania.

Important dates

The anticipated timeline for the scholarship programme is as follows:

  • Scholarship applications open: Wednesday 8 January 2014
  • Deadline for applying for scholarships: Monday 17 February 2014 23:59 UTC
  • Scholarship Committee reviews applications: February – April 2014
  • Applicants are notified about phase one decisions: 11 March 2014
  • Applicants are notified about final decisions: Late April 2014

Goals of the programme

  • To make Wikimania 2014 a successful and productive international conference.
  • To support the Wikimedia projects by encouraging participation.
  • To enrich the conference with attendance by a diverse group of participants in the Wikimedia movement.

Types of scholarships

Scholarships awarded by the Wikimedia Foundation will cover expenses for:

  • Round trip travel
  • Shared accommodation
  • Conference registration fees

Partial scholarships are no longer available from the Wikimedia Foundation. Please see the FAQ for more information on what expenses the scholarships will pay for and those which recipients are expected to cover at their own expense.

Eligibility to apply

Any active contributor to a Wikimedia project, or Wikimedia volunteer in any other capacity, from anywhere in the world, is considered eligible. Participants in other free knowledge, free software, collaborative or educational initiatives are also encouraged to apply. Please see the FAQ for more information on eligibility.

Selection process

All applications for Wikimedia Foundation scholarships are reviewed by the Scholarship Committee. The number of scholarship recipients will be roughly allocated across the different regions of the world as follows:

Regional distribution
Asia Pacific 30%
East Europe & Central Asia 10%
North/West/South Europe 10%
North Africa & West Asia 10%
Sub-Saharan Africa 10%
North America 10%
Central & South America 20%

The Scholarship Committee reserves the right to deviate from the above benchmarks, pending a lack of qualified applicants. A list of countries, sorted by region, is available at /Regions.

While applications are categorized by region during the review process, a standardized review process will be applied to all applications, regardless of origin. This process involves three phases of review:

  • Phase 1: All applications will be reviewed by three or more reviewers, with each independently giving a score of zero (fail) or one (pass) on an application-by-application basis using the phase one selection criteria. All applications which are passed by three or more reviewers will pass phase one; applications which are passed by two or fewer reviewers will fail phase one and shall not be given further consideration in phase two. All applicants will be notified by e-mail on whether their application has passed or failed once this phase of review is completed.
  • Phase 2: All remaining applications will be reviewed in more detail by a minimum of three reviewers each. Each reviewer will independently review and score the application against the phase two selection criteria, in order to give each application a total score.
  • Phase 3: The Scholarship Committee, in close collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation, will determine the total budget available and how this will be distributed to each region, with estimations made on how much money a particular recipient will require (for example, someone attending Wikimania 2014 from South Africa will require more resources than someone attending from France). Applications will be ranked using phase two scores on a region-by-region basis; those receiving the highest scores in each region, by default, will be the recipients of scholarships. In the event of identical or very similar scores between applicants, those that have not previously received a scholarship will be favoured over those that have, and those that received a scholarship many years ago will be favoured over those that received one in recent years. Further adjustments between high scoring applications may also be made to ensure there is fair distribution between countries in each region.

Following the completion of phase three, a decision will be issued by e-mail to all remaining applicants as to whether their application has been successful or has been declined. Those with successful applications are given the opportunity to confirm their attendance at Wikimania 2014 and their acceptance of the awarded scholarship. A small number of applicants will be placed on a waiting list; these applications may be awarded a scholarship at a later date depending on the acceptance rate of successful applicants and whether resource use by scholarship recipients is as estimated.

Selection criteria

Phase 1

Applications will fail phase one of review process if any of the following failing criteria apply:

  1. The application entirely or primarily consists of content which is off topic or abusive.
  2. The applicant has failed to make a reasonable effort to answer the questions on the application form.
  3. The applicant has failed to demonstrate any significant contributions or activities which may merit the awarding of a scholarship.
  4. The applicant has failed to provide evidence, either as part of the application itself or elsewhere, of English language abilities that are at a level which would enable them to participate in Wikimania, a conference which is primarily conducted in English.

Applications for which no failing criteria apply are given further scrutiny in phase two.

