Cochrane consumer stipends

Cochrane is committed to the active involvement of consumers and consumer advocates in the preparation, implementation and dissemination of systematic reviews and in furthering the aims of Cochrane.

Stipends to help cover travel costs and other expenses associated with attending the Global Evidence Summit (GES) are available for consumers who are active Cochrane contributors or in a position to become an active contributor.

Funds are limited, so applicants should explore partial or full funding options from other source(s), such as your local consumer or self-help group, or the Cochrane Group with which you are involved. Before submitting your stipend application, please read the following criteria and application instructions carefully. 

Application criteria

Individuals who wish to apply for a stipend must be:

  1. active Cochrane contributors as a consumer or consumer advocate and be able to attend the entire conference.  We will not fund partial attendance to the GES.
  2. strongly recommended by a Cochrane Group (Review Group, Field, Network, Centre) or an individual highly involved with Cochrane. You will be asked to request a letter of support from the Cochrane Group that you are most closely associated with (see below for details).

Newcomers and consumers resident in low- and middle-income countries

Stipends will be set aside to ensure the participation of newcomers to Cochrane and that of consumers from low- and middle-income countries.

Newcomers will need to demonstrate their ability, and how they plan to contribute to Cochrane.

To find out more about other GES stipends and bursaries, go to:

Who is considered a consumer or consumer advocate? 

Cochrane defines a health consumer as someone who is affected by a health condition, a caregiver, or who uses or is entitled to use a health-related service, and who is not a practicing health professional or practitioner. A consumer advocate or representative is a consumer who is actively involved with other consumers and is able to represent the perspectives and concerns of that broader group of people.

Cochrane's Consumer Network considers its members to be people who contribute as consumers to Cochrane, particularly in providing their views on the relevance and readability of Cochrane Reviews. They also support the aims of the Consumer Network.

Application recommendations and limitations

  • Partial funding: to be able to fund attendance of many and varied consumers to the GES, our preference is to provide partial support only. Your chances of receiving a stipend are increased if you are able to cover part of the costs yourself and/or from other sources. The application form will ask for information on other sources you have contacted to request funding.
  • Geographical proximity: people from the African region are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Cochrane employees: applicants who are paid Cochrane employees are eligible for partial funding only. For application purposes, a Cochrane employee is anyone hired by an institution, who has protected time on a weekly basis to work for a Cochrane Group (Review Group, Methods Group, Field, Centre or Branch, and group satellites).

As a guideline, applicants who have protected Cochrane work time for less than half time (less than 2.5 days per week) can apply for a maximum of 75% of funding support. Applicants who have protected Cochrane work time for more than 2.5 days per week are eligible to apply for up to 50% funding support. If a person’s paid Cochrane work finishes before the start of the GES, these eligibility criteria do not apply.

Assessment of applications

Applicants will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Contribution(s) to Cochrane's work
  • Contribution(s) to consumer activities or organizations in the community
  • Contribution to the GES programme
  • Benefits of attendance to your organization
  • Ability to raise funds to support attendance
  • Consumer in an African country
  • Recommendation from a Cochrane entity
  • Active, contributing member of  a consumer organization 

What costs are covered?

Funds may be available for one or more of the following expenses:

  • Travel to and from Cape Town (most economical return airfare)
  • Ground travel expenses from your home to the airport
  • Visa and travel insurance
  • Accommodation at one of the GES hotels for a maximum of five nights
  • Registration fee, which entitles you to attend all sessions, conference materials, lunches and coffee breaks from 13-16 September 2017 including attendance at the Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner
  • Allowance for ground travel and meals not included in the registration fee

How to apply

  1. Submit your application
    People who wish to be included in the selection process are required to complete the online application form through a user account on the GES website. Once you have created an account, log in and complete the application form under the menu ‘Make a submission’.
  2. Letter of support from a Cochrane Group/letter from consumer organization
    We require a letter of support from the Cochrane Group who can best explain the extent of your contributions to Cochrane.

For those applicants who are newcomers or are not linked to a Cochrane Group, a letter is required from your consumer organization describing your role in the organization and how your attendance at the GES will be of benefit.

You will need to request the letter and submit it to

Deadline for applications:  extended to 19 May 2017

Notification of accepted applications:  1 June 2017

Please note: DO NOT register for the GES before you receive notification of the result of your stipend application.

Selection and notification of stipend recipients

All submitted applications will be screened and those meeting the eligibility criteria will be considered by the Consumer Stipends Committee. The Consumer Stipends Committee is composed of active Cochrane consumer members and Cochrane staff.

Further help

Should you require assistance with your application, please contact