2014-15 Wikimedians in Residence applications

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Here is an illustration of how the WIR project could fit into your institution
For blog entry see here

A Wikimedian in Residence (WIR) is a role in which a Wikimedia editor accepts a placement with an institution to facilitate close working relationship between Wikimedia movement and the institution through a range of activities, both internal and public-facing. These can include:

  • Organise outreach work to encourage understanding and development of Wikimedia projects internally and externally
  • Explore sharing institution's digital resources on Wikimedia Commons
  • Organise events to create or expand existing articles about notable items or subjects of specific relevance to the collection and the organisation's expertise
  • Work with institution's staff to explain Wikipedia's and sister projects' practices and how they might be able to contribute. This can be done via events, workshops, producing case study and documentation content
  • Develop other projects supporting open knowledge in the UK.

These activities can focus on engagement with Wikipedia, but are encouraged to take a broader scope.

For further details of what this means, you can read the page at Outreach - Wikipedians in Residence. You are also encouraged to explore projects delivered by past and current UK Wikimedians in Residence by reading their project pages linked from here.

Wikimedia UK has a limited budget to support Wikimedians in Residence up until January 31st 2015. We expect to allocate funds throughout 2014-15 budget to continue the work. Last year our average grant for a WIR was £5,000.

We are now seeking institutions to make bids for these positions. This could be for full or part-time posts - they could be fully or part funded by your institution, or in exceptional circumstances WMUK would consider paying for the post.

Why apply[edit | edit source]

Hosting the Wikimedian in Residence in house can be one of the best ways to explore how your institutions can engage with the 6th most visited website in the world. They will add capacity to allow for delivery of open knowledge projects that may not have been possible before.

Who can apply[edit | edit source]

  • Any institution that wants to further its open knowledge work by engaging with Wikimedia, and believes a WIR project is the most suitable way to achieve that.
  • Past experience of engagement with Wikipedia projects and the open movement will be a benefit.
  • We have been focusing on cultural institutions; however, organisations with a different focus (e.g. education) are also very welcome.
  • Importantly, we are looking for projects that are aiming to deliver big impact to the Wikimedia projects. Applicants are strongly recommended to consider how their project will make an impact on the most important content on Wikipedia (such as these vital articles) and on the sister Wikimedia projects.

How to apply[edit | edit source]

We would like interested organisations to get in touch with us throughout the year so we can assess the interest and plan various projects - please contact Wikimedia UK Programme Manager Daria Cybulska daria.cybulska@wikimedia.org.uk 020 7065 0994.

When applying, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Name of institution
  • Its aim and purpose
  • Contact details of the institution and the name of someone to liaise with
  • Whether they are willing to fund or part fund the post
  • Whether this post would be full time, part-time or voluntary and how long it would last
  • What support the person would be offered
  • How the institution would see the WiR recruited and managed
  • An explanation of how they see the Wikipedian in Residence working with the institution and its research/community/collections
  • Whether this builds on any existing programs or work with the Wikimedia community or other open content projects.
  • Confirmation that they, and specifically the person who will be managing the Wikipedian in Residence, understand Wikipedia's policies on conflict of interest and how this interacts with the resident's role.

You will also be asked to provide some detail about the project you are envisaging, with indication of level of impact it will deliver.

Interested organisations are welcomed to seek additional information about the possible project before submitting the application by contacting Wikimedia UK office or Wikimedia volunteers.

What to expect when you apply[edit | edit source]

As a volunteer-led organisation Wikimedia UK involves volunteers in many of our key decisions, and in the case of Wikipedians in Residence roles that includes having a panel of three volunteers assess those applications that would include significant financial support from Wikimedia UK.

After an initial screening by Wikimedia UK staff, Applications for WIR grants or endorsement of WIR projects are assessed by volunteers and the results communicated back to the grant applicants. This can take two or three weeks.

In some cases the result of the assessment process is a discussion with a view to resolving assessors concerns about the proposal and modifying it to something that Wikimedia UK would comfortably support.

Unsuccessful applications are not publicly identified, only Wikimedia UK staff, trustees and a very small number of volunteers will be aware of them.

Successful grant applications should be aware that publicity is a necessary part of the arrangement.

Wikimedia UK would expect to supply a member of the interview panel for paid WIR roles, especially where the post was partially or wholly WMUK funded. Normally this panellist would be one of our trustees or other experienced volunteers, or if not a member of staff.

Wikimedia UK may be able to identify volunteers who will take on voluntary Wikipedian in Residence roles, and has various support materials and literature that would be available to them.

Where Wikimedia UK is grant funding the role, there will be a project review process including interim reporting and a mid project review meeting.