Draft FOSS4G Travel Grants

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This is a very first draft edited by Till. Feel free to add/edit/discuss. (Comments added by SF. Additional comments by EA.)


This is the draft page used by the Conference Committee (ConfComm) as discussion base in order to structure travel grant ship for global FOSS4G conferences. Regional conferences may follow later.

  • OSGeo boards decided in May 2017 to pass over responsibility for travel grants to the Conference committee.
  • OSgeo board also decided to dedicate an amount of 10k US $ as travel grant program money
    • Additionally OSGeo has committed to match fund up to $10,000 of additional funds if the ConfComm is able to attract external sponsors (SF: unlikely to be relevant for 2017 but will be in future years)
  • ConfComm voted to request the take-over of responsibility for travel grant programme
    • OSGeo Board have suggested that ConfComm forms a "Working Group" to administer the Travel Grant program. The WG can apply for budget in 2018 and beyond
  • ConfComm decided to add the rules for the programme to the foss4g conference handbook (SF: it may be easier to maintain the Travel Grant Program in a separate wiki page linked from the handbook. EA: Agree.)


Each global FOSS4G has a travel grant programme (TGP), that is run under the governance of OSGeo's ConfComm. If the local team requests to participate, ConfComm is open to run the TGP jointly with the LOC.

Regional conferences may submit a request to ConfComm for support for their TGP.


  • TGP only covers Conference Ticket and accommodation (SF: suggest adding an allowance for other expenses. EA: Agree.), no travel costs. Why?
  • if TGP supports travel costs, they might be granted in advance, so that attendees can pay for their tickets, problems:
 * if people already planned their travel, but do not get a valid visa, the money is gone (also because of other reasons, such as illness) 
 * we do not know the people requesting, the money might just disappear (EA: just pay the travel costs and other expenses as a set amount (per diem) after the event.)


  • Accommodation should cover a regular hotel, not a "cheap" solution, because travel grantees should not feel as 2nd class attendees (EA: Agree on not marginalizing recipients.)
    • (SF: we will need to set out a fixed sum for each event that allows people to find reasonable accommodation - this will vary dependent upon the venue. For 2017 I would suggest a sum of $750-1,000 which would cover 5-7 nights at a cost of $100-125 which are current AirBnB rates plus an allowance for meals etc. EA: Agree with this reasonable approach, timeliness helps in this department too since accommodation options will be getting more scarce with time.)
  • TGP pays an Early Bird ticket, regardless whether Early bird registration is already closed, when TGP is fixed or not (should be approved by upcoming local teams) (SF: It should become a requirement for future FOSS4G RfPs that the LOC will make available up to 10 or 15 TGP conference passes at the Early Bird rate or less - Boston have already offered this)

Selection Process

We expect, that the money for TGP normally is less than people wanting to get sponsorship for FOSS4G attendance Therefore we need a selection process.

  • TGP should be announced xx (4 e.g.) months before the conference. The apply period should be open for at least xx (4?) weeks.
  • Each applicant needs to draft an application letter in which he/she introduces him/herself and the individual contact or relation to FOSS4G
 * Residents from the first three groups are justified to attend
 * (EA: I suggest that only 50% of the selection process be based on country income.) 
 * (EA: There are lots of other situations that would be good to help too.)
 * (EA: For instance, just covering an admittance ticket for someone who lives (and already eats) in Boston or nearby.)

  • Selection process is based on a point system:
 * Low-Income Countries: 3 P
 * Lower-Middle Income Countries: 2 P
 * Upper-Middle Income Countries: 1 P
 * (EA: This method of course does nothing for how well off someone is within that country.)
 * (EA: The US has plenty of low income people although it is a rich country.)

(SF: The additional points could be based upon the specific criteria set out by the LOC, e.g. gender or racial diversity. Economic Diversity should always be part of the criteria as above)

  • Additional points could be given for (e.g.)
 * gender (1P)
 * student (1P)
 * accepted talk (3P)
 * rejected talk (1P)
 * developer (3P)
 * mailing list posts (1P for 10-15, 2P for 16-100, 3P for 101+)
 * local chapter designee (3P)
  • Every applicant will be rated in a secret table, after a calculation between money/costs per applicant travel grants are assigned to the top ranked applicants
  • If two applicants have the same amount of points and only one could be accepted, this last travel grant is assigned by lot (need a defintion of the lot process)