Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is Climatematch Academy?
A: Climatematch Academy, in collaboration with Neuromatch Academy, is a massive, interactive, online summer school experience spanning from accessing climate data sources and hands-on modeling experience to meta-science interpretation skills across just about everything that could be reasonably included in the labels "computational climate science". We're a group of climate scientists from around the globe who have run smaller, in-person, or virtual summer schools in the past.
Q: What makes it unique?
A: We are aiming as much as possible to provide equal access to excellent computational climate science training for all students regardless of geography, nationality, socioeconomic status, or other factors. Also, unlike most other online courses, we have teaching assistants. Plus, there will be lots of scientific networking through matchmaking algorithms.
Q: Why should I sign up for Climatematch Academy?
A: If you have ever wanted to learn about climate science, this is your chance! We don't just teach you the skills; we will also teach you how to use those skills to answer scientific questions. And it will be a lot of fun!
Q: What topics will be covered in our course?
A: This computational climate science course introduces computational methods for accessing, analyzing, and interpreting global climate data. Throughout this course, -we will explore climate data from observations, measurements and models to understand global climate systems of land, ocean, and atmosphere on various timescales. We will also assess the impact of future climate change by investigating projections of future variability, climate response, and socio-economic implications.
Q: When will the program be available on the website?
A: The 2023 Syllabus of the computational climate science course will become available soon.
Q: How do students get grouped into teams or 'pods'?
A: Climatematch Academy is operated in collaboration with Neuromatch Academy, which uses cutting-edge matching algorithms to place people in complementary groups based on common interests, time availability, seniority, and in many cases shared preferred language. This will allow students to meet online at a time and context that is most convenient for them.
Q: What are group projects?
A: There are small-group (3-5 students from your pod) projects for students. This is a fun way to apply hands-on skills to your own topic of interest! We will provide step-by-step mentoring in equitable research practices, and the projects will also be supervised by dedicated teaching assistants.
Q: What time zone will it take place in? What if I am not in the timezone of the school? How will I access the lectures and my "pod"?
A: We will have teaching assistants facilitated pods accessible in real-time from all time zones in the world. When you sign up and commit to attending the course you will be asked for your timezone so we can place you in a group that operates at your preferred timezone. Lectures and tutorials will be pre-recorded with multiple live Q&A sessions spanning multiple time zones to give you a chance to ask questions to the instructors in a live setting.
Q: Will the courses be in any languages other than English?
A: The main language of instruction will be English, and all materials will be in English. In addition, many of our students will be grouped into pods where the teaching assistants and students all share another language.
Q: How long can I access the lectures and materials after school?
A: Everything will be freely available after school on Github and YouTube. links will be posted after the course.
Q: Can I have access to a list of all participants and teaching assistants before or after school, so I can set up my own networking opportunities after school?
A: All participants will be able to opt into sharing their contact information.
Q: Do I need a letter of reference to apply?
Q: Can Iranian residents participate in Climatematch courses?
A: Yes. As Climatematch Academy is part of Neuromatch Academy which was granted emergency relief from the US sanctions on Iran. This allows us to invite all students and teaching assistants residing in Iran.
Payment and Financial
Q: What does it cost to be a student?
A: We set our tuition fees lower than standard academic summer schools, which can cost thousands. Fees for Climatematch Academy are scaled with your location since different countries have different cost of living standards. A fee waiver can also be available for those who cannot have their fee covered by either their institution, company, or lab and cannot pay on their own. Thus, if you have been accepted into the Academy you are guaranteed to be able to participate regardless of your funding status! As a reminder, tuition fees from students are a major way we support our teaching assistants, too, so if your company, supervisor, or university can reimburse you, please help us support your teaching assistants by paying the personalized recommended fee in your Climatematch Academy portal account. You can find more details on COLA calculator.
Q: Will I be able to get a fee waiver if I am selected for the course?
A: Yes! If you are admitted to the course, you will then be asked to either pay a fee that is adjusted for your cost of living or have the option of waiving the payment. We will ask you to explain the reason for the waiver, but we will not deny your request. We do ask people who can pay to please pay though. We use practically all of the money to fund your teaching assistants as the other staff of Climatematch Academy are volunteers.
Q: Can I directly pay by invoice via university?
Due to the complexity of processing payment and overseas transfers, the technical details of linking wire transfer payments to your account, and delays in university payment processing, we cannot accommodate requests to pay by direct invoice to your university. Please pay your fee by credit card in your student portal. You will receive a receipt. You can ask your supervisor, university, or company to reimburse you according to your local policies.
Q: What if I drop out of the academy?
Dropping out of the academy makes it harder for your pod to work well because there will only be a small number of people at the start of the academy. You will also not receive your certificate of completion and may not be selected to participate in future Climatematch programs. Of course, we understand that unforeseen circumstances can arise and will accommodate those as needed, but please do plan to stay through to the end.
Q: What if I can't attend the whole school?
A: The course content of the Academy is rigorous and cumulative which makes it difficult to keep up if you miss days. Therefore we expect students to be present for the whole 2 weeks of the program.
In case of an emergency, students should let their teaching assistants know as soon as possible. In such cases, 1-2 days' absence may be permitted. Low attendance may lead to no certificate being issued after the school concludes. Please see FAQ section "Certificates" for more information
Q: What if I know at the time of application that I have conflicting work, study, or conference commitments?
A: Students or teaching assistants who know in advance that they will need to miss parts of the Academy should refrain from applying for the 2023 school.
Q: What if I can't attend every Wednesday (or any day) for three hours? Will this be a problem?
A: Yes, you need to be in attendance every day.
