WikiCite/e-scholarship

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WikiCite is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to support events and activities which promote open citations and linked bibliographic data to serve free knowledge, in particular by leveraging Wikidata. But, in a time of COVID-19 travel and event restrictions, how can the program help individual volunteers to support this mission?

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The e-scholarship program is a new kind of grant, a living allowance e-scholarship for 1-5 people to stay at their home(s) and work on a project for 2-4 days, relating to the mission of WikiCite. E-scholarship recipients can focus on producing the kinds of projects they might have previously done at an in-person hackathon, unconference, or research trip.

[See also the WikiCite grants program for individuals, groups, and organisations with larger projects that supports this goal.]

Application deadline: 1 October 2020. Projects must be completed by 1 May 2021.

Principles[edit]

Historically, conference scholarships are available to volunteers to pay for travel, food, and accommodation at multi-day events. But these are only available to the people who are privileged enough to be able to volunteer their time (away from school, work, family... ) in the first place.

We hope that the e-scholarship program can help to support the 2030 Movement strategy goal to provide safety and inclusion by financially supporting volunteers to stay home, stay safe, and still contribute to the movement in ways that they could not without the financial support. We also hope the program will support the strategic goal of empowerment of local communities (and the principle of subsidiarity) as e-scholarship recipients are not required to provide receipts for how their living-allowance was spent.

Funding will:

  • be provided in advance. The volunteer does not need to wait for reimbursement.
  • be calculated at same value of the WMF existing per diem for its staff, for the city where the e-scholarship recipient lives.
  • not require the recipient to demonstrate how the funds were spent.
As the value of the e-scholarship is calculated according to a living-allowance, the funds are intended to cover the e-scholarship recipient's living expenses to work on their project. Because we are using standard rates for living expenses, E-scholarship recipients will not be required to submit receipts; and unspent funds do not need to be returned unless the project is not completed.
  • As with traditional scholarships, a post-activity report is required in order to complete the project. Non-compliance with scholarship requirements will make the recipient ineligible for future WMF funding.

Program description[edit]

Recipients of an e-scholarship obtain:

This is calculated @ 75% of the "Meals and Incidentals rate" [M & IE] for the specific city (not the "Lodging rate"), per person per day, for 2, 3, or 4 days. [Calcluators: US General Services Administration calculator for USA locations; and the US State Department calculator for the rest of the world.]
Examples based on these calculators are:
- Boston USA = $71 x .75 = $53.25 per day.
- Bologna Italy = $125 x .75 = $93.75 per day.
- Bangalore India = $141 x .75 = $105.75 per day.
- Bangkok Thailand = $95 x .75 = $71.25 per day.
  • If requested, a confirmation letter (in advance) and/or participation certificate (afterwards).

Eligibility[edit]

  • "Remote group" applications are particularly encouraged.
Individual applications are welcome. If you and up to four other friends wish to collaborate simultaneously, you may apply together on the one proposal form. You do not need to live in the same city; the financial value would be calculated based on each person's location. If a group proposal is approved, the total e-scholarship funds will be provided to the "lead" applicant who will then be personally responsible for distributing the funds to rest of the team.
  • A project
Applications must describe the task or project they intend to undertake; why it is important; and how they are qualified and motivated to achieve it. Building a bot, fixing a tool, wrangling a dataset, writing complete documentation... all are valid e-scholarship projects.
The project should in some way relate to the goals of WikiCite: supporting open citations, references, and/or linked bibliographic data. If you are not sure if your project relates, contact the WikiCite committee via lwyatt-ctr(_AT_)wikimedia.org for help. Projects which focus on content and communities which are historically underrepresented in Wikimedia projects will be given priority.
Projects which are not applicable include:
- "Normal editing" and content contribution tasks, if they are things which the applicant would normally do as a volunteer. For example, a Wikipedia editor creating many new Wikipedia articles.
- "Attending" a virtual conference. By contrast, preparing and presenting at a virtual conference, or helping to organise a virtual conference is eligible.
Note: e-Scholarship recipients will not receive technical support, code-review, or formal mentorship from WMF staff. Help will be given if possible, but not as an official part of the scholarship. [See also: an essay which discusses the difference between this program and inappropriate paid editing.]


