Scholarships/FAQ

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This is a list of Frequently Asked Questions for Wikimania 2013 Scholarship Applicants.

General questions

Q: What is a Wikimania 2013 Scholarship (“scholarship”)?
A: A scholarship is an award given to an individual to enable them to attend Wikimania 2013 in Hong Kong from 7–11 August, 2013. Accommodations for the pre-conference events on 7–8 August can also be covered upon request and proof of attendance.

Q: Who pays for scholarships?
A: Wikimedia Foundation will fund a limited number of scholarship awards. In addition, some chapters have agreed to sponsor scholarships – see #Other sponsored scholarships.

Q: How many scholarships are available?
A: No set number of scholarships are awarded; rather, the Foundation has a set amount of scholarship funding available (US$130k). This is anticipated to fund approximately 80 full scholarships and 50 partial scholarships.

Types of scholarships

Q: What Scholarships are available?
A: Both partial and full scholarships are available for 2013.

Full scholarships will cover round-trip travel, dorms accommodations (as arranged by the Wikimania Team), and registration for Wikimania 2013.
Partial scholarships will cover up to 50% of the round-trip travel costs. There is a maximum set amount per region of original that will be available based on the Foundation's best estimate for those fares.

Q: Are there country or language specific scholarships being offered?
A: Yes – see #Other sponsored scholarships. Note that this page deals primarily with issues related to Wikimedia Foundation sponsored scholarships.

Q: Why are partial scholarships being offered?
A: Partial scholarships have been offered since 2011 in an effort to allow a higher number of people to attend Wikimania, with such scholarships being offered to those who are financially able to contribute to the cost of their attendance, but who still require some assistance.

Q: Is there a separate application for partial scholarships?
A: No – there is only one application. Applicants interested in the partial scholarship simply need to indicate interest in the appropriate section of the application. Please note that the review process does not test the financial need of applicants, so applicants that express an interest in partial scholarships are unlikely to get a full one.

Q: If I am not interested in the partial scholarship, can I still apply for the full scholarship?
A: Yes – simply select “No” when asked in the “Partial Scholarship” section of the application.

Scholarship eligibility

Q: Am I eligible for a scholarship to attend Wikimania 2013?
A: While anyone can apply for a scholarship to attend Wikimania, the most eligible candidates are active contributors to a Wikimedia project and/or Wikimedia volunteer in any other capacity, from anywhere in the world. Participants in other free knowledge, free software, collaborative and/or educational initiatives are also encouraged to apply.

Q: Is there an age limit?
A: Anyone is welcome to apply. However, if you are a minor and are selected to receive a scholarship, parental consent is required.

Q: If I received a travel grant or scholarship to a previous Wikimania, am I eligible to receive one for Wikimania 2013 as well?
A: Yes! However, please note that applicants who have not previously received a scholarship will be favoured in the event of identical or similar overall scores  – see Scholarships#Scholarship selection process for more information.

Scholarship value and reimbursement process

Full scholarships

Q: What does a full scholarship pay for?
A: A full scholarship covers the cost of an individual’s round-trip travel costs (by air, train, or bus), dorms accommodations (as arranged by Wikimania team), and registration for Wikimania. If you are interested in attending the pre-conference events on 7–8 August), accommodations may be covered for this as well.

Q: Is there a limit to how much of my travel the full scholarship will cover?
A: The scholarship will normally cover 100% of your round-trip travel expenses to and from Hong Kong, as arranged by the Wikimedia Foundation travel service.

Q: What expenses are not covered by a full scholarship?
A: Expenses that are not covered include incidentals, local transportation during the conference, meals outside of the conference venue, and any expenses associated with a vacation taken outside of the conference dates of Aug 7-11. Please note that during the conference, some meals are provided, and assistance with transportation from the dorms to the venue may be offered. The Wikimedia Foundation will not cover the cost of visa fees. However, if these fees prohibit the recipient from travelling to Wikimania, this policy will be reconsidered.

