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On Becoming a Shuttleworth Fellowship Alum

shuttleworthOn March 1 my Fellowship with the Shuttleworth Foundation ended and I officially became an alum of the program. It was an absolutely amazing experience! If you are passionate about using openness to overcome a social problem, you should stop every single thing you are doing right now and go learn about the Shuttleworth Fellowship program. A brief quote from the site:

The Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship Program funding consists of two components for each Fellow – the fellowship grant and the co-investment project funding.

The fellowship grant covers the cost of the Fellow’s time for a year and is guaranteed to the fellow for that year. The grant amount varies and is determined by each Fellow’s salary equivalent outside of the fellowship.

The co-investment project funding is the most unique part of the Fellowship Program, as Fellows are rewarded for investing in their own ideas. An amount of $245,000 is set aside per Fellow per year as potential project funding. This funding is unlocked through a light weight project pitch process and the Foundation tops up the Fellow’s own investment by adding at least 10 times as much funding from their project funding pool.

Despite the relatively large financial value of the Fellowship, the application process is one of the fastest and easiest I have ever seen (and I’ve applied for a lot of grants in my time). The online application form asks you to answer 16 questions, upload your resume, and provide a link to a 5 minute video of you pitching your idea. That’s it. And not only is their application process extremely simple, their reporting process is equally unobtrusive. Shuttleworth Fellows spend their time changing the world and not wrestling with administrivia.

And did I mention how awesome the other Fellows are? When you receive a Fellowship, you become part of an absolutely incredible network of people working on projects far cooler than you had ever imagined possible before. My mind is repeatedly blown every six months when I read about the work the new group of Fellows will be doing. And the Shuttleworth Foundation staff themselves are awesome, too.

In short, I can’t say enough good things about the Shuttleworth Fellowship. It’s been an incredible experience. I look forward to staying connected to the network of Fellows as I continue working on the cost and quality issues facing education. Will you be joining the network? You should!