A couple of weeks ago the Steering Committee met in person and one of the topics discussed was fee waivers and discounted fees for workshops and instructor training. Continue reading for our conclusions.
In the past, Software Carpentry has granted fee waivers and discounted fees in several cases when our staff was involved in finding instructors for a workshop. For example, Software Carpentry has waived the fees for the Workshops for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) because these events contribute to closing the gender gap in computational science. The SCF has also waived fees for workshops run in countries with weak economies and relatively lower expenditures on research and development.
Software Carpentry has decided we will grant waivers and discounted fees to workshops
- which aim to help any disadvantaged groups improve their computational lab skills
- in countries with weak economies and relatively low investment in research and development, and
- in cases not mentioned above at the discretion of the Software Carpentry Steering Committee.
To help ensure that any workshop given a waiver or a discount was accessible to the maximum number of learners, the Foundation asks that the host presents documented information about the total costs and total income (from entry fees, if they charge them) from running the workshop. This implies that hosts may charge an entry fee of participants while still getting a discount or a waiver, as long as entry fees go directly to fund the costs of the workshop. These can include, but are not limited to:
- transportation and accommodations for instructors,
- coffee/tea/juice, snacks, lunch for instructors and learners during the workshop,
- stickies, marker pens, ...
- refunds of the fee to learners that attend the workshop (also known as a no-show fee)
As a long term goal, the foundation hopes to be able to give financial help for a few workshops and instructors training each year.