Phase 2

Selection criteria for phase two
Number-1 (green).png Activity within Wikimedia projects, affiliate organisations or initiatives (50%)
Number-2 (green).png Activity in other free knowledge, free software, collaborative or educational initiatives (20%)
Number-3 (green).png Interest in Wikimania and the Wikimedia movement (30%)

During phase two, applicants will be assessed against the three dimensions listed below, with each applicant being awarded a score on a scale of zero to ten for each criterion. While descriptions are only provided for even numbered scores, odd numbered scores may also be awarded when an applicant is judged to fall between two descriptions. These scores are then averaged and weighted to give an applicant's total score.

Activity within Wikimedia projects, affiliate organisations or initiatives (50% of total score)

Activity within Wikimedia projects, affiliate organisations such as chapters or initiatives indicates that an applicant will add value to Wikimania through the experiences and knowledge they have gained from contributing. Examples of online activities include writing articles, uploading images and dealing with vandalism. Examples of offline activities include participating in GLAM events, involvement in the campus ambassador programme and attending meetups. Applicants are encouraged to write about both their online and offline experiences within their application.

0 = Not a participant, with no involvement in any Wikimedia project, affiliate organisations or initiative.
2 = Very low level participant, with very occasional involvement; no notable impact on any Wikimedia projects, affiliate organisations or initiatives.
4 = Low level participant, with occasional involvement; a small and narrow overall impact on Wikimedia projects, affiliate organisations and initiatives.
6 = Mid level participant, with continued involvement; a moderate overall impact on Wikimedia projects, affiliate organisations and initiatives.
8 = High level participant, with dedication; a high and diverse overall impact on Wikimedia projects, affiliate organisations and initiatives.
10 = Very high level participant, with exceptional dedication; a very high and very diverse overall impact on Wikimedia projects, affiliate organisations and initiatives.

Activity in other free knowledge, free software, collaborative or educational initiatives (20% of total score)

Activity in other free knowledge, free software, collaborative or educational initiatives outside the Wikimedia movement, indicates that an applicant will add value to Wikimania by bringing new relevant experiences, knowledge and innovations to the conference. Relevant initiatives are those that either have a general educational value or are relevant to the free culture movement, or both. Examples include ICT4D, Moodle, OpenStreetMap, Project Gutenberg and the Creative Commons organisation. A project does not have to follow or support the Wikimedia Foundation's definition of free content to be considered relevant. Applicants are encouraged to write about both their online and offline experiences within relevant initiatives, and to explain how participation in Wikimania by the applicant could bring benefits either to the initiatives or the Wikimedia movement, or both.

0 = Not a participant, with no involvement in any other free knowledge, free software, collaborative or educational initiative.
2 = Very low level participant, with very occasional involvement; no notable impact on any free knowledge, free software, collaborative or educational initiatives.
4 = Low level participant, with occasional involvement; a small and narrow overall impact on other free knowledge, free software, collaborative or educational initiatives.
6 = Mid level participant, with continued involvement; a moderate overall impact on other free knowledge, free software, collaborative or educational initiatives.
8 = High level participant, with dedication; a high and diverse overall impact on other free knowledge, free software, collaborative or educational initiatives.
10 = Very high level participant, with exceptional dedication; a very high and very diverse overall impact on other free knowledge, free software, collaborative or educational initiatives.

Interest in Wikimania and the Wikimedia movement (30% of total score)

Interest in Wikimania and the Wikimedia movement indicates that an applicant will be able to make a significant contribution to Wikimania and get the most out of any scholarship awarded to them. Applicants are encouraged to write about why Wikimania is of interest to them, how they intend to participate in the conference (including any submissions), and what they expect to take away from it all – whether that be at a personal level or for the benefit of the Wikimedia and the free culture movement. It should be noted that answers will be critically analysed during the review process – claims that are modest and realistic will gain more credit than those that are unrealistic or clearly exaggerated.

0 = No expressed interest in the Wikimedia movement; no relevant explanations as to why the applicant is interested in attending Wikimania.
2 = No clear interest in the Wikimedia movement; non-thoughtful or generic explanations as to why the applicant is interested in attending Wikimania.
4 = Limited interest in the Wikimedia movement; vague or likely unrealistic explanations as to why the applicant is interested in attending Wikimania.
6 = Moderate interest in the Wikimedia movement; some developed and moderately realistic explanations as to why the applicant is interested in attending Wikimania.
8 = Strong interest in the Wikimedia movement; many developed and likely realistic explanations as to why the applicant is interested in attending Wikimania.
10 = Very strong interest in the Wikimedia movement; many exceptionally well developed and clearly realistic explanations as to why the applicant is interested in attending Wikimania.

