State Of The Map/Planning/Scoring scholar applications

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Process

These are the key process steps. To speed things up, some can be done in parallel.

  1. The application form is closed to new applicants.
  2. Prepare the spreadsheet:
    • Sort the data by country (nationality). This helps compare applicants from the same community[1].
    • A "ref" (reference) column is added and is populated with the row number (i.e. starting with "2" as this is the first row with data on). This helps make it possible to link back to the original if the row order is ever changed.
    • A copy of the responses is made (e.g. by duplicating the worksheet) and the original is protected to prevent changes (e.g. by using the "protect range" setting within the spreadsheet). The copy becomes the new working sheet.
    • On the working sheet extra columns may be added to better present the data (e.g. to split out multiple checkbox selections into individual columns).
    • Extra columns are added for each member of the selection committee (to add the scores).
  3. Score the written responses:
    • A selection committee is formed. This may include people outside the State of the Map working group.
    • Each member reads and score the written response (see below).
    • If there are too many applicants then it is possible to reduce the workload. For example one selection committee subgroup can score the first half of the applicants, whilst the other subgroup scores the remainder. Once an applicant has been scored negatively by two persons then the others need not look at this applicant.

Written responses

The written responses are scored as follows:

  • -1 = Bad answer / off topic / no answer given.
  • 0 = Not terrible but not that good either, a pretty bland / dull answer.
  • 1 = A good answer, I'm starting to get excited now.
  • 2 = Great answer, most inspiring, very clear what their aim/vision is.

It takes a few rows to get accustomed to the scoring so it is worth revisiting these rows to make sure you are happy with how you first scored them.

Email templates

Some template emails that we use when contacting scholars. Use with a mail merge service to auto-complete the name and other individual data. We currently use "formMule - Email Merge Utility" add-on for Google Spreadsheet but other mail merge utilities are available.

Unsuccessful application

Dear <<Name>>,

Thank you for applying for a scholarship to attend State of the Map 20XX (YYYY, ZZZZZ). Once again, our scholarship fund was very popular with over 150 people applying. We work hard to increase our funds and ensure that we can invite as many scholars as possible. Despite this we still have to make difficult choices at selection stage.

Unfortunately we are unable to provide you a scholarship this time. We would like to thank you for your continued support of OpenStreetMap. It is inspirational to read about all the great work you and the other applicants are doing. Don't just tell us though - please share it with the OpenStreetMap community by writing a diary entry in any language on the OSM website: https://www.openstreetmap.org/diary.

If you have not already done so, please navigate to http://2018.stateofthemap.org and subscribe to our email newsletter. This will ensure that you receive notification of our 2019 scholarship program.

Best regards and keep up the great work,
Your State of the Map team

Deferred application

In some years we hold a reserve list of applicants in case we have drop-outs or gain more sponsorship funds than we anticipated. All reserve list applicants must be not need (or already have) a visa to travel to the country and must have scored highly.

Dear <<Name>>,

Thank you for applying for a scholarship to attend State of the Map 20XX (YYYY, ZZZZZ). Once again, our scholarship fund was very popular with over 150 people applying. Our current scholarship budget has been fully allocated and therefore we are unfortunately unable to support you. If the situation changes we will let you know, but please note that this is unlikely.

It is inspirational to read about all the great work you and the other applicants are doing. If you are not already doing so, please share it with the OpenStreetMap community by writing a diary entry in any language on the OSM website: https://www.openstreetmap.org/diary.

Best regards and keep up the great work,

Your State of the Map team

  1. We are trialling this for the first time in 2017. Check how this went and whether it is something we propose as keeping.