This page is an inter-year description of the Wikimania Scholarship Selection Process. For the this year's selection process have a look at 2021:Scholarships.
Eligibility to apply
Any active contributor to a Wikimedia project, or Wikimedia volunteer in any other capacity, from anywhere in the world, is considered eligible for a scholarship. As the program supports volunteer participation, individuals whose participation is tied to paid work are not eligible for a scholarship, including paid or contract staff of any Wikimedia organization. Part-time staff, interns, and working students are excluded from this rule.
Activity within the Wikimedia movement will be the main criteria for evaluation. Participation in non-Wikimedia free knowledge, free software, collaborative, or educational initiatives is a benefit, but is not a requirement. Please see the FAQ for more information on eligibility.
The selection process for the Wikimania Scholarship Program has been updated after collecting, discussing, and integrating feedback from scholarship applicants, recipients, Wikimania organizers, the Scholarship Committee and WMF staff. As such, this year's selection process will follow three phases of assessment and evaluation, to determine the final recipients, as follows:
- Phase 1 – Eligibility assessment
- All applications will be reviewed by a staff member of the WMF, with a score of zero (fail) or one (pass) awarded on an application-by-application basis using the Phase 1 selection criteria.
- Phase 2 – In-depth evaluation
- All applications that pass Phase 1 will be reviewed in more detail by the Scholarship Committee, with a minimum of two reviewers per application. Each reviewer will independently review and score each application against the Phase 2 selection criteria, in order to reach a final score for each application.
- Phase 3 – Final approval for Full Scholarships
- Based on the applicant's home country, each applicant will be categorized as being in new community or emerging community, or alternatively and established community with the total number of scholarships distributed between the Emerging/New and Established being set at 75% and 25% respectively.
- For both Emerging/New and Established groups, based on the applicant's "primary language community on wiki" (self-reported in the application), applicants will be separated by the size of the active editor community on their most active Wikimedia project, as determined by the average number of active Wikimedians per month. Scholarships will be allocated equally across these sub-groups, defined as follows:
- Large language community – Average number of active Wikimedians per month is above 1000
- Medium language community – Average number of active Wikimedians per month is below 1000 but above 100
- Small language community – Average number of active Wikimedians per month is below 100
- Multilingual community – Applicants whose most active Wikimedia project is Commons, Species, Data, Incubator, MediaWiki or Tool Labs (where "most active project" is self-reported on the application) will be placed into this category, as language communities aren't as relevant.
- The WMF will determine the total budget available and make estimations on per-applicant costs (mostly based on travel costs that will vary depending on country). Top scoring Phase 2 applicants in each sub-group will be awarded a scholarship.
- For applicants within 10% of the "cutoff", preference will be first given to the non-male applicants.
- The "cutoff" will be the score associated with the last scholarship awarded in each sub-group
- Unused scholarships will be reallocated through the following process:
- A minimum score will be determined for each sub-group (different for each sub-group), below which applicants will not be considered for final selection. In the event of insufficient applicants with a high-enough score in a particular sub-group, unused scholarships will be equally reallocated to the other sub-groups.
- In the event where there are insufficient applicants with a high-enough score across all sub-groups, unused scholarships will be reallocated to other group (and distributed equally among sub-groups).
- Phase 3 – Final approval for Partial Scholarships
- All applicants for partial scholarships will be ranked by their score, with top scoring applicants awarded a partial scholarship.
Following the completion of Phase 3, a decision will be issued by e-mail to all remaining applicants as to whether their application has been successful or unsuccessful. Those with a successful application will be given the opportunity to confirm their attendance at this year's Wikimania and their acceptance of the awarded scholarship. A few applicants will be placed on a waiting list; these applications may be awarded a scholarship at a later date depending on the acceptance rate of successful applicants and whether resource use by scholarship recipients is as estimated.
Applications will fail Phase 1 if any of the following failing criteria apply:
- The applicant received a scholarship in previous years but did not complete their post-conference report(s).
- The applicant is a current or past grantee from any WMF Grant program and found to be non-compliant.
- The application entirely or primarily consists of content which is off-topic or abusive.
- The applicant has failed to make a reasonable effort to answer the questions on the application form.