Questions

For more information about the Wikimania 2014 Scholarships Programme, please visit the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.

Apply

To apply for a scholarship to aid in covering expenses for Wikimania 2014 in London, please submit a completed application form by 17 February 2014 23:59 UTC. It is highly recommended that applicants review all of the material on this page and in the FAQ before submitting an application.

Meet previous scholarship grantees

We have applicants from all over the world. Meet some here, learn about their experiences, and tell us how you fit in with previous applicants.


Poongothai Balasubramanian

I taught math for 33 years. My students kept me feeling young, and reminded me how much I love my country.

When I retired, my son was worried I would get rusty. So he introduced me to Wikipedia. He explained that anyone can contribute, and showed me how.

Since then, I've created articles on quadratic functions, probability, charts, graphs and more. I've made 7,000 edits in all.

I write in Tamil: my favorite language and my mother tongue, spoken by 85 million people across the world. I've also uploaded more than 6,000 audio files to Wiktionary, demonstrating proper pronunciations for common Tamil words. Now, more people can share in this beautiful language.

As a teacher and a mother, I was always busy. But now that I'm retired and my children are grown, my time is my own — all 24 hours of it! And I spend every day on Wikipedia.

I'm a volunteer. No one pays me. But helping edit Wikipedia has become my life's work. Even though I'm not in the classroom, I'm still doing what I care about most: helping a new generation of students learn, in the language I love.


Ravan Jaafar Altaie

Today, there is a gap between the developing world and the developed world. It's not about money, and it's not about power. It's about knowledge.

If you follow the news, you probably remember reading about the Arab Spring. For young people like me and my friends, it was the beginning of a new era. As momentous events happened, we were obsessed with the news, following up second by second. We were checking our phones, Facebook, Twitter.

And I was writing on Wikipedia. I love Wikipedia because it's impartial; it's the best source for up-to-date information from a neutral point of view. I looked at CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC, searching for the most reliable sources. Then I added updates in real time.

It's incredible. Everyone could know what was happening, as it happened. We could share the truth with people across the world.

We want a world that is more open, more educated, and more free. We want a world where knowledge is available to anyone that seeks it.

It's time for us to change our world. Will you help?


Dumisani Ndubane

My wife and I have a friendly competition. You see, my wife speaks Zulu, I speak Xitsonga, and our children are going to have a tough time choosing which language to use.

As you can imagine, each of us hopes our children will choose our own language. But I have a secret weapon: Wikipedia.

I believe a language should be able to break the cyber barrier. If it's not on the internet, it's a dying language. By contributing to Xitsonga Wikipedia, I help keep my language alive.

In the 1900s, a Swiss missionary began cataloging the culture and artifacts of the Xitsonga-speaking people. His two-volume book is now in the public domain. I am translating this text into Xitsonga, supplemented with my own knowledge.

Every language is part of the human feeling. All the languages that have ever been in the world, they define us as humans. When a language dies, it takes something with it.

Whether my children choose my language or my wife’s language, the important thing is that they have the choice. And as long as we keep our languages alive through Wikipedia, they will.

Affiliate scholarships

The Wikimedia Foundation is not the only organisation offering scholarships for Wikimania 2014; some Wikimedia affiliate organisations such as chapters and thematic organisations are also offering their own scholarships.

The following affiliates will collect scholarship applications from those submitted for a Wikimedia Foundation scholarship – there will be no need for applicants to submit a separate application to the affiliate.

  • Wikimedia Deutschland: 47 scholarships (á €700)
  • Wikimedia Österreich: 8 scholarships
  • Wikimedia CH: 10 scholarships (for editors of French, German, Italian or Romansh language projects in whose country no FDC funded Wikimedia Chapter exists)
  • Wikimedia India: 2 scholarships for Indian residents
  • Wikimédia Magyarország: up to 10 full scholarships for Hungarians/foreign Wikip/m/edians residing in Hungary

The following affiliates will offer scholarships, but will not make use of applications for a Wikimedia Foundation scholarship. Wikimedians who are interested in receiving a scholarship from them, are invited to apply to the affiliate directly.

  • Wikimedia UK
  • Wikimedia NL: please see Beurs Wikimedia Nederland
  • Wikimedia FR
  • Amical Wikimedia: 10 scholarships, 350€ each (info)
  • Wikimedia Italia: 8 scholarships, 600€ each (info)