Rust Foundation launches Rust Community Grants program

Want to work on Rust but need money? The Rust Foundation wants to hear from you.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Rust isn't the most important language out there, but it's going places. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Microsoft are all backing the language. It's become a critical system-building language for the Linux kernel, Windows, Chrome, and Android. 

But, as a new and somewhat difficult language, it's not easy to get up to speed on it. Now, the Rust Foundation wants to help its people with its 2022 Community Grants Program

The doors will open to applications on April 1st, 2022. It's no joke. 

Also: AWS: Here's why we are investing in the Rust programming language

The Rust Foundation Community Grants Program 2022 has a budget of $625,000 thanks to its donors AWS, Huawei, and Google. The Community Grants Program provides funds to the Rust development community to support their work. 

There are four kinds of grants. These are:

  • Rust Foundation Fellowships: A one-year award available for up to 20 individuals providing a stipend of $1,000 USD per month, plus a travel and training budget

  • Project Grants: Single awards made to individuals, groups, or organizations for discrete pieces of work from $1,000 to $20,000

  • Event Support Grants: Single awards ranging from $100 to $500 to support events

  • Hardship Award Grants: Single awards ranging from $500 to $1,500 made to community members facing financial hardship

Generally speaking, these address several key Rust challenges. These range from Rust's steep learning curve to addressing the need for more Rust maintainers and Teams

Specifically, the Rust Foundation Fellowship supports individual Rust Project maintainers beyond a simple financial stipend. The fellowship will provide Fellows with a range of opportunities to learn complementary skills, attend events, and network with different Rust ecosystem stakeholders. At the same time, it enables them to work on the Rust activities that most interest them. The Fellowship is meant to bring new faces and diversity to the maintainer community. Ultimately, Fellows will become the Rust leaders of the future.  

Project Grants are designed to enable a wide range of activities to address bug fixes, documentation, learning materials, and new features. Beyond that, it's also meant to foster innovative new projects that will benefit the wider community. The Foundation has set a cap on Project Grants at $20,000 to ensure that a wide range of activities will be funded. 

The Event Awards range from $100 to $500. These will support both physical and virtual events. Finally, the hardship awards will be given to community members facing financial hardship. 

Also: Rust takes a major step forward as Linux's second official language

Why is the Foundation doing this? Rebecca 'Bec' Rumbul, the Rust Foundation's executive director, explained, "The purpose of the Rust Foundation will always be to support the highly dedicated, innovative, and talented community that makes the Rust language so successful. The Community Grants Program aims to recognize the contributions of the community and will provide a range of financial awards to support individuals, teams, and organizations to do what they do best."

All the information on the Rust Foundation Community Grants eligibility, how to apply, and FAQs is available now.

Looking ahead, Shane Miller, the Rust Foundation Board of Directors Chair, said, "The Rust Foundation's mission is the sustainability of the Rust community and technology. I am proud to be part of the team pioneering innovations in open-source funding that creates a partnership between Rust users and builders that can outlast us all."

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