Announcing the Hughes Scholarship for Haystack US 2024

Last year we sadly lost one of our community members, Simon Hughes. Simon was a regular attendee and speaker at Haystack, always happy to share his expertise and long experience of working on search and AI applications at HomeDepot and Vectara. During 2023 he worked on an AI model to evaluate LLM hallucinations and also spoke in Austin, Texas at a Haystack On Tour event.

We all miss Simon.

In his memory, OpenSource Connections in partnership with Vectara are launching the Hughes Scholarship to help those at the beginning of their career in search & AI attend the Haystack US 2024 conference to be held the week of 22nd April. We recognise that the cost of travel and conference tickets can be a barrier to those at this early stage of their career, especially when many companies have recently reduced their conference and travel budgets. Attending events like Haystack, meeting and networking with experienced professionals and hearing about cutting-edge developments in search and AI can be hugely valuable for career and personal development and we would like to make this more accessible.

The Hughes Scholarship will fund not just the cost of a conference ticket but also $1500 towards travel expenses. We are also including a free registration for any of OSC’s self-led “Think Like a Relevance Engineer” or “Hello LTR” online training courses and $1000 in Vectara credits. We encourage students, young researchers, interns and those starting their careers in search & AI to apply. Judging will be carried out by a panel including OpenSource Connections, the hosts of the Haystack conference, directors of Vectara and an independent judge from the wider search & AI community.

To apply please fill out this Google form before 23rd March 2024. Applications are now closed. Tell us why you feel this scholarship will help your career and develop your potential and what you’re looking forward to at the Haystack conference. We particularly encourage those from communities under-represented in search & AI and the wider IT landscape to apply. Please note that two scholarship places are available.

If you have any questions please do contact us.