Q: I can no longer attend Climatematch Academy. Can I have a refund for my fees paid?
A: Climatematch Academy hires and commits to paying teaching assistants based on the number of students signed up for each course and are therefore not able to grant refunds to any students after June 24th (5 PM Eastern Daylight Time). If you have an emergency situation that you feel grants you exemption from this policy, please email email@example.com with the subject "Special refund request and your name" and we will take your request to the Financial Managers of NMA. Decisions about refunds are made on a case by case basis and can't be guaranteed past the deadline above.
Climatematch Academy Student Applications
Q: Who should be a student?
A: Anyone who is interested in following a career in quantitative climate science in academia, industry or a non-profit. The course will use Python-based tutorials and students will benefit from some background in coding. Students without any prior experience need to commit to taking a 3-day introductory Python course offered by Climatematch Academy .
Q: When will I be able to apply?
A: Student applications will open in March 2023.
Q: Do I have to have a Google Scholar account to apply? (I don't have any publications yet)
A: You don't have to have a Google Scholar account, but if you do, sharing it will be helpful for us to evaluate Climatematch Academy’s long-term impact and raise funding for future years. Note that you don't need to have any publications to apply to Climatematch Academy or to create a Google Scholar profile.
Q: What level of Python experience do I need?
A: Students should be comfortable writing simple Python statements at the minimum when the course begins. If you have expertise in a comparable language (e.g. R, MATLAB, or C), you should commit to taking the introductory Python course offered by Climatematch Academy or another tutorial in Python prior to the start of the course to learn the Python syntax. We have a list of prerequisites with materials to help you catch up here.
Q: If I decline my placement in 2023 can you defer my application to 2024?
A: No, this is not possible, you will need to reapply for 2024.
Teaching assistant Applications, Selection, and Responsibilities
Q: Who should be a teaching assistant? What do teaching assistants do?
A: teaching assistants will work closely with a given pod for two weeks to help students solve problems and guide group projects. teaching assistants should have substantial expertise in Python and experience with some aspects of climate data analysis. there are three main types of teaching assistants:
Teaching Assistant: Works consistently with 1 pod (9-14 students), help with tutorials (4-6 hours per day) and any other learning issue that arises.
Lead Teaching Assistant: A more senior or returning Teaching Assistant, support and guide other Teaching Assistant, and work as a Teaching Assistant.
Project Teaching Assistant: Exclusively work with several groups on projects and transform to expert helpers in one or two topics (i.e. “reinforcement learning”)
Q: When will I be able to apply?
A: teaching assistants applications are open now (together with student application). until April 24th.
Q: I'd like to apply to be a teaching assistant but have no climate science experience, but I'm experienced in Python. Can I still apply?
A: The climate science course requires teaching assistants to have some experience with climate science since a central theme of the course is learning how to appropriately apply models to climate data.
Neuromatch Academy offers a Deep Learning Course that does not require teaching assistants to have experience with climate science. If you have questions about your ability to meet the requirements, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Can I be a teaching assistant in week 1 and then a student in week 2? Can I be a teaching assistant and a student?
A: teaching assistants must follow the same group of students through all two weeks. Thus the simple answer is no, you can't be a teaching assistant for just a week or two. However, we expect to need several backup teaching assistants, so if you cannot commit to all two weeks please indicate this in your application and we may ask you to be a backup teaching assistant!
Q: I'd like to be a teaching assistant but it looks to be merit based. Should I also apply as a student?
A: Yes, please do apply both as a teaching assistant and a student!
Q: How much do teaching assistants get paid?
A: The payment for teaching assistants is role dependent: Regular & Project TAs: $1,100 USD, and Lead TAs: $1,650 USD.
Being a Mentor
Q: Who should be a Mentor? What do Mentors do?
A: Mentors can be either academic faculty or professionals working in industry or non-profits who are interested in networking with students and answering questions related to their line of work
Certificates of completion and course credit
Q: Will students receive a certificate of completion?
A: We have not yet completed our plans for certificates of completion, but they will likely work in a similar fashion as for the Neuromatch Academy 2020 and 2021, in which students received a certificate indicating whether they completed the majority of the tutorials, and/or a research project. We will be able to mention the name of your institution on the certificate (for example, Laura Croft from the University of X). The certificate will not be available if you miss a substantial portion of the course.
Q: Will you provide any grades so I can get university credit for participating?
A: We do not plan to give any standardized grades, but you will receive a certificate of completion if you finish the course according to the evaluation of your teaching assistant. This certificate of completion does not automatically guarantee any sort of university credit (because we are not an officially accredited school), but you might be able to talk to your administration about that option. Every school has different policies, so you'll need to take your certificate of completion and the curriculum information to your specific institution or school to see if this is an option for you; unfortunately, we can't help facilitate this process given the number of students and universities attended .
Q: How will my teaching assistants' payment be taxed?
You will be paid as an independent contractor from within the United States and this may have tax implications depending on where you live and other factors. You will ultimately be responsible for understanding the tax implications for your own unique situation, but we have created this survey to help you understand. This is only a demonstration form so please do not submit a response to it. If accepted as a teaching assistant, you would fill out a similar form and upload the recommended documents to give us your financial, work visa, and other relevant details: Financial Demo Form.
We recommend you speak with a tax accountant, certified public accountant, or office at your home university or company to get personalized details. You should ask this office about the requirements for being paid as an independent contractor from a United States-based company. We have a process that will help you determine what tax forms you will need to satisfy governmental regulations for some countries, although ultimately you will be responsible for determining whether your other form(s) of employment is compatible with being paid by Climatematch Academy. We will have the money for you if you are able to legally accept it!