Software Carpentry Foundation: Workshops

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

As we said in the previous posts in this series, our interim Steering Committee has adopted bylaws for the Software Carpentry Foundation and a plan for organizational membership. Those memberships won't cover all of our central costs (such as instructor training), so we are going to start charging a fee for each workshop we help organize rather than just asking people to make a donation. In exchange, we will match hosts with instructors, handle registration, manage assessment, follow up to make sure people's travel expenses have been paid, and all the other running around that needs to happen behind the scenes.

One thing that won't change is that anyone who wants to organize and run a workshop on their own will always be free to do so without charge provided they satisfy a few simple conditions. In fact, we strongly encourage groups to get to the point where they can do this regularly, and to share their experiences with the community so that we can all help teach good lab practices for scientific computing.

Workshop Revenue and Operations


  • The terms Organizational Member refers to Partners, Affiliates, and Sponsors as defined in the description of organizational membership.

  • A host is an organization which is hosting a workshop. It may or may not be an organizational member.

  • A coordinator is a member of staff of the SCF or of an Organizational Member who devotes a significant amount of time to arranging workshops.

  • An internal workshop is one whose audience is mainly from the host organization (e.g., a workshop run by the University of Melbourne for staff and students of the University of Melbourne)


  1. Hosts are always responsible for instructors' travel and accommodation costs.

  2. Anyone who wants to organize and run a workshop using the Software Carpentry name and logo without the support of the SCF is free to do so provided they adhere to our rules about content and certified instructors. There is no charge for them doing this, and we will advertise it on our website provided they provide the information we require and allow us to administer our pre- and post-workshop surveys.

  3. Software Carpentry workshops that the SCF or its organizational members assist in organizing are subject to the following fees:

    1. US$1250 for the first workshop in any year;

    2. an additional US$750/workshop for the second and subsequent workshops in a year. (Thus, if a host organizes three workshops at once, we charge US$2750 (US$1250 + 2 x US$750), not US$3750.)

    Hosts can raise the money we require from registration fees (which may flow to us directly if we're handling registration), direct contributions, or a combination thereof.

  4. The SCF receives the first US$1000/year from each host per year, and US$250 per workshop per host site per year after that. Part or all of the remainder may be kept by whichever SCF Partner or Affiliate handled the arrangements, or they may elect to give that to the SCF. (So for a one-off, SCF gets US$1000 and the partner organization gets to decide what to do with the remaining US$250. For a batch of three, SCF gets US$1500 and the partner gets to decide whether to keep the other US$1250 or give some or all of it to SCF.)

  5. Workshop fees may be waived for internal workshops run by Partners. Affiliates may receive a fee waiver for internal workshops in return for staff time, or may elect to pay an annual fee.

  6. The Steering Committee may reduce or waive workshop fees at its discretion. In particular, Software Carpentry strives to be a global project and support a diverse set of organizations; any potential host that wishes to offer a workshop that would aid these goals is urged to contact the SCF to discuss waivers and other arrangements.

  7. All requests for workshops, no matter who receives them or how, are pooled in a central location that all coordinators can access.

  8. Once a workshop has been allocated to a coordinator, s/he can communicate with the host using either an organizational email address or a email address, whichever the organization prefers. All conversations must be recorded in a shared central location approved by the Steering Committee (so that we don't have to dig around in people's private mail archives two years from now for conversations).

  9. All records of individuals' participation in workshops and training must be similarly recorded in a shared central location (e.g., a common database). All organizations with access to that information must respect best practices for personal privacy (e.g, may not contact workshop participants about other activities without their explicit prior consent), and are expected to coordinate their use of that information with other organizational members of the SCF through the SCF Steering Committee and Executive Director.

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