Diversity Scholarships

Current Scholarship Campaigns

CppCon: 13 - 18 September

We are currently organising scholarships to send people from under-represented groups to CppCon 2020 online:

  • You can apply for a CppCon scholarship
    • The conference has kindly offered a batch of tickets at a reduced price, which will be covered by past donations to #include <C++>
    • As this is an online conference, there will be no further costs for those receiving these tickets
    • Our tips for Scholarship Applicants will help you apply

Introduction

The goal of #include <C++> is to help make the C++ community more inclusive. Our diversity scholarships send people to major conferences and include conference admission (provided for free or at an enormous discount by the conference), accommodation and travel, as well as access to events like speaker dinners.

We will consider any candidate from an under-represented background with regards to the usual C++ conference attendees. For example, under-representation could be:

  • gender related (women, trans people, non binary people among others),
  • sexuality (LGBQ+),
  • heritage (cultural, ethnic and/or racial identity),
  • geographical (less represented areas),
  • health or body related (attendees with reduced mobility, blind people among others),
  • career path related (long time job-seekers, career changers),
  • people with specific financial issues.

The applications will be treated as confidential and go to a small selection committee within #include <C++> and they will choose the delegates that will attend.

Travel and lodging expenses can cost between $1,000 and $3,000 USD per attendee, depending on where the candidate is and the accommodations they need.

Tips for Scholarship Applicants

If you want to apply for one of #include <C++>’s scholarships to a conference, it might help to know a little about our selection process. Each program has its own selection group, and they may all work slightly differently, but these general guidelines should be helpful. We want to send people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go, and we want them to get the most out of the conference that they can.

First, you should know that the selection group do not see your real name or email address. (One person, typically the one who sets up the form, creates a list of all the applicants with identifiers like A, B, and C along with their respective answer to the ‘why should we choose you’ type question on the form.) This means they will be completely unaware of some things you might expect to be obvious, like your gender (guessed from preferred name), or that you are a student (guessed from email address).

Second, even if you provide your location, the selection committee selects without consideration like “that person is so far away, we could send two local people for the price of bringing that one” or “we’re going to have to help that one get a visa.” To the extent your location is considered, it is “yes, people from that country rarely get to attend this conference.” Please don’t leave out information because you think it will count against you.

Roughly speaking we ask ourselves:

  • Why does this person need our help? Are you a student, or new to the industry? Does your employer send anyone to conferences? Why can’t you arrange your own attendance?
  • How will sending this person help anyone else?
  • How much effort has the person put into their application? Do you know when and where it is, how long it will take you to travel there, and why you want to go to this particular conference?
  • To what extent would sending this person increase the diversity at the conference?

Your answers should have enough detail that we can answer all those questions in a way that shows you are a great candidate for the scholarship.

We don’t want to ask rigid questions like “What is your gender? What is your sexual orientation? Do you have children? Are you physically disabled? Have you been to a conference before? Are you employed? What is your current salary? What is the average salary where you live? Do you run a usergroup? Have you ever spoken at a Meetup? ” and on and on because we feel these questions are invasive and insensitive. Yet we need you to tell us why you are the candidate we should pick.

When you’re applying, start by asking yourself if you are a member of an under-represented group in our industry. Perhaps you’re a woman, for example, or a racial minority, or from a place few conference attendees live. Tell us that in your application. If you’re a member of several under-represented groups, mention as many as you like. We don’t need a page about how awful your life is and how everyone around you is mean: just let us know you’re under-represented in some way.

Next, let us know what it will mean to you to attend the conference. What is your reason for wanting to go and for investing your own time in attending? Is there a particular topic you want to learn more about? A particular speaker you want to hear? A particular conference event you have heard was very good? Do you know someone who has been to this conference before, and what have you heard about it from that person? Have you been waiting for a chance to attend this particular conference out of all the C++ conferences each year, and if so, why? Show us you know what you’re asking for and what it means to you.

Finally, let us know how sending you will change things for other people as well. Are you going to do some internal presentations where you work? Speak at a local usergroup? Write a blog entry? Tweet extensively from the conference? Tell your classmates, your students if you’re a teacher, your fellow club-members or user group members, your colleagues? Feel free to include links for your local group, times you have spoken that were recorded, your blog, your twitter, and so on. The person who handles the applications will remove these links (which could identify you) but can use them to confirm that you do blog, speak, tweet or in some other way share what you learn about C++ already, and to confirm things like “I have 1000 followers on Twitter” or “I lead a usergroup that meets every month”.