  • Project date.
The proposed project must occur during specific set of two, three, or four days. These do not necessarily have to be consecutive (e.g. it could be ‘the first three Fridays in November’). The latest date for the project to conclude is 1 May 2021. A brief report must be submitted within a month of the project conclusion. The e-scholarship application deadline is 1 October 2020.
  • Active and in good standing.
Applicants must be members of the Wikimedia movement (broadly defined) or working in a related field (such as reference librarian), and be eligible to receive grants from the Wikimedia Foundation. This includes no current user account blocks on the relevant project where you would work, and no overdue obligations to previously received grants from the WMF. All grantees must be in good community standing and have a history of adhering to the Friendly space expectations. Please carefully review the Behavioral requirements of WMF Project grants, which apply equally to WikiCite e-scholarships.
Grant recipients cannot be currently employed by the Wikimedia Foundation as staff, as contractors working more than part-time, or members of the WikiCite steering committee.
  • Resident in a country that a USA-based grantmaker is permitted to fund.
There are varying complexities with grant making in the different parts of the world. Sometimes, the challenges and restrictions are because of US regulations (e.g. US sanctions). Other times, it can be funding challenges with the grantee's local jurisdiction. For details, see Grants:Administration/Countries.

Process[edit]

Apply[edit]

Once submitted, your request may be endorsed by other volunteers, and feedback on the request may be posted on the request talk pages. However, feedback will not always be actively sought, and no particular time frame would be reserved for feedback before a decision would be made.

If the inputbox below doesn't work for you, create a page manually named Wikicite/e-scholarship/YOUR_USERNAME (with your own user name instead of "YOUR_USERNAME"), and paste into it the entire contents of this page and save. Then you can edit the resulting page.


application deadline in 1 October 2020.

To apply:

  1. Fill out the application form above, following the instructions in the form.
  2. At the end of the form, change the code {{:WikiCite/grant draft}} to {{:WikiCite/grant open}}
  3. Save the application form page.
  4. Email lwyatt-ctr(_AT_)wikimedia.org stating that you have submitted a new application.

Review[edit]

Once you have marked your application as "open" – and therefore ready for review – the WikiCite committee will review your proposal. Sometimes further questions may be asked, this will be done via the provided email or on the application’s talkpage.
Applications for both the e-scholarships and WikiCite grants programs will be reviewed simultaneously. The Committee hopes to be able to give a response to all applications within a month of the closing date.

Selection criteria:

  • The project should support the goals of WikiCite: open citations, references, and/or linked bibliographic data in Wikimedia;
  • The project should go beyond your normal Wikimedia contribution activities.
  • Supporting endorsements to the application provided by others will be taken into account.
  • Priority will be given to projects which are innovative and/or focusing on content or communities which are historically underrepresented in Wikimedia.

Currently open applications[edit]

You are encouraged to read, and endorse, any of the following applications:


Approval[edit]

If approved, applicants will be contacted privately and asked to supply the following information to Wikimedia Foundation Finance department:

  1. Proof of name and birthdate. For example, an image of a passport or national ID card
  2. Bank account details. So that the money can be sent to you
  3. Proof of the names of all people who have access to that bank account. Because e-scholarship funds are provided in advance, to comply with USA anti-terrorism legislation, the WMF must confirm the names of all people who are listed as owners of the bank account. Proof can take the form: of a saved copy of the bank account's information page online, a photograph/scan of a recent bank account periodic statement, or a letter from the bank itself.
  4. Sign an online contract to receive the funds. The e-scholarship is, in effect, a small-sized project grant and therefore requires a contract. This will be sent to you by email.

Report[edit]

After the conclusion of the e-scholarship, recipients will be required to provide a brief report of their project. As the e-scholarship grant is intended to be small and straightforward, the report is also expected to be this too.

  • An e-scholarship project would normally be expected to also have its own documentation homepage on wiki. If that page is complete with all information about the project, including that it was supported by an e-scholarship, then that can serve as the report.
  • An alternative/additional method for providing a report would be to film a short presentation about the project (to be shared during a Wikimedia virtual conference, for example).