Keen to try something with Wikidata! Got a crazy idea? Or a provocation? Or an idea that needs investigating?
Wikimedia Australia and Wikimedia Aotearoa New Zealand are offering two creative fellowships grants of $1000 (AUD) and one of $1000 (NZD) to curate a data set, develop a prototype or undertake an investigation using Wikidata. You will be matched with a Wikimedian who will mentor you throughout your project offering resources, feedback and support.
We are open to applicants from all backgrounds and skill levels, and support proposals that involve investigations. We are looking for proposals that are enthusiastic and innovative as opposed to requiring pre-existing technical skills.
What is Wikidata?
Wikidata is a free and open knowledge base that can be read and edited by both humans and machines. Launched in 2012, Wikidata acts as central storage for the structured data of its Wikimedia sister projects including Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Wiktionary, Wikisource, and others.
Applications have closed for 2023. See our Wikidata Fellowship Announcement here for more details.
The Wikidata Fellowships take place from from March to May. How these hours are completed is flexible. For example, if you want to work for a set time period or a few hours each week, that is fine so long as it is agreed upon between you and your mentor.
Thank you to everyone for your applications and project proposals. This year, Wikimedia Australia and Wikimedia Aotearoa New Zealand awarded fellowships to the following:
Alistair Kwan will prototype a GIS-based approach to documenting heritage sites in Nelson and Tasman, New Zealand.
Brodie Hoare will build a bot for the purpose of batch-uploading to Wikidata.
Mike Dickison will create Wikidata items for authors, works, and editions of out-of-copyright books to query and display datasets around New Zealanders whose copyrights have expired.
Introduction to Wikidata Sessions
Know nothing about Wikidata? Or just want to know more? In early 2022 and 2023 we held one-hour Introduction to Wikidata sessions. Watch a recording the 2022 session on YouTube.
Creative Wikidata fellowships are open to any person in Australia, New Zealand, and the Oceania region - students and educators, statisticians, programmers, librarians, creators and users, artists, activists or organisers.
Proposed projects may, but are not limited to investigating the following areas:
- Australian and Oceania regional content and languages on Wikidata
- Addressing gaps or diversity on Wikidata
- Bias on Wikidata or sources
- Visualisation or creative realisations using Wikidata
- Accessibility on Wikidata
- Automation and Wikidata
- Ethics and open source data
Proposed projects will be assessed by a panel based on the following criteria:
- Alignment with Wikimedia Australia's mission and purpose
- Feasibility of idea within project timeframe
- Any Wikimedia editing experience (preferred but not essential)
This fellowship program comes under Wikimedia Australia Safe Space policy. Fellows are encouraged to collaborate where appropriate with the broader Wikimedia community throughout the fellowship period.
Fellows are required to write 750 words blog post or interview on their project for the Wikimedia Australia website (to be released under a Creative Commons CC-BY-SA licence) by 30 June 2022. An image/s for use on social media and the above blog post (to be released under a Creative Commons license). A short 5-10min presentation sharing outcomes at a Wikimedia Australia Community Meeting Final online documentation of fellowship projects is required. Documentation can take many forms - on a GitHub repository, a series of videos, a website - whatever is most appropriate for the work.
Wikimedia Australia and Wikimedia Aotearoa New Zealand have partnered to provide a total of three fellowships.
Wikimedia Australia will offer two fellowships of $1,000 AUD, and Wikimedia Aotearoa New Zealand will offer one fellowship of $1,000 NZD. Payment of the grant will be made in 50% installments: $500 AUD/NZD paid at the start of the fellowship, and the remaining $500 AUD/NZD upon its completion upon provision of a tax invoice. Fellows must complete the requirements of the fellowship for the stipend to be paid in full.
Mentors will be matched according to the project proposal and 2023's mentors will be announced soon.
Previous mentors included:
- A/Prof Toby Hudson is a scientist and teacher at Sydney University who has been writing and photographing for Wikipedia for 17 years. More recently he has been focused on Wikidata where he proposes and curates numerous scientific and Australian datasets. These include geography, legislation, species, chemicals, biographies, and education. He developed the Entity Explosion browser extension which uses Wikidata to discover connections and information about the topic you are browsing on.
- Alex Lum is the Secretary of Wikimedia Australia. Originally from Hobart, Tasmania, he is currently living in Melbourne working in the higher education sector. He has been an editor on Wikipedia since 2005, an administrator on the English Wikipedia since 2008, and is a prolific contributor to Wikidata and OpenStreetMap. He recently built an expanded version of WikidataR.
Past Fellowship Projects
To find out more contact Wikimedia Australia