Let's improve the Wikimania Scholarshipsprocess!
Every year, a number of Wikimania Scholarships are distributed to either completely or partially cover the cost of attending the annual Wikimania conference. The number given and amount spent vary year to year, but including both chapter and WMF funded scholarships, in recent years we have been spending ~$200K on these as a movement.
We believe scholarships to attend Wikimania should be a priority for the movement. Wikimania is an incredibly unique and exciting event that both allows long-term participants the chance to share their work via presentations, and also to be inspired/motivated through meeting others. The goals of the scholarship program are the following:
- To make Wikimania 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
Our movement has grown and changed in recent years, and our scholarship process has not changed along with it! We are investing more money than ever before in scholarships. We are receiving thousands of applications for limited scholarship slots. Our movement is diversifying more and more geographically.
Current state of the process
We need to ensure that the scholarship allocation process is smooth and equitable. We (the scholarship review committee) found in this last year that we did not manage in the best way the number of applications, the urgent and stringent timeline, or the chapters providing scholarships. There is room for tighter coordination and higher performance across all those issues.
For the full process steps, see the Wikimania Handbook - Scholarships.
- How should the Scholarship Review Committee be formed? What should be their roles? (DISCUSS here)
- How can the different constituents (Wikimania team, Scholarship Committee, Scholarship-granting chapters, WMF) work most tightly together to meet the goals and deadlines? (DISCUSS here)
- What levels of transparency could be improved to provide for a clearer, more enjoyable experience for the applicants?(DISCUSS here)
- How can we best balance old participation with new participation (e.g., should we restrict # of recurring scholars?)? (DISCUSS here)
- What should the qualifications/requirements for applicants be (e.g., recommendations, demonstration of financial need, program proposals...)?(DISCUSS here)
If you are interested in providing thoughts and suggestions - please contribute! Each of the above questions has a space on the talk page, and other topics will inevitably be proposed and hashed out there as well. Sub-pages compiling suggestions and recommendations are also encouraged :)
For overview of Scholarship process: Wikimania Handbook - Scholarships
For qualifications requirements and allocations: Wikimania 2012 Scholarships page
For other 2012 scholarships feedback conversations: