Talk:Wikimedia Fellowships

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If anyone has questions, let's use them to start building an FAQ. Sound good? Steven Walling at work 18:36, 7 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agree. A FAQ is useful in just about every project. Cheers, ZeaForUs 12:24, 22 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I've made a few proposals here, but so far had almost no feedback. Does this scheme need more publicity, or are there a bunch of people watching this who think my proposals unworthy of comment? WereSpielChequers 20:18, 26 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hey WSC, sorry for the slowness. Yes, the scheme does need more publicity (I'm considering throwing up a blog post next week), but response from people who would be able to make a more final decision about funding proposals has been delayed only because quite a few people were gone this week to attend Wikimedia Conference 2011. I'll be sure to get back to you next week with a further update. Steven Walling at work 20:33, 26 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Steven,
It seems that it took the Foundation about 9 months to do something with it. ZeaForUs 12:26, 22 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Other Languages?[edit]

This should be available in more languages. I could translate. Ask for my Price. I'll make you a special offer... --Itu (talk) 00:53, 5 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Translating it is a good idea, especially as these pages are starting to stabilize a bit more. I will get it into the requests system for volunteer translators soon :-) Thanks! Siko (talk) 19:50, 5 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]




I have some suggestions and observations to the organizers of the Fellowships program.

It is currently quite hard to get something as simple as a match between the original fellowship proposal pages and the list of approved fellowships. I'd like to kindly ask that this be made clear on the page, as a first step.

Considering the standard of transparency applied to the grants program, and that fellowships may involve even more foundation money and other resources than an average grant, the standards of transparency applied here seem by comparison really, really low.

I cannot think of any reason that would justify that. In fact, quite the opposite, that the fellowship program pays mostly for work, and not for infrastructure, tells me that this should be submitted to even higher standards.

For example, given that it is a yearly program, it would be straightforward to publish a list of all fellowships/fellows being considered during each round (names for volunteers who were not picked could be anonymized), together with the rationale that led to the selection. This document in all likelihood already exists, except it is kept private.

I also don't understand why the discriminated information on the resources invested in each fellowship is not publicly available - on a page, naturally, apart from the fellowship description and the fellow's work. At the very extreme of what I would deem as tolerable secrecy, this information should be made public immediately after a fellowship ends.

Thank you!

--Solstag (talk) 07:38, 1 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Siko is the person best placed to answer all your questions, but re: "the resources invested in each fellowship"... this is a sensitive subject. While it's standard operating procedure to be transparent around grants, and perhaps contracts as well, we're ultimately talking about someone's salary here. In the US at least, there is a standing expectation that what someone is paid is private unless they wish to share it. I think your questions overall are good ones to be asking, but I wanted to put some context around why it is not the default behavior that what fellows are paid is published. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 17:21, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the feedback, Solstag - the program is definitely still a work in progress and your point on improving transparency and accountability is a good reminder as we keep working on improvements. We'll be making changes in each upcoming open call, including adding more information about each round (I agree it is still a too-muddy process). So please do keep posting your suggestions. The idea to link the original project idea from the fellows page is a good one, and we're going to redesign that page soon so we can see how to incorporate it then. As Steven says, though, there are some key ways in which fellowships are not and never can be run just like grants. Whereas grants fund activities, fellowships primarily fund people, and there are some good Human Resources reasons for not making what's considered to be personal information into a matter of public record. For one thing, if we did this, it would deter some really good candidates from applying to the program...we'd limit ourselves only to people who were willing to have things like their salary history and other details that are traditionally considered private become publicly available on the internet. I don't know that enough would be gained as a result of this to make it worth that risk. I do expect though that as the Funds Dissemination Committee gets started we will have new systems for releasing info on what's spent overall on programs like WMF Fellowships, and perhaps this will also be helpful for building more transparency into how funds are spent on this program and others like it. Thanks again for your input, looking forward to keeping the conversation going as we continue to build the program up! Siko Bouterse (WMF) (talk) 04:05, 5 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Greenspun illustration project[edit]

I would really like to see the above project up and running(it seems to be abandoned for the past 4-5 years). Is this the right venue to discuss that and probably try to gain support from the WMF? Roshan220195 (talk) 21:10, 28 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi! I'm honestly not sure if a fellowship would be the right venue to request WMF support of that project - that project's talk page might be a good place to start a conversation with those who are familiar with the project's history about why it was abandoned, etc. If you are able to dig into the reasons the project ended and find there is still interest in reviving a project like it and think a fellowship would be a good way to accomplish it, you would be welcome to submit a fellowship project idea to propose something.Siko Bouterse (WMF) (talk) 17:42, 29 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No more fellowship program?[edit]

I just read the 24 December 2012 edition of the Signpost and it said, "The fellowship program... has been wound down to free technical and organizational WMF resource for core tasks like developing the visual editor."

Does this mean the fellowship program has ended? 06:09, 26 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

it means no more new fellowships, but the wikimedia grants might help. Elitre (talk) 06:57, 26 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There will be no new fellows, it is true, but there are still 3 fellows whose projects continue right now. I figure after those fellowships finish then we'll start to mark all these pages historical, and point people towards grants that are available instead. Siko (talk) 21:35, 26 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]