Section 16 Funding Workshops

There are several potential sources of funding available for workshops, whether these be at an institution, or run as some kind of event tie-in, say, at a conference within a specific discipline.

16.1 Where to start with your own institution

There are several potential sources of workshop funding within your own institution:

  • individual schools, departments, or research centers, especially within those disciplines where computational and data skills are needed, but are currently lacking, e.g. in humanities, linguistics, social sciences
  • research committees
  • research-related units, e.g. research office, graduate schools, postgraduate student recruitment, as they may be interested in supporting training
  • student associations, e.g. postgraduate student societies or discipline-specific student associations, e.g. COMBINE
  • computing societies of all kinds on campus
  • e-research computing or digital scholarship units, if they exist at your institution
  • libraries

All of the above may be willing to provide funding for a first workshop if you make a good case for it. Use some of the materials in this repository to make your case.

16.2 Outside your institution

  1. Conferences may be good places to try to obtain funding for a workshop. The conference organisers may be willing to manage logistics for the workshop, such as finding a venue, sourcing instructors, and handling registration in return for a workshop sign-up fee that goes to them.

  2. Industry is another source of funding. Companies such as Amazon and Microsoft may be willing to fund a workshop as that may drive customers to their cloud solutions. If you are running a workshop targeted at a specific discipline, then try to find a local industry partner who might be willing to put up a little money to fund it as long as they can display their logo or banner at the event and on any advertising, or address the assembled workshop participants either within the workshop or over a sponsored lunch or coffee break.

  3. National infrastructure related to e-research support or supercomputing might also be useful places to try.

16.3 Can you run a workshop without funding?

You can! The simplest way to do that is to charge a fee to attendees to cover the costs of organising the workshop. This need not be much but charging has several benefits:

  • people who register for a fee are more likely to attend and stay for the whole workshop
  • fees may allow you to provide catering which is always popular and helps with keeping people at the workshop
  • registration fees allow you to cover any costs incurred, such as room hire, instructor travel, the purchase of workshop necessities such as sticky notes, whiteboard markers, extension cables and power boards (and possibly wifi/wifi boosters)
  • any money not spent can be saved to help fund later workshops

If you can find a suitable room on campus that can seat 20 or more people at tables, that has good wifi, and is accessible, then you can run your workshop for little to no money at all.

This post from the Software Carpentry blog lists a few strategies for running workshops with limited or no funding.