Travel Grant Programme


The State of the Map Organizing Committee provides a Travel Grant Programme (TGP) to facilitate accessibility and diversity at the global SotM 2024 Conference, which will happen in Nairobi, Kenya, September 6-8. This will be the first in-person OSM global event held in Africa. Also, while the pandemic is slowing down, we are concerned about health regulations and the increased cost of travelling. Given the circumstances, the programme will also dedicate a portion of the budget available to support remote attendance (e.g. by providing access to a reliable internet connection) for those who cannot travel to Kenya because of imposed restrictions, travel costs, or other reasons.

The call for applications to the Travel Grant Programme will be open until January 31, 2024, at 23:59 UTC.

It is fundamental to read all the information on this page before submitting an application.

For applicants

This section sets out the benefits of a Travel Grant to attend SotM 2024 and the process and criteria by which applicants will be selected. The TGP is administered by the State of the Map Organizing Committee.

Travel Grants

The Travel Grant will include a full conference ticket and a lump-sum contribution towards travel, accommodation and other expenses.

There will be five (5) different sizes of travel grants available:

Grant Size Likely Used For Expected number of winners
100 € Applicants from Kenya 8
250 € Applicants from Tanzania and Uganda 7
800 € Applicants from other African countries 8
900 € Applicants from other countries classified as High-income economies or lower based on World Bank country rating by income 5
1200 € Applicants from other countries classified as Upper-middle-income economies or lower based on World Bank country rating by income 8

The size and number of grants may be adjusted at the discretion of the Organizing Committee, depending upon the level of funding raised and the number of applications received. Applicants will only be able to apply for one size of travel grant, and they should apply for the grant depending on their country of residence. The World Bank rating is available online.

Anyone applying for more than one grant will be excluded from the application process.

Online Attendance Support Grant

For those interested in attending the conference remotely but with limited internet connectivity, smaller grants will be made available to subsidise the cost of purchasing mobile data passes. The size of each grant will vary depending on the country and mobile data packages available, but it’s expected not to exceed 40€.

With an estimated 1GB per hour of streaming videos in HD quality (720p), it’s expected that a maximum of 40GB will be sufficient to cover the entire conference. Arrangements will be made with grant recipients to purchase the data packages directly or to transfer the amount needed via mobile money.


In order to guarantee a transparent and fair allocation of funds, the travel grant programme uses a points system for ranking applications. Points are awarded if applicants match specific criteria. After the application phase is over, all applicants are ranked by points, and the applicants with the most points will receive funding.

Please note that the travel grant programme aims to enhance diversity at the conference. We might reserve a few programme spots for people with unique and outstanding applications. However, most programme spots will solely be determined by the point ranking.

Furthermore, once the ranking has been drawn up and the scholarships assigned based on it. The next two people for each grant size will be informed of their position. If one of the first winners communicates by April 15th 2024, that he will not be able to participate, the scholarship will be provided to the people who are in this second ranking. However, those people will receive a free online ticket to attend the conference virtually. Moreover, if they will be able to attend the conference in person, they could receive a free ticket if they provide support volunteering.

Ranking Criteria

Applicants receive points for the following criteria:


The allocation of points is based on the World Bank country rating by income.

  • Applicants from Low-income economies receive 1.5 points.
  • Applicants from Lower-middle-income economies receive 1 point.
  • Applicants from Upper-middle-income economies receive 0.5 points.
  • Applicants from High-income economies receive 0 points.


The allocation of points is based on the World Bank country rating by income.

  • Applicants who are currently living in Low-income economies receive 1.5 points.
  • Applicants who are currently living in Lower-middle-income economies receive 1 point.
  • Applicants who are currently living in Upper-middle-income economies receive 0.5 points.
  • Applicants who are currently living in High-income economies receive 0 points.

Gender and Minorities

In order to create a more diverse community, women and applicants from other underrepresented groups will receive 1 point.


Students, including PhD students, receive 1 point. You may be asked to provide evidence of enrollment.

First State of the Map

Applicants that attend SotM for the first time receive 1 point.

Amount required

The expected cost amount requested is to be indicated, please indicate it in US Dollars or Euros. Applications without an explicit request of the amount required will not be considered. The minimum between the expected cost and the grant size based on the country of residence will be assigned.

OpenStreetMap and Community

Details of their past contributions to OpenStreetMap projects or community activities: up to a total of 4 points. Up to 2 points for mapping activities and up to 2 points for other contributions to the project.

Lighting talks abstract

The travel grant winners will be asked to present something about their experience, their mapping activities, or their community in a dedicated lighting talk session (5-minute presentation). This is not the call for participation; the call will be open, and there will be the possibility to submit talks and workshops. The dedicated lighting talks aim to involve more travel grant winners in the conference, highlighting their contributions and experiences in OSM. However, it is possible that not all the travel grant winners will be able to present in that session. So, this is not an instrument to present talks; you are invited to participate in the call for talks and workshops if you would like to present your activities. Please provide a short abstract about what you would like to present, with a maximum length of 100 words, up to 2 points.


The travel grant winners will be asked to volunteer for a time proportional to 1/3 or less of the conference length, depending on the number of other volunteers. Indicate the roles that you are confident to do: Live Video Cutting, Remote/Pre-Recorded Talk Assistant, Session Assistant and Venueless Assistant (only for remote grants). For more detailed info on the roles, see the wiki pages of volunteers for Sotm 2022: No points.


You must be able to fund the direct costs of your travel to SotM and be in possession of a valid entry visa and other documents (for example, vaccinations). Successful applicants will receive a conference pass and become eligible for reimbursement of expenses up to the limit of the travel grant when they check in at the conference registration desk. Reimbursement of expenses will be by electronic means (details to be advised).

Only in the case of demonstrated needs and exceptional cases will the travel grant amount be provided in advance or used to cover specific travel costs directly.

How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for a SotM travel grant, please fill out the application form.

All data will be held confidential and only used for assessing TGP applications. Please ensure that the email address that you provide is regularly monitored, as the selection committee may wish to seek clarification of responses. If no replies have been provided to requests via mail for the Travel Grant Committee within 5 days, the Travel Grant will be removed from you and assigned to the next applicants in the ranking.

Applications must be received by January 31, 2024.

The selection committee will aim to notify recipients of grants by the end of February 2024.

Supporting the Travel Grant Programme

The travel grant programme is funded through the State of the Map Sponsors.