Even though PyCon prides itself on being an affordable conference, registration is one of several expenses an attendee must incur, and it’s likely the smallest one. Flying, whether halfway around the world or from a few hundred miles away, is more expensive. Staying in a hotel for a few days is also more expensive. All together, the cost of attending a conference can become prohibitively expensive. That’s where our Financial Aid program comes in. We’re opening applications for Financial Aid today, and we’ll be accepting them through February 15, 2018.
We offer need-based grants to enable people from across our community to attend PyCon. The criteria for evaluating requests takes into account several things, such as whether the applicant is a student, unemployed, or underemployed; their geographic location; and their involvement in both the conference and the greater Python community. Those presenting at the conference are additionally prioritized for grants.
For those proposing talks, tutorials, or posters, selecting the “I require a speaker grant if my proposal is accepted” box on your speaker profile serves as your request, so you won’t need to apply separately. Upon acceptance, we’ll contact those speakers to gather the appropriate information. Additionally, we do not expose grant requests to reviewers while evaluating those proposals to fill our schedule. The Program Committee evaluates proposals on the basis of their presentation, and later the Financial Aid group comes in and looks at how we can help our speakers.
Our process aims to help a large amount of people with partial grants, as opposed to covering full expenses for a small amount of people. Based on individual need, we craft grant amounts that we hope can turn PyCon from inaccessible to reality. While some direct costs—like those associated with PyCon itself—are discounted or waived, external costs such as travel are handled via reimbursement, where the attendee pays and then submits receipts to be paid back an amount based on their grant. For the full details, see our FAQ at https://us.pycon.org/2018/financial-assistance/faq/ and contact firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions.
The Financial Aid program simply would not be possible without the help of the Python Software Foundation, which provides a budget for PyCon to work with. In fact, PyCon often overspends the aid budget, trading revenue for supporting an increasingly diverse and international delegation at the conference. We’ll make that move any time we can.
For more information about Financial Aid, see https://us.pycon.org/2018/financial-assistance.
Our Call for Proposals is open! Tutorial presentations are due November 24, while talk, poster, and education summit proposals are due January 3. For more information, see https://us.pycon.org/2018/speaking/.