FOSS4G Travel Grant Programme 2018

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Document Status

  • Draft edited by Steven on 2018-03-15 Dates and topics for discussion in red

About the Travel Grant Programme

The FOSS4G Travel Grant Program (TGP) is administered by the Conference Committee.

This page sets out the process for applying for an OSGeo Travel Grant to attend FOSS4G 2018 and the process and criteria by which applicants will be selected.

Funding

  • The OSGeo foundation has made an amount of US $10,000 available to fund a travel grant program
  • A crowdfunding initiative will generate additional resources for the TGP
    • Donations to the TGP can be made via the [OSGeo PayPal] account
  • Further sponsorship is sought from OSGeo local chapters, commercial partners, NGO's and academic institutions. Enquiries about sponsorship should be made to the Chair of the Conference Committee


Details of the Travel Grant Programme

There will be 3 different travel grants available:

Grant size US$ Number available Likely Use
$250 24 Delegates from nearby locations
$500 8 Delegates from further afield or who are unable to get material support from their employers
$1,000 5 Delegates from outside of the region
  • All TGs include a full pass for the conference including access to workshops (SF- need to check) and an allowance towards accommodation and expenses
  • Applicants will only be able to apply for one size of TG and are encouraged to apply for the smallest grant that will enable them to attend FOSS4G 2018. A Travel Grant is not intended to cover the full cost of attending FOSS4G, applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are either part funding their attendance or have received further sponsorship from their employer or some other body.
  • The number of TGs of each size or the size of grants may be adjusted, at the discretion of the Conference Committee, dependent upon the level of funding raised and the number of applications received
  • It is anticipated that a TG will not normally exceed $1,000 (the Conference Committee can vary this guideline at their discretion in exceptional circumstances)
  • Applicants must be able to pre-fund the direct costs of travel to FOSS4G and any booking deposits for accommodation. Successful applicants will receive a conference pass and become eligible for reimbursement of expenses up to the limit of the Travel Grant when they check-in at the conference registration desk.
  • Applicants must be in possession of a valid entry visa and immunisation docs (if required).

Selection Criteria

We expect, that the funds available for the TGP will be less than the number of people seeking sponsorship for FOSS4G attendance

Eligibility

  • To be eligible for a TG, applicants must be a citizen of and resident in (SF check) a country listed by the OECD Development Assistance Committee. It is likely that priority will be given to
    • Low income economiesS ($1,025 or less)
    • Lower middle income economies ($1,026 to $4,035)
    • Upper middle income economies ($4,036 to $12,475)
  • Some preference will be given to applicants resident within the African continent

Additional Selection Criteria

Additional selection criteria may include

    • Gender, the LOC is seeking to encourage gender balance through the TGP
    • Applicants who have submitted a talk or workshop

Contributions to OSGeo

All applicants will be asked to provide

  • Details of their past contributions to OSGeo projects or community activities
  • Usage and experience of OSGeo software
  • How they would make use of their attendance at FOSS4G to benefit themselves, their local society and the wider OSGeo community

Selection Process

The selection group will comprise 3 volunteers from the OSGeo Conference Committee and 3 members of the Dar Local Organising Committee.

  • Every eligible applicant will be 'blind evaluated' by each member of the selection group who will rank applicants for each size of grant
  • The selection group may request additional information or clarifications from individual applicants. Applicants who fail to respond within the designated time allowed will not be excluded from the process.
  • The aggregate of the rankings will be used to select grant recipients
  • The selection group may adjust the number of grants in each size category dependent on funds available and the number of applications
  • The selection group may make minor adjustments to the selection process as it considers appropriate
  • Applicants will be notified of the result of their application by insert date at the latest
    • Applicants who just missed the cut in the selection process will be notified and asked if they are willing to be a 'standby'
  • Applicants will have 14 or 21 days? to confirm acceptance of a TG and to provide visas etc
  • TGs not confirmed within the required period will be offered to people on the standby list
  • The decision of the Conference Committee selection group is final and not subject to any appeal

Guidance for those wishing to run a TGP

This guidance is for those considering becoming a member of a selection group for a FOSS4G TGP (Global or Regional). It is based on the experience and lessons learnt in running the 2017 TGP. Each FOSS4G TGP will develop its own approach and hopefully add to this advice.

Getting Started

  • Regional FOSS4Gs wishing to run a TGP should approach the Conference Committee for an allocation of funding.
    • The chair of CC will confirm the amount of TGP funding available and assign at least one member of CC to support the LOC in running the TGP.
    • You will need to negotiate with your LOC to establish whether free conference passes will be available (the CC may be reluctant to allocate funding for a TGP if your LOC will not fund conference passes)
    • You will also need to raise additional funds either from the event or from sponsors or by crowdfunding
  • You need to appoint a chair of selectors who will 'run' the process and keep things on track
  • The LOC should agree some criteria for the selection process (e.g. income category, gender, submitting a paper, contribution to OSGeo etc) - you do not need to establish the weightings for criteria at this stage
  • The TGP team will need to draft an application form that includes questions that help to evaluate the applications against the LOC criteria
    • This is a copy of a Google form which which was used in 2017, it fed into a spreadsheet. There is no need to use this form if you have an alternative tool that you prefer.

Selection

  • At the close of the application period the chair of selectors should collate all of the applications, anonymise them (so that selection is a "blind" process) and send to each selector
  • Each selector should devise their own personal marking scheme (i.e. you balance the different criteria in the way that you wish, giving more or less weight to income, gender, contribution etc).
    • You need to try to be consistent in the way that you evaluate each submission.
  • Finally you will need to rank the submissions in descending order (based upon your marking). You will only be asked to rank slightly more than the likely number of grants that you will be making i.e. if there is a grant fund of $3,000 and you expect to make about 6 grants then each selector might be asked to rank your top 8 in descending order (8 for your top choice, then 7 etc)
  • In 2017 we had 86 applications, it took over 4 hours to review, mark and rank them!
  • You may wish to set a period to ask questions or seek clarifications from some applicants
  • Once the individual selections are completed, the chair will combine the rankings from each of the selectors to provide an overall ranking.
  • You may then need to schedule a call to discuss any marginal choices (we did not do this last year)
  • Once you have agreed the awards you should send award messages to the applicants who have been successful and notify the next few who just missed the cut that they are on a “standby” list.
    • You should then send a mail to those who have not been successful
  • There is then a wait while people confirm their acceptance of the grant, provide evidence of eligibility criteria, travel plans, visas, etc.
  • We recommend that you get confirmation that the grant recipients will be able to receive funds electronically as you really really really do not want to be trying to issue grants in cash at the conference.
  • There will be quite a lot of correspondence with grant recipients in the run up to the event

Application & Deadline

Travel Grant Program II

We are holding a second round of grants specifically designed to support a diversity of participation at our FOSS4G 2018 conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. If you wish to be considered for a FOSS4G Travel Grant please complete this application form

Timeline

  • July 16 2018: Travel grant application opens.
  • August 6 2018: Travel grant application closes.
  • Starting July 20th: Rolling notification of grant applications.

We are holding a second round of grants specifically designed to support a diversity of participation at our FOSS4G 2018 conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Outcomes

Lessons Learnt