- The applicant has failed to provide evidence of English language abilities that are at a level which would enable them to participate in Wikimania, a conference which is primarily conducted in English. Sufficient English abilities could be demonstrated in the application itself or elsewhere.
- The applicant has failed to demonstrate any significant Wikimedia contributions or activities which may merit the awarding of a scholarship.
- Examples of "significant Wikimedia contribution or activities" are as follows:
- Active contributor to a Wikimedia project (e.g. Wikipedia, Commons or Wikisource), with at least 50 contributions (edits)
- Mediawiki code contributor, gadget or other tool-builder for Wikimedia projects
- Involvement in some form of Wikimedia organization (chapter, thematic organization or user group)
- Wikimedia CheckUser, Admin, Bureaucrat, Steward or OTRS volunteer (current or former)
- Wikimedia Foundation Grantee
- Wikimedia Researcher
- Participant in a Wikimedia program (e.g. GLAM partnership or education program)
- Participant in Wikimedia organized events (e.g. photographer contributing to Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM), workshop attendee)
- Organizer of Wikimedia events (e.g. WLM, edit-a-thons)
WMF staff reserve the right to remove people due to their conduct on/off-wiki. Examples would be those on global and event ban lists.
Applications for which no failing criteria apply will pass into Phase 2 for further evaluation.
During phase two, applicants will be assessed on two main dimensions – relevant experience and enrichment – with each applicant being awarded a score on a scale of zero to ten for each criterion. These scores are then averaged to give an applicant's final Phase 2 score. These criteria have been selected with the objective of highlighting applicants who have compelling Wikimedia-related experiences and demonstrate a particular ability to use their experience/learning to enrich their home community.
Activity within Wikimedia projects or organizations (chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups) indicates that an applicant will add value to Wikimania through the experiences and knowledge they have gained from contributing. Applicants are encouraged to write about both their online and offline experiences within their applications.
An applicant's activities will be evaluated along the following three dimensions:
- Collaboration – The degree of collaboration with other individuals or organizations in order to execute activities
- Impact – Online or offline results due to Wikimedia activities, described either quantitatively or qualitatively
- Community leadership – Role(s) played and scope of activities within the Wikimedia movement, e.g. members who serve on committees or project leaders
To assist applicants, the following examples of "Impact" have been provided. However, applicants should feel free to provide examples beyond what is included below:
- Increased awareness on the importance of reliable sources
- Increased/Improved skills of on-wiki contributors (e.g organized editing workshops)
- Made it easier for readers and new/experienced editors to engage (e.g. created or participated in on-wiki mentoring spaces)
- Improved the ability for editors to be more productive on-wiki (e.g. improved or created new MediaWiki features)
- Increased awareness about the Wikimedia projects through off-wiki channels (e.g. posted articles in blogs or newspapers, or gave a presentation at non-Wikimedia conferences)
- Improved the public perception of Wikimedia as a source of reliable information (e.g. gave a talk about Wikipedia processes and policies that ensure reliability)
- Improved gender, language, or geographic diversity off-wiki (e.g. organized an event targeted at raising awareness for under-represented groups or languages)
- Increased/Improved skills of off-wiki volunteers (e.g. organized an event where volunteers gained knowledge on policy advocacy or event organization)
- Identified/Addressed content or category gaps (e.g. number of new/improved articles in underdeveloped or missing categories)
- Made reliable sources available to editors (e.g. gained and shared access to previously locked sources)
- Increased access to Wikimedia by creating/improving a product that addresses access (e.g. improved QR codes or Kiwix to support offline Wikipedia)
- New editors (e.g. new editors due to organizing an editing workshop)
- For events organized, number of participants that attended a Wikimedia event you organized (e.g. for organizers of photo contests, the number of contest participants)
- For Wikimedia programs you are involved in, the number of participants or volunteers supported (e.g. for Wikipedia Education Program campus ambassadors, the number of students supported in a semester)
The ability to share experiences and information with a wider community indicates that the applicant, if awarded a scholarship, would be able to bring those experiences or lessons learned at Wikimania back home, thereby enriching their home wiki community or home country. Applicants are encouraged to write about or provide examples demonstrating this ability; a few examples could be on-wiki reports, personal blog posts, or talks/presentations given about what they learned from an event, conference, or discussion.