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FAQ: Event Fund Office Hours

CS&S recently launched a new call for applications to the Event Fund. For this cohort of the Event Fund we are seeking to support Black Research Software Engineers (RSEs) looking to bring change to the spaces and places where they are.

The CS&S Programs team is holding office hours on October 25th, November 6th, and November 8th to answer questions from potential applicants. In an effort to make the discussions from all the office hours sessions visible to everyone, we will be regularly updating this FAQ to reflect the topics covered in these meetings.

If you have questions that are not covered in this FAQ, we encourage you to join a future office hours session. If you are not able to attend, please do not hesitate to contact our team at css.programs[at]

FAQ: Event Fund Office Hours

Q: Is there any age restriction for applying to the Event Fund?

A: No, there is no age restriction for either the applicants or the participants in the community of practice

Q: Is there a template for the submission?

A: There is not a specific template, but we have created a Google Doc with all the application questions that you may use as a space to draft your responses. Please be sure to submit the final application on OpenReview.

Q: What is a “community of practice”?

A: In general, a community of practice is understood as a group of people who share an interest, occupation, trade, or desire to collaborate in a particular field or on a specific project (i.e. writing open source software, research on particular topics, starting co-ops, etc.) who meet at regular intervals to share and learn with/from one another. It is a peer-to-peer learning community that shares resources and information.

Q: Are there any limitations or criteria for the community of practice?

A: No, there are no restrictions on the community of practice. For the Event Fund, while we expect you to have already deeply engaged with those who you consider key to the community, you don’t necessarily need to have an already formally established community of practice. In fact, the event you propose can be an opportunity to bring people together and develop the community.

Q: Do you need to be doing or publishing research to participate in the Event Fund?

A: Formal research is not necessary prior to, during, or after participating in the Event Fund. We define research very expansively in the call and are most interested in what you are curious about and why.

Q: What can the Event Fund money be used for? Do you have any guidelines on what it can and can’t be used for?

A: The money is fairly unrestricted. $5,000 USD will be offered to the individual to support their participation in the program. If you apply as a pair we would split the $5,000 in half and you each would receive $2,500. We plan to have monthly synchronous calls for this cohort of Event Fund grantees totaling 6 meetings (6 months). We plan to also host a 3-part speaker series aligned with this cohort. We expect full participation in the programming and the $5,000 is to support your participation. An additional $5,000 USD offered to the Community of Practice are discretionary funds to boost capacity of the community to implement the desired change. This money might go towards event costs, or other staffing needs to support the desired change the grantee is working towards.

Q: If the event is about a product (developing or launching a product) is that allowed?

A: We are not looking for product proposals. Proposals for apps, products, or pitches are not within our scope. It is within the scope of this call for *event* proposals that concern your projects. We are focusing on the potentials of collaboration and gathering. We also are looking to learn why you want to gather and how gathering would benefit your peers, coworkers, and desired collaborators in your fields. It is fine to gather people who share your concerns, passions, and ideas as well. The most important thing is that you are able to communicate a coherent vision for your event.

Q: Do you need to be a software developer/engineer already? Can you just be a researcher of the industry or of technology?

A: No, you do not need to be a software developer/engineer. Yes, you can be a researcher of the industry or of technology! Research software engineering is a growing field in a niche community. Through this Event Fund call, we are trying to push the boundaries of research software engineering. We want to be engaged with the field, but are keen to expand its parameters and reshape assumptions.

Q: How many applications will be selected for funding?

A: At least 4.

Q: Can more than one person from the same community apply for the fund?

A: Two people can apply with one application if the idea is the same (The $5,000 USD for the recipient will be split equally). If there are multiple people from the same community of practice that have different ideas or proposals, they are welcome to submit multiple/different applications.

Photo by Kyle Goetsch on Unsplash