A Guide for Collaborating with The Carpentries on Grants

Statement to Interested Collaborators

This guide was developed for potential collaborators interested in involving The Carpentries in a grant proposal. We value all contributions to our mission and are excited to collaborate with individuals and organisations interested in mission-aligned activities (i.e. Carpentries workshops, instructor training, curriculum development). We offer two options for collaborating with The Carpentries on grant proposals:

  1. Request a letter of support. If you are planning to budget Carpentries programming (i.e. workshops, membership, instructor training seats) into your grant proposal and would like to request a letter of support, please complete this form. Pricing for Carpentries programming is located on our membership page. All requests for letters of support require five business days to be fulfilled.

  2. Request to meet one of our program leads. If you have an idea that will support one of the Carpentries’ existing priorities and would like to co-write a grant proposal, please schedule a meeting with the corresponding program lead, using the links below. Minimum requirements for co-writing a grant proposal with The Carpentries are provided below.

We invite you to include The Carpentries in your grant to support workshops, membership, and instructor training whether you apply as an individual institution or as a consortium. We are also happy to collaborate on grant proposals that support our mission, values, and existing priorities (e.g. curriculum and community development, equity, and inclusion). This guide should be used as a resource in advance of proposal development.

How is The Carpentries Funded?

Funders who help The Carpentries fulfill our mission and vision financially include Member Organisations, Sponsors, charitable foundations, and individual supporters (The Carpentries Philanthropy). The Carpentries is currently funded by grants and sponsorships (~56%), memberships (~30%), workshop/instructor training fees (~5%), and other sources including donations and curriculum development. We aim to be transparent in our sources of revenue and how they align with our vision and values and seek funding to support existing priorities and future goals in alignment with our strategic plan. Provided below is a list of sources of grants and sponsors who have funded The Carpentries.

Grants and Subawards

For more information about grants we have received from these sources, please read our blog posts tagged grants.


For more information about sponsorship opportunities, visit our Sponsorship Program page.

Minimum Requirements for Co-Writing a Grant with The Carpentries

The Carpentries has identified deliverables that are ideal for in-kind support and/or grant funding in the areas of curriculum development, community development, workshops, instructor training, and infrastructure. Short descriptions of these ideas are provided below. These projects would require that a percentage of The Carpentries Core Team time be written into the grant budget to support program development, administration, and infrastructure. Provided below are examples of minimum requirements for co-writing a grant with The Carpentries.

  • Timeframe: Please allow 3-6 months to work with a Core Team Lead on a grant proposal. During that time expect several meetings/co-working sessions to develop the proposal narrative and budget. A more clear timeline will be co-developed once a decision to move forward with writing a grant has been made.

  • Budget: The Carpentries is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives. As such, all budget proposals will include an 11.11% fee on all income received by The Carpentries. Additionally, for any key personnel working on the grant, a minimum of 15% of their time over the course of the grant must be included in the budget. Key personnel may include, but is not limited to, Core Team Leads, administrators, or contractors working with The Carpentries. Lastly, support to be written into a grant budget may include infrastructure, equipment, and/or travel as appropriate.

The Carpentries Current Priorities for Grant Collaboration

Below are several examples The Carpentries’ existing priorities that are ideal for grant collaboration. Please schedule a meeting with a program lead to discuss writing a grant proposal centered around any of the following priorities.

Certified Carpentries Instructors

The Workshop Administration Team seeks proposals dedicated to supporting certified instructors to teach Centrally Organised Workshops.

Curriculum Development Program Developer

A Program Developer would coordinate the efforts of Core Team and community members to develop a multi-day training, teaching participants the skills needed to design a new Carpentries lesson using GitHub Pages and The Carpentries lesson infrastructure. This role would particularly suit someone with a keen interest in lesson development and collaboration, with strong communication and/or organisational skills.

Dashboard Developer

There is a wealth of data available through the GitHub API to document and monitor activity on each of The Carpentries lessons. A Dashboard Developer would make use of that data in a consistent or formalized way, creating dashboards (i.e. automatically updated webpages) that display a variety of statistics about activity on our lesson repositories. This role would require some experience working with APIs, as well as familiarity with a scripting language (e.g. Python or R).

GitHub Archiver

The GitHub Archiver would be responsible for writing a script that archives daily, to an AWS S3 bucket, all Carpentries repositories as well as the conversations that take place in the issues, pull requests, projects, etc.

Curriculum Remodeler

The Carpentries lessons are developed over time by many community members and iteratively improved. Some elements of lessons are more highly developed in particular lessons, while for other lessons, improvements in these elements would significantly improve the teaching and learning experience. A curriculum remodeler may work on lesson pathways, exercise appendices, instructor notes, or other aspects of The Carpentries curriculum.

Lesson Contributor Advocate

The Carpentries supports official curricula across our three Lesson Programs (Data Carpentry, Library Carpentry, and Software Carpentry). Many members of our community have little to no experience with GitHub and find this contribution process to be confusing. As part of this project, the Lesson Contributor Advocate would improve the overall experience for contributors by developing accessible contribution guidelines, running skill-ups and discussion sessions centered on the tools and skills involved in contributing to open source (lesson) projects, and informing the ways that lesson contributions are acknowledged in the community. This project will require close collaboration with the Maintainers community and a strong focus on communication.

Lesson Contributor In Residence

The Carpentries lessons are developed over time and iteratively improved via voluntary contributions by many community members. Although this has proven an effective way to keep lessons up-to-date, the voluntary nature of these contributions - combined with the time required to gain a sufficient understanding of how the infrastructure works behind a lesson website - can encourage relatively small contributions, while making it difficult for community members to tackle some of the larger issues that may be identified with a lesson. The Lesson Contributor At Large/Lesson Contributor In Residence would dedicate time to make improvements to a specific subset of our official lessons, with a particular focus on some of the larger and more complicated issues that may need to be addressed therein.

Maintainer Community Lead

The Maintainer Community Lead supports new Maintainers by designing skill-ups around their needs and being responsive to issues that come up. They attend and support Maintainer meetings, and periodically teach the Maintainer Onboarding curriculum to train new Maintainers. This role would be ideal for a self-motivated individual who has had some lesson maintenance experience and is good at managing themselves and supporting others.

Teaching Practices

We seek to develop a proposal to explore scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) to support the development of The Carpentries Instructor Training Curriculum through engagement with our Trainer community on topics related to standard Instructor Training curriculum or potential bonus content and/or development and maintenance of our annotated bibliography.

Translation Services

As an international community, there is always a need to translate our resources into multiple languages. Support for translation services might include, identifying ways to make it easier for community members to make contributions to Glosario, among other ideas.