OpenCon 2014 Travel Scholarship Logistics & FAQ

1. How do we sign up to fund a travel scholarship for OpenCon 2014?

Please visit and fill out the form with your information. The organizers will then contact you with a copy of the OpenCon sponsorship agreement for you to sign and instructions for submitting payment. 

Checks should be made payable to our fiscal sponsor, the Association of Research Libraries, and mailed to: ?

Right to Research Coalition?
c/o Shawn Daugherty?
21 Dupont Circle NW, Suite 800 
Washington, DC 20036, United States 

2. Can we select the recipient of the travel scholarship? How do we go about doing that?

Yes!  Sponsoring a travel scholarship comes with the option to select the recipient.  There are two ways you can go about this.

First, you are welcome to select the recipient by setting up your own application process or by simply choosing the recipient you have in mind. We only ask that you let us know who the recipient is by October 3rd for U.S. residents and passport holders, and September 19th for recipients who will require a visa to enter the U.S

The other option is to have candidates apply for your scholarship through the OpenCon application system. We can provide a custom URL unique to your travel scholarship, and we will collect the applications on your behalf. We will then provide the information to you to select the winning candidate. If you run your application period in tandem with the general application period for OpenCon (August 4 – August 25), the remaining applications that you do not select will be returned to the general applicant pool and will be eligible for selection for a travel scholarship from the OpenCon general fund. 

While we leave the selection of your recipient entirely to you, we strongly encourage you to make the most of your sponsorship by selecting a qualified student or early career researcher who is passionate about Open Access, Open Education, and/or Open Data

3. What if we don’t want to select a specific recipient for our scholarship?

That’s great too! If you would simply like to support the meeting with a travel scholarship and don’t wish to select the recipient, we will add the sponsorship amount to the general travel scholarship fund to be given to the most qualified candidates as determined by the OpenCon Organizing Committee. You can also specify that your scholarship be used for a student in a particular discipline or from a particular region.

4. What is the deadline to sponsor a travel scholarship?

While there isn’t a hard cutoff date for sponsoring new travel scholarships, finalizing the sponsorship sooner (by August, or September at the latest) will help ensure a smoother process.

5. What is the deadline for selecting the recipient of a sponsored travel scholarship?

We ask that sponsors inform us of selection decisions at the latest by October 3rd for U.S. residents and passport holders, and by September 19th for recipients who will require a visa to enter the U.S., in order to allow ample time for travel arrangements to be made. Earlier selection decisions are encouraged and both reduce the potential for complications booking travel and ensure the maximum impact of your scholarship.

Please note that if you plan to run your application process through the OpenCon system and would like the applicants you do not select to be considered for a scholarship from the OpenCon general fund, you will need to run your application period between August 4th and 25th and notify us of the winner by September 1st. 

If you are unable to meet the October 3rd deadline (or September 19th for recipients requiring visas), please let us know and we can plan ahead.

6. What if we don’t end up finding a recipient for our scholarship?

If you don’t identify a recipient of your travel scholarship, we will add the sponsorship amount to the general travel scholarship fund to be given to the most qualified candidates as determined by the OpenCon Organizing Committee.

7. Will you provide any resources to help promote applications?

Yes! In addition to the custom URL for individuals to apply for your travel scholarship specifically, we will provide a one-page flyer for you to use to encourage individuals from your campus or organization to apply. We anticipate these resources will be available by the end of July.

We will also have an orientation call for travel scholarship sponsors on July 28th at 2:00pm EDT to go over details for how the travel scholarships will function and to address any questions sponsoring organizations may have.  You can register for the orientation call by clicking here, which will take you to the registration form at the bottom of this page. If you cannot attend this session, we’re happy to schedule individual calls with sponsors or potential sponsors to discuss the process and confirm details.

8. Does the travel scholarship cover all the cost of attendance?

The travel scholarship secures your recipient a spot at the conference and covers the cost of attendance up to the scholarship amount of $1,500—including travel, accommodations, and meals that are provided at the conference.  Any additional cost would need to be paid by the sponsoring organization.  After accommodation, food, and other costs are taken into account, the remaining scholarship will cover roughly up to $1,000 worth of travel expenses.

9. Can we send more than one participant by sponsoring multiple travel scholarships?

Yes, at this time there is not a limit on the number of sponsorships from a single institution or organization, and some sponsors have already committed to multiple scholarships.  However, the organizers reserve the right to limit the number of scholarships from a single institution in order to ensure a diverse pool of participants if necessary.

10. How do we handle arranging travel for the selected participant?

The conference organizers will book travel and accommodations for all travel scholarship recipients, so you do not have to handle any of it.  Any funds remaining from the $1,500 scholarship after your selected participant is booked will go toward providing assistance to other qualified students and young researchers.  

Please do note that funded participants will share a hotel room with a fellow attendee at the event. If you wish to provide additional funding to secure a single room for your recipient, please let us know at the time you establish your sponsorship.

11. Why does OpenCon have an application process instead of open registration?

OpenCon is a little different than other conferences.  Because students and early career researchers often have limited access to travel funding, the cost of attendance for a large portion of the attendees must be covered in order to allow them to attend regardless of their financial circumstances.  There is also far more interest in attendance than we can accommodate.  Last year, the Berlin 11 Satellite Conference for Students and Early Career Researchers that provides the foundation for OpenCon received more than 5 applications for every available place at the meeting.  Because of these factors, we feel that the only equitable way to determine who attends is through an application process that is judged by our Organizing Committee of students and early career researchers.

12. Are there discounts for sponsoring multiple travel scholarships?

No, each travel scholarship is $1,500 regardless of the number sponsored.

