RustFest Barcelona Scholarships

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About our Scholarships

RustFest’s primary goal has always been bringing the community together. “Community”, hereby of course includes many different groups, marginalized people and all those who wouldn’t normally be able to afford to come – many of our policies are put in place to ensure that we provide an affordable, caring event that strives to be as inclusive and welcoming as humanly possible.

Complementing all our other policies we are launching a Scholarship program again this year to support our community members who need assistance in joining us at RustFest. We welcome members of underrepresented minorities in tech to apply for this support. This includes, but not limited to people who belong to one or more of the following groups: people of color, women, nonbinary and gender non-conforming people, disabled people, people with mental health issues, and LGBTQIA+ people. The Scholarship offers travel and accommodation support, as well as complementary access to the conference.

Additionally, we have a limited number of free tickets available for people who otherwise would not be able to afford to attend the conference and live in Barcelona or the wider region.

If you feel any of the above applies to you, please scroll down to the end of this page and submit an application. If not, please help us by spreading the word, or by contributing.


Applications are open as of August 15., and will remain open until all tickets are assigned and the budget is exhausted (but at least until September 15).

We may start responding to some of the awardees as soon as early September, however we will continue assigning grants on a rolling basis during September/October, until the budget runs out. Everyone who has requested a travel grant will receive an update on the status of their application by at least 4 weeks before the conference.

Self-booking and reimbursements

RustFest Scholarships may come with travel support, when requested. We understand, that not everyone can afford paying the upfront cost of travel to RustFest, even when we provide reimbursements for these costs, so we also offer the option of booking travel on behalf of the awardee. This as well can be requested while filling out the application form.

For the awardees who prefer to book their own travel, we provide an upper reimbursement limit based on their stated expected travel costs so there are no surprises on either end. For those who prefer the flexibility/privacy of booking their own travel, this is a great option and could even save us money and hassle (that we could reallocate for other tasks and awardees), but by all means, take advantage of the conference’s offer for travel booking if you feel you need it.

Both self-booked and conference-booked participants will have the ability to submit expenses after the conference to cover/refund various costs arising from their attendance. The following receipts can be submitted for reimbursement after the event:

The travel stipend can be used to cover travel to/from the embassy (for visa application) and airport; also the local transportation, meals, groceries, medication etc. in Barcelona. Please note, strictly no alcoholic drinks will be reimbursed. The embassy’s payment receipt upon visa application should be preserved and submitted by the applicant to receive a reimbursement of the visa fees.

Our baselines for travel & accommodation reimbursement limits are:

These are just guidelines, all upper limits for reimbursements will be communicated ahead of time to the awardees, as part of their acceptance letter, and we may only diverge from these set limits under special circumstances. All expenses should be submitted after the conference, and will be reimbursed as soon as possible, historically this meant that all awardees have received their refunds in 1 to 4 weeks after submission.

For our accounting to be able to process the reimbursement, the receipt must contain the following information:

Please request and save all receipts and send us a photo or scan after the conference. Bank account screenshots or credit card payment receipts only are not valid.

Travel letter

All Scholarship awardees who need it will be issued an official travel letter that they may use at border crossing and Visa application. For applicants who are not awarded a Scholarship but decide to come to the conference on their own cost we can also provide this option, please get in touch.

Support for Scholarship awardees

We try our best to make the conference experience of our Scholarship awardees as seamless and accessible as possible. The Scholarship Team (Rafaela, Pilar & Flaki) can be reached anytime with requests that can help us make awardees’ conference experience better. Examples of these include, but not limited to:

Of course, none of those above are limited to Scholarship awardees (the RustFest organizing team is always happy to help with whatever we can), but we wanted to emphasize that our scholarships don’t (necessarily have to) end at “enabling attendance”, but we strive to provide a comfortable and memorable experience.

Somewhat related to the above, for our awardees who would require a support person (or other companion) to accompany them to be able to attend, please let us know in the application form, and we will see what we can do to make that happen, or at least lessen the cost.

Shared accommodation option

Another new (and thus, experimental) addition to this year’s Scholarship offering is the option to opt for shared accommodations with fellow Scholarship awardees.

Every awardee who chose the conference-provided accommodation has the right to get their own, private hotel room for the conference days. As an option, though, those who feel comfortable may note in the form that they were interested in shared accommodations, and if we have enough interest and are able to find a place that satisfies our requirements (see below), we may offer this option in a followup.

We are still looking at accommodation options, but our requirements are:

While cost is certainly a concern, with the above constraints having this option is not a major vehicle for savings, and this option is more focusing on the acceptance of the fact that everyone has a different idea about conference attendance. For some people this may mean the sanctity and calm of a private hotel room with an en-suite bathroom, while others may enjoy the company & kinship of their fellow participants even beyond the event. We want to enable both without forcing either of these situations onto anyone.

Send an application

This year we have decided to do something different and opted to host our Scholarship application form in a new format, on Tito. Register below with your name & e-mail address, after which you will be presented a form where you can provide the details of your submission.
After having completed the form, our scholarship team gets to work and we will be back in touch once a decision has been made—whether you were selected to receive a sponsorship or not everyone will be contacted eventually.
This new application process is still experimental, so if you have feedback or concerns regarding the process, feel free to email us, everyone's feedback is much appreciated.

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