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.