Register for the travel scholarship orientation call at 2pm EDT on Monday, July 28th, by filling in the form below.

OpenCon 2014 Announcement


Home | Announcement | Sponsorship Opportunities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     Contact:           Ranit Schmelzer
May 28, 2014                                                                                                                     +1 202 538 1065

Broad Coalition Announces Student and Early Career Researcher Conference on Open Access, Open Education and Open Data
OpenCon 2014 to Take Place November 15-17 in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC — Today 11 organizations representing the next generation of scholars and researchers announced OpenCon 2014: the Student and Early Career Researcher Conference on Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. Slated for November 15-17 in Washington, DC, the event will bring together students and early career researchers from across the world to learn about the issues, develop critical skills, and return home ready to catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information — from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital data.

“From Nigeria to Norway, the next generation is beginning to take ownership of the system of scholarly communication which they will inherit,” said Nick Shockey, founding Director of the Right to Research Coalition. “OpenCon 2014 will support and accelerate this rapidly growing movement of students and early career researchers advocating for openness in research literature, education, and data.”

The first event of its kind, OpenCon 2014 builds on the success of the Berlin 11 Satellite Conference for Students and Early Stage Researchers, which brought together more than 70 participants from 35 countries to engage on Open Access to scientific and scholarly research. The interest, energy, and passion from the student and researcher participants and the Open Access movement leaders who attended made a clear case for expanding the event in size and duration, and to broaden the scope to related areas of the Openness movement.

“To be successful, our community must put the next generation at the core of what we do to promote openness in research outputs,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). “We are eager to partner with others in the community to support and catalyze student and early career researcher involvement across the Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data movements through the OpenCon meeting.”

OpenCon 2014’s three day program will begin with two days of conference-style keynotes, panels, and interactive workshops, drawing both on the expertise of leaders in the Open Access, Open Education and Open Data movements and the experience of participants who have already led successful projects. The third day will take advantage of the Washington DC location by providing a half-day of advocacy training followed by the opportunity for in-person meetings with relevant policymakers, ranging from members of the U.S. Congress to representatives from national embassies and key NGOs. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the conference’s three issue areas, stronger skills in organizing local and national projects, and connections with policymakers and prominent leaders across the three issue areas.

“Open Access to educational materials and the results of research is critically important to medical students’ ability to get a research-based education and to put that education into practice after graduation,” said Joško Miše, President of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations.  “Around the world, our members have led efforts on these topics, from changing policy at the institutional and national levels to country-wide awareness raising efforts.”

OpenCon 2014 is organized by the Right to Research CoalitionSPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), and a committee of student and early career researcher organizations from around the world. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available and will be critical to ensuring that dedicated students and early career researchers across the globe are able to attend. For more information, see

The event will take place back to back with the 2014 Open Education Conference, a large international meeting that will convene leaders from the Open Education movement in Washington, DC on November 19-21.

Applications for OpenCon 2014 will open in August. For more information about the conference and to sign up for updates, visit


The Right to Research Coalition is an international alliance of graduate and undergraduate student organizations, which collectively represent nearly 7 million students in over 100 countries around the world, that advocate for and educate students about open methods of scholarly publishing.  The Right to Research Coalition is supported by SPARC.

SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system.  Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change.  Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries.  More information can be found at and on Twitter @SPARC_NA.

Contacts for organizing committee members 

The American Medical Student Association
Britani Kessler, President
pres [at] amsa [dot] org

Asia-Pacific Alliance of Postgraduate Student Associations
Jianzhen Liu, Director of International Liaison
Jaysonzliu [at] gmail [dot] com
Siyang Xu, Convener of General Assembly
Caymanhsu [at] gmail [dot] com

The European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers
John Peacock, President
president [at] eurodoc [dot] net 

The European Federation of Psychology Student Associations
Mariyan Vasev, President
president [at] efpsa [dot] org 

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations
Ivana Di Salvo, Liaison Officer to Research and Medical Associations
lorma [at] ifmsa [dot] org

Max Planck PhDnet
Prateek Mahalwar, Biology and Medicine section representative
prateek.mahalwar [at] 

The Medical Students’ Association of Kenya
Daniel Mutonga, Past President
danielmutonga [at] gmail [dot] com 

Felicia Yeung, Director of Branch Affairs
branches [at] medsin [dot] org 

The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students
Neleen Leslie, President
president [at] nagps [dot] org 

The Open Access Button
Joseph McArthur, Co-lead
joseph.mcarthur.10 [at] gmail [dot] com 

The Student Public Interest Research Groups
Nick Jermer, NJPIRG Board Chairman
nickjermer [at] gmail [dot] com

OpenCon 2014


HomeAnnouncement | Sponsorship Opportunities

OpenCon 2014 is the student and early career researcher conference on Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data and will be held on November 15-17, 2014 in Washington, DC.

The meeting will convene students and early career researchers from around the world and serve as a powerful catalyst for projects led by the next generation of scholars and researchers to advance OpenCon’s three focus areas. Participants for the conference will be selected through an application process which will open in August.  Full and partial travel scholarships will be available to cover the cost of attendance for qualified participants.

We understand that many students and early career researchers, even those at well-funded institutions, simply do not have access to travel funding for a meeting such as this. We hope to partner with organizations and institutions that understand the benefits of empowering the next generation to change the way research outputs are shared and seek to play a leadership role in facilitating positive change.

Click here to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

A limited number of registration spaces will be available to librarians, faculty, publishers, and other professionals who are interested in working with students and early career researchers and wish to attend the meeting.

Please fill in the form below to receive updates on OpenCon 2014 and to be notified with applications open in August.