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IPS Conference Scholarships

If you have any special queries about the process, please email

Martin George <> or Jon Elvert <>.


Scholarship Guidelines

 1. General

These rules cover Scholarships for attendance at IPS Conferences only. All other scholarships, grants, etc., are outside the scope of this document.

For each biennial IPS Conference, Scholarship funds may be made available to support Conference attendance by individuals. The aim of this scheme is to enable IPS Conference attendance by people whose financial circumstances would otherwise make it difficult or impossible to attend.

The number of scholarships available shall be decided on the basis of available funding, before consideration of any applications.

These rules do not prevent any individual or organisation from directly funding one or more people, to whatever level it chooses, to attend the IPS Conference separately from the scholarship scheme. Such actions are considered as quite separate from this scheme and are outside the scope of this document.

The IPS shall not accept the provision of Scholarships which make stipulations precluding, discouraging or encouraging applicants on the basis of gender, nationality, race, religious beliefs, or which involve any other type of discrimination against any group or individual which is not pertinent to the purpose of this scholarship.

2. Types of Scholarship and Related Rules

Scholarships are divided into three general categories:

A. Registration Scholarships

Registration Scholarships are defined as those being created from within the general IPS Conference budget, which is prepared by the Conference Host. The Conference Host may choose to allocate any number of such scholarships, including zero, and the total number shall not normally exceed three per cent (3%) of the expected attendance at the Conference.

Registration Scholarships shall, as the name suggests, normally be limited to the provision of the IPS Conference registration fee or part thereof but in any case shall offer the same benefit to all successful applicants.

The number of Conference Registration Scholarships, and any additional benefits suggested by the host organisation, shall be approved by the IPS Finance Committee in advance of them being advertised.

This rule does not prevent the Conference host from offering a separate scholarship of type (C), but such scholarship must come from the host itself, not from within the IPS Conference Budget.

B. IPS Scholarships

IPS Scholarships are any scholarships allocated from within IPS funds by the IPS Council after recommendation by the Finance Committee.

The IPS may choose to offer any number of such scholarships, including zero, in any given Conference year.

IPS Scholarships shall offer a specified benefit which may include all or part of registration, accommodation, travel or miscellaneous expenses. If more than one scholarship is offered, the same benefit shall be made available to all successful applicants.

C. External Scholarships

External Scholarships are defined as those not originating from either source (A) or source (B) above. Examples include, but are not limited to, scholarships from vendors, from the Conference Host itself (see (A) above), and educational institutions.

The benefits of each external scholarship shall be defined by the Scholarship-providing organisation.

3. Scholarship Applications

The IPS Finance Committee shall set a deadline for applications for scholarships for each IPS Conference. This shall normally be March 31 of the Conference year.

Each application shall be made on a standard form, available on the IPS website. Information on the website shall indicate what types of scholarships are available (but not their number, other than stating, e.g., that they are 'quite limited') for the current IPS Conference.

Each application shall state, at a minimum, the following:

(i) The full contact details of the applicant;
(ii) Details of the applicant's planetarium and/or interest in the planetarium profession;
(iii) The benefits of Conference attendance expected by the applicant; and
(iv) Summary of any workshops or presentations intended to be conducted by the applicant.

4. Awarding of Scholarships

In all cases — (A), (B) and (C) above — successful scholarship applicants will be chosen by the IPS Finance Committee, with final approval by the IPS Council.

Scholarships shall not normally be awarded to the same applicant twice, and in particular not for two consecutive IPS Conferences.

If more than one type of scholarship is available, no applicant shall be awarded more than one scholarship for a given IPS Conference.

In ranking the applications, The IPS Finance Committee shall consider primarily:

(i) The financial circumstances of the applicant;
(ii) The benefits stated by the applicant;
(iii) The financial circumstances of the applicant's institution;
(iv) The country of residence of the applicant and the current representation of the IPS from within that country, taking into account, e.g., the IPS Star Partners Programme (other considerations being equal, preference shall normally be given to an applicant from an under-represented country whose financial situation is less fortunate).
(v) Any stipulations for a type C scholarship made by the scholarship-providing organisation (which may or may not take precedence over (i) to (iv) above).
(vi) Whether or not the applicant has successfully applied for a scholarship for a previous IPS Conference (see above).
(vii) Whether or not the applicant intends to present a paper or workshop at the Conference, and the proposed contents of that paper or presentation (preference will normally be given to those intending to present a paper or workshop).

The number of awarded scholarships may be fewer than the total number available, as each case is decided on its own merit. It is possible for no scholarships to be awarded in any or all categories in any given Conference year, even if funds are available.

After the deadline has passed, each application shall be examined and scholarships awarded on the merit of each application, with the IPS Finance Committee having the right to ask further questions of any applicant(s) if it is judged that more information is required.

All applicants shall be notified by email as to their success or otherwise as soon as possible after the IPS Finance Committee and IPS Council have approved the results. In the case of type C Scholarships, the external organisation shall also be notified as soon as possible to allow transfer of funds to the successful applicant(s).

5. Responsibilities of Scholarship Holders

Each successful applicant shall respond to the IPS within seven (7) days of receiving notification. Such responseshall indicate the preferred method and currency of payment.

If for any reason the applicant cannot, despite having applied, attend the IPS Conference, no funds shall be sent and, if funds have already been sent, they must be returned. An unpresented cheque shall be returned or, at the option of the IPS, the cheque may be cancelled without being physically returned.

Normally, the full amount of the scholarship shall be payable to each successful awardee. However, an awardee may volunteer to accept a lower amount; in each such case, the balance shall be used at the discretion of the IPS Finance Committee.

After the conclusion of the IPS Conference, each awardee shall provide a report to the IPS providing feedback about the experience of attending the Conference, and a summary of how the award has assisted the awardee.

6. Payment of Scholarships

Payment shall normally be made by cheque, but this may be varied by agreement between the awardee and the issuer of the scholarship (for example, direct debit into a bank account may be preferred). In all cases, the cost of the transfer shall be borne by the issuer of the scholarship, not by the recipient.

7. General Management of Funds

Unless agreed otherwise (e.g. between the IPS and a vendor in the case of a type C scholarship), the IPS shall be the repository of all scholarship funds.

For a type A or C scholarship, it may be considered more efficient for the scholarship-issuing organisation to make a direct payment to the awardee(s), rather than transfer funds twice. However, as noted in section (3), the IPS shall be the sole body in determining the successful applicants.

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