Inclusive SecAppDev Scholarships

SecAppDev is a world-class application security course. Unfortunately, coming to SecAppDev can be expensive. Registration fees are reasonable and provide good value, but we recognize that, combined with the added cost of travel, lodging, and spending a week away from home or the office, makes it unaffordable for some people. Often, people cannot meet such a cost early in their career, precisely when SecAppDev might have the most impact.

We feel many people that would significantly benefit from SecAppDev are missing out. As a non-profit aiming to improve the state-of-practice in software security, we want to fix that. With our Inclusive SecAppDev Scholarship program, we extend our support to people that would otherwise not make it to SecAppDev.

An Inclusive SecAppDev Scholarship consists of two key aspects. First, we offer you full financial support to attend the week-long SecAppDev course. Second, we enroll you in our mentorship program to help you prepare for SecAppDev and get the most out of your experience.

The Inclusive SecAppDev Scholarship targets application development professionals in all capacities. A professional working proficiency in English is required to ensure optimal participation. We invite anyone interested in attending to apply for a scholarship, regardless of your geographical or social situation.

Read on below for more information. If you believe you qualify for an Inclusive SecAppDev Scholarship, start your application by clicking the button below.

Submit your application


Practicalities

For SecAppDev 2020, we offer three full Inclusive SecAppDev Scholarships. The details of a scholarship, both our commitment to you and your expected commitment to SecAppDev, are explained below.

The following dates provide the timeline for the Inclusive SecAppDev Scholarship program to attend SecAppDev 2020.

  • September 9, 2019: Application submissions open
  • October 22, 2019: Submission deadline round 1
  • November 7, 2019: Notifications round 1
  • November 22, 2019: Submission deadline round 2
  • November 29, 2019: Notifications round 2
  • November 30, 2019: Start final interviews
  • December 20, 2019: Final notifications
  • March 9, 2020: Start of SecAppDev 2020
  • March 13, 2020: End of SecAppDev 2020
  • March 20, 2020: Submission of your SecAppDev experience
  • April 10, 2020: Submission of your contribution to your mentor for review
  • April 27, 2020: Publication of your contribution

Our commitment to you

Each scholarship consists of financial support and support from a mentor. Let's talk about the details.

Our financial support covers:

  • Registration as a full-course attendee for SecAppDev
  • An invitation to the course dinner on Thursday
  • Economy-class travel support from your residence to Leuven
  • Lodging within walking distance of the venue for 6 nights
  • Travel insurance for SecAppDev-related travel
  • Meal expenses during the week of SecAppDev

Apart from financial support, we strongly believe in helping you get the most out of SecAppDev. That's why we offer a mentorship program as well. A mentorship includes:

  • Pairing you with an experienced security professional as a mentor
  • Help with preparing for SecAppDev by pointing out relevant study materials
  • Two face-to-face video calls with your mentor leading up to SecAppDev
  • Availability of your mentor during SecAppDev
  • Guidance on your contribution following from SecAppDev (see below for more details)
  • An honest letter of recommendation from your mentor about your participation in SecAppDev

Your commitment to SecAppDev

An Inclusive SecAppDev Scholarship also comes with a few responsibilities. To avoid confusion, we want to be crystal clear about our expectations.

As a scholar, you commit to:

  • Behave in a respectful and lawful manner
  • Refrain from any discriminatory behavior (e.g., based on sex, race, religion)
  • Be responsive in your communications with SecAppDev
  • Diligently prepare for the course to maximize your SecAppDev experience
  • Attend the full SecAppDev course (barring circumstances out of your control)
  • Write a brief article (500 words) about your experience as a SecAppDev scholar
  • Pay it forward by contributing to the security community (see below for more details)

Applying what you have learned is essential for optimizing retention. That is why we expect you to pay it forward by creating a small contribution to the security field in return for your scholarship. During SecAppDev, you can discuss with your mentor to determine the exact nature of your contribution. A few examples of useful contributions are augmenting an OWASP security cheat sheet, contributing code examples to the OWASP Security Knowledge Framework, and writing a manual for an open-source security tool. Your mentor will be available to guide you and review your contribution.


The application process

Our process consists of different rounds to ensure a fair selection procedure. After each round you participated in, you receive a notification with the current status of your scholarship application.

Round 1

In round 1, we collect all scholarship applications. The application consists of the form you can find here. To allow you to prepare your submission, we have also included all the form fields in the overview at the bottom of the page.

Our mentors review the anonymized proposals. After the reviews, all proposals are placed in a ranking. In this review round, we focus on how relevant SecAppDev would be for you.

The notifications of round 1 inform you of your position in the overall ranking. If your proposal is among the top-ranking proposals, you are invited to prepare your round 2 submission.

Round 2

In round 2, we assess whether you would benefit from attending SecAppDev. To that end, we ask you to submit two deliverables. One is a short blog-style article (600 words) about a technical security topic of your choice (e.g., the benefits of HTTPS). The other is a short 1-minute video clip where you explain why you wrote about this particular topic. This allows us to assess your communication skills and your commitment to the process. The focus in this round lies on your ability to communicate in English, as well as your existing technical and non-technical application development skills.