The ideal candidate is someone who would truly benefit from coming to a conference, meeting other attendees and speakers, and being immersed in C++ information for a period of many days. Someone who would benefit from getting introduced to speakers and other attendees, and spending time with other developers while on site. Someone who would not be able to attend without the scholarship, and who will share what they learn with other people. Many of our scholarship attendees have learned so much that their employers send them (and their colleagues) to future conferences, having seen the benefit. Others end up becoming speakers (who are sponsored by the conference to travel and speak.) We don’t demand that you do the same, and we certainly don’t ask it of you before even applying, but show us that you understand this is what might happen after your time at the conference. It can truly change your life: show us you are ready for that.

Past Fundraisers

Conference Funds Raised Scholars Sent
2018    
CppCon 2018 US $ 4,000 4
2019    
C++ on Sea 2019 £ 1,445 5
CPPP 2019 Proceeds of T-shirt sales used 1
ACCU 2019 £ 1,644 3
CppCon 2019 US $ 4,694 2
ACCU Autumn 2019 £ 438 1
2020    
ACCU 2020 £ 1,635
See below
-
CppEurope 4 2020 Tickets donated by the conference 4
C++ on Sea 2020 Tickets donated by the conference 4
TOTAL   24

Unfortunately ACCU 2020 was cancelled. We are working on recovering funds already spent on conference tickets and travel arrangements that will no longer be used or carrying them forward to next year where possible.

Scholar Testimonials

ACCU 2019 Recipient

The first time I heard of #include <C++> was at Meeting C++ 2018. I didn’t buy a T-Shirt then but I joined the Discord Server. First, I just stayed around, reading messages. After a while I started to participate and mostly asking questions about an in-house talk I was about to give. I got a lot of great advice and the talk ended up to be a success.

A while later I read about scholarships for the ACCU 2019 conference in Bristol. I looked up the schedule for ACCU a while ago and it looked very interesting. But since I already went to a conference on my company’s budget in that year, there was no way they could send me to another one. So, I decided to apply for the scholarship (with a little encouragement from the #include people). I was very happy when I got accepted. The scholarship included a full conference ticket, the travel and the hotel. This is really amazing.

I already met some #include people at the airport. And while I have no problem with travelling alone, I felt really nice to already get to know them. I also very much enjoyed the conference and so many people told me that I have I voice and that they want to hear what I have to say, I decided to ask my colleague to do a conference talk with me. He immediately agreed and so we gave our first conference talk at Meeting C++ 2019 and more will follow.

I also got lots of help and really great advice on the #include <C++> discord server, like with the abstract, my speakers bio even with the question what I should wear.

I’m so grateful that I got the opportunity to go to ACCU conference and where it brought me.

ACCU Autumn 2019 Recipient

I don’t remember exactly where I heard of #include but at somepoint I joined the discord server and discussed stuff and got pointed to the scholarship, applied and got selected to go to the autumn conference.

I decided to get there via the train+coach/ferry route (12 hours each way) due to the potential for harassment from airport security (I’m trans/nonbinary and very visibly so, amongst other things that affect my external behaviour to be “atypical”) and lack of gender-congruent ID, and it was all paid-for which I am very happy about and grateful for and the organisers had no trouble helping me using the coach instead of the aeroplanes.

After getting to the airport (since coaches stop there) I met with the two people who did the organising and also could be there, and we had some pretty nice food and a chat - (they were lovely), watched the intro talk, and then I went to my room (also all paid for) - not having to worry about preparing and the potential cost of food was a very nice part of the conference.

The talks were very interesting and I talked with one of the people who helped develop tools for easier use of SFINAE, and the whole conference was extremely useful for meeting people in the community, gaining some friends and/or contacts, and learning tons about how the standards process and improvement of language features goes down - and made at least one suggestion, being able to have even a small amount of input to the community was interesting, and I have always wanted to be able to go to one of these conferences (I listen to a lot of talks on the internet).

This also improved my understanding of the surrounding ecosystem - different libraries and the people who create them and how people learn about them, various branches of development of the ecosystem and what kinds of future research is going to be happening, and, again, just the general process.

And the #include organisers made sure I didn’t get completely intimidated or lost or horribly anxious due to the number of people or anything like that, and were friendly to me and helped me navigate the whole event, and we got some meals in a more quiet environment and talked, which was exceptionally nice.

Thanks to the organisers and to all the lovely people who funded me going to the conference, it was a wonderful experience.