Q: If I am awarded a full scholarship, how will the funds be disbursed? Will you send me the money? Reimburse me?
A: The Wikimedia Foundation will pay directly for dorm accommodations during the length of the conference, and conference registration fees. Full scholarship recipients will use the travel booking service contracted by the Wikimedia Foundation which is paid for directly by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Q: When should I register for Wikimania?
A: Scholarship applicants should wait until after they receive the decision on their scholarship application before registering – we expect to announce the results on or before 1 April. We will provide information to full scholarship recipients on how to register for dorms, the conference and how to book travel. Should you not be awarded a scholarship, you will still be able to register at the early rate (US$45 for Wikimedians; US$73 otherwise) through to April 15.

If you have special circumstances and need to apply for a visa sooner than early April, please contact us at wikimania-registration@wikimedia.org and we can help get you registered sooner and provide visa assistance.

Partial scholarships

Q: What does a partial scholarship pay for?
A: The partial scholarship will reimburse the recipient for up to 50% of round-trip travel expenses (by air, train, or bus). There is a set maximum amount per region which is based on the Foundation's best estimate for what these travel expenses might be.

Q: What expenses are not covered by the partial scholarship?
A: Accommodations, registration fees, local transportation, meals, visas, and other incidental expenses are not covered and are the responsibility of the scholarship recipient. However, note that most of the meals during the conference are included as part of the registration fee.

Q: If I am awarded a partial scholarship, how will the funds be disbursed? Will you send me the money? Reimburse me?
A: Partial scholarship recipients must book their own travel, and reimbursements will be processed upon receipt and approval of travel documentation at Wikimania. A receipt for exact cost of travel must be sent to the Wikimedia Foundation upon booking of travel, prior to Wikimania. Reimbursements will be processed, when possible, by PayPal and will be sent following sign-in at Wikimania 2013 in Hong Kong.

Other sponsored scholarships

Q: Are there any country/language-specific scholarships?
A: Yes! Many chapters have agreed to sponsor scholarships for a select number of individuals from their country or language project. A list is provided at Scholarships#Chapter's scholarships.

Q: Do I have to apply separately to be considered for a country or language specific scholarship?
A: It varies. For most chapters, you will be automatically considered for one upon an application for a Foundation scholarship. However, if the applicable chapter is not participating in the central application system, you will have to apply separately. See Scholarships#Chapter's scholarships for more information.

Q: Which countries or languages are offering additional scholarship?
A: This will be an ongoing process, but see Scholarships#Chapter's scholarships for the current list.

Accommodations

Q: What are the accommodations for scholarship recipients?
A: We will provide accommodations for scholarship recipients in hostel or dorm as arranged by the Wikimania Team. We will provide information on reserving space at the hostel when we notify scholarship recipients.

Hostel accommodations will be available to both full and partial-scholarship recipients, however the scholarship only covers accommodation costs for full-scholarship recipients.

Financial need

Q: If I can afford to travel to and attend Wikimania, should I apply?
A: Scholarship recipients are not selected based on financial need. However, we ask 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.

If you have some financial constraints, we encourage you to apply for the partial scholarship, which will greatly aid in subsidizing the cost of the trip.

Application timing

Q: When is the deadline for applications?
A: February 22, 2013 at 23:59:59 UTC.

Q: When do I find out if I will receive a scholarship to Wikimania?
A: The scholarship committee aims to announce the results of all applications during or before April 2013. In the event of a delay, updates will be posted on the Scholarships page.

Selection process

Q: How do I apply for a scholarship to attend Wikimania 2013?
A: Please use the application form.

Q: Who selects scholarship recipients?
A: Scholarship applications are reviewed and recipients are selected by the scholarship committee.

Q: On what basis are scholarships awarded?
A: The selection criteria are:

  • Activity within Wikimedia (50%)
  • Activity outside Wikimedia (15%)
  • Interest in Wikimania and the Wikimedia movement (25%)
  • Fluency of English language (10%)

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