Please note we do not expect novel content, nor perfectly polished results. We simply expect you to do the best you can within your means.

The notifications of round 2 inform you of your position in the overall ranking. If you rank high enough, we invite you to schedule your round 3 interview.

Round 3

In round 3, we conduct a brief informal interview to verify our previous assessment. If possible, the interview will be conducted by your mentor for SecAppDev.

The notifications of round 3 inform you if you have been selected for an Inclusive SecAppDev Scholarship. Our candidate scholars are asked to sign a contract, after which their scholarship is confirmed.

If a candidate does not pass round 2 or round 3, the first follow-up candidate from the previous round is asked to continue their application. At the date of the final notifications, all applicants will receive a notification about the status of their application.


About the Inclusive SecAppDev Scholarship

We launched our inclusive SecAppDev scholarship program in 2019. The name Inclusive SecAppDev Scholarship aptly describes the purpose of the scholarship program. It is intended to include people otherwise unable to attend into the SecAppDev community.

Right now, the Inclusive SecAppDev Scholarship program is funded by the SecAppDev.org non-profit.


Reaching out to us

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out. Send an email to scholarships@secappdev.org, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


Overview of the application form

Please submit your scholarship application using this Google Form. The overview below helps you prepare without having to walk through the entire form first.

Our selection procedure takes your entire scholarship application into account. We focus on finding scholars that cannot afford to attend SecAppDev on their own and that will clearly benefit from attending the course. We do not select based on physical characteristics or personal beliefs.

Please note there are no "more favorable" answers. We simply expect an honest and heartfelt application. Answers to individual questions are never evaluated in isolation.

Becoming a SecAppDev scholar

This information will be visible during the blind review process. Please help us avoid unconscious bias by refraining from mentioning identifying details. Use placeholders for identifying items (e.g., Company A).

  • Describe your current occupation
  • Describe your ambitions for your career, and how SecAppDev can help you achieve those goals
  • Describe your technical and non-technical skills in application development
  • Describe what software projects you have built (small or large, private or public)
  • Describe why you are interested in security
  • Describe your current security knowledge and experience
  • How would you rank your security expertise? (advanced / high / medium / low / beginner)
  • Why do you want to attend SecAppDev?
  • How will SecAppDev benefit your career as an IT professional? (be as specific as possible)
  • Why do you need a scholarship to attend SecAppDev, instead of buying a community ticket?
  • Write a personal message about why you should be a SecAppDev scholar

To get an idea of your security interests, please answer the following questions.

  • What session from the previous edition of SecAppDev is most appealing to you?
  • What session from the previous edition of SecAppDev is least appealing to you?
  • What is an interesting article or video on security you recently viewed?
Personal information

Please provide us with your personal information. This information will not be visible during the blind review process.

  • First name
  • Given/Last name
  • Country of residence
  • URL to Twitter profile
  • URL to LinkedIn profile
  • URL to Github profile
  • Other URLs to your online presence (Blog, OSS contributions, ...)
  • Provide a non-anonymized version of your current occupation
  • Provide a non-anonymized overview of your skills in application development
Practical information

Please provide us with a bit of financial background. This information will not be visible during the blind review process. Keep in mind that there are no "more favorable" answers.

  • Do you need a travel passport to visit Belgium?
  • Do you currently have a travel passport?
  • Do you need a VISA to travel to Belgium?
  • Please provide an estimate of your travel costs to Leuven, Belgium (ground transportation, airfare, ...)
  • Would you be able to cover your own dinner costs during your stay in Belgium? (yes / no)
  • Are you able to cover your own expenses, and have them reimbursed in full after SecAppDev? (yes / no)
  • If you cannot cover all your expenses, what percentage could you cover upfront before reimbursement?
  • If you cannot cover all your expenses, please briefly explain your current financial situation.
Mentorship

Please provide your preferred mentor. Brief descriptions of each mentor are provided below. We will do our best to accommodate your preference.

Jim Manico is a frequent world traveler, AppSec enthusiast and has been a resident of Kauai, Hawaii for many years. He is thrilled to be a part of SecAppDev because he deeply believes in the mission. Jim has decades of security experience, and has been instrumental in creating various OWASP security resources.

Philippe De Ryck holds a Ph.D. in Web Security and has an extremely broad and deep knowledge of web security. Philippe travels the world teaching developers about advanced application security topics. He strongly believes in contributing back to the community, through OWASP project contributions, developer cheat sheets, and code examples.

Johan Peeters is a security consultant, coach, trainer, and architect. Software security is, in my opinion, one of the great challenges of our era - as we increasingly depend on software-intensive systems, the protection of our social institutions and critical infrastructure is predicated on our ability to keep them safe from bad actors. I am therefore always delighted if I can help anyone well-motivated to get started in a career in software security.

  • Who is your preferred mentor? (no preference / Jim Manico / Philippe De Ryck / Johan Peeters)
  • What timezone do you reside in (GMT +/- X)?