The User Group Program

Welcome to RUGS 2020, the R Consortium’s R User Group and Small Conference Support Program for 2020. We at the R Consortium believe that nothing is more effective than face-to-face meetings for people to learn about each other, learn from each other, and set and accomplish common goals. We value both R User Groups and R focused conferences as a great strength of the R Community, and we will do all that we can to encourage, promote and support these activities.

We encourage user groups and conference organizers to do all that they can to provide inclusive, safe and welcoming environments where participants and the R language can flourish. Groups who have participated in the 2019 RUGS program are welcome to apply for a 2020 cash grant on the one year anniversary of their acceptance into the 2019 program.

The next sections describe the RUGS User Group Program. Below these, is the description of the Small Conference Support Program.

General Requirements for R user group participation in the RUGS 2020

To participate in the RC RUGS program a user group must meet the following criteria. The group must:

  • Have R as a primary focus
  • Adhere to the code of conduct published on the R Consortium website
  • Agree to participate in the RUGS or R-Ladies Pro programs and use their site to announce and track meetings
  • Acknowledge the R Consortium as a sponsor and display the R Consortium logo on the group’s website
  • Agree to write at least one blog post per year about their group’s activities for possible publication on the R Consortium Blog
  • Comply with the instructions completing a W9 Form (US based groups only) or Wire Transfer form (Groups based outside of the US)

RUGS 2020 User Group Grants

R user groups grants under the RUGS 2020 program come in two parts:

  1. Groups will be enrolled into the Pro program. Participation in this program means that a group is awarded a account (or its existing account is registered with the program), and the R Consortium will pay the group’s fees for twelve months after acceptance into the program.
  2. Groups will be awarded a cash grant according to the level assigned to the group. 

R Consortium Pro Program

The 2020 RC RUGS program will continue the Pro Program. Unlike previous years, however,  all groups receiving R Consortium grants will be entered into this program. RUGS accepted into the Pro Account program will have their dues paid for one year following the date of the acceptance email announcing their 2020 cash grant and acceptance into the Pro program. Thereafter, the R Consortium will continue to pay dues for participating groups as long as the groups remain active, continue to meet regularly, and use to schedule and announce meetings.  


  1. R-Ladies maintains a separate Pro account. R-Ladies groups must apply directly to R-Ladies for acceptance into their program. They will not be automatically entered into the RUGS Pro account.
  2. The R Consortium maintains the right to terminate the RUG’s Pro program at any time. Additionally, The R Consortium has the right to terminate a group’s participation in the Pro program for inactivity, misuse of the account, or other unacceptable behavior.

Group Levels for Cash Grants

Grants will be awarded for four categories of R user groups:

  • New Group: for brand new groups who have no track record of RUGS participation and who may not have an internet presence
  • Vector level: for groups that attract < 50 people per meeting
  • Matrix level: for groups that attract 50 – 100 attendees per meeting
  • Array level: for groups >100 attendees per meeting


Grants will be cancelled if a group does not complete the process of accepting the grant as specified in the grant award email announcement within 365 days of the date of the award of the grant. 

Grants and Group Requirements by Level

This section describes requirements that must be met for each level of grant and the amount of the cash grant for the RUGS 2020 Program.

New Group

This level is for new groups which are just beginning to organize, do not have a history of holding meetings, and who may not have a web presence. Cash grants to New Groups will be $100.

Vector Level

Vector level support is for new and small groups. The minimum requirements for Vector level support are:

  • At least five people in the group
  • A public webpage which indicates the number of people in the group, the dates and content of the meetings, and the number of people who register to attend each meeting

Vector level grants will be US $150. 

Matrix Level

Matrix level support requires:

  • A group website with the same features as described above for the Vector level
  • At least three group meetings in the six months prior to applying for support
  • A minimum of fifty people attending each of the three meetings

Matrix level grants will be US $500

Array Level

Array level support* requires:

  • A group website with the same features as described above for the Vector level
  • At least three group meetings in the six months prior to applying for support
  • A minimum of 100 people attending each of the three meetings

Array level grants will be US $1,000.

The RUGS Small Conference Support Program

Small conferences include conferences expected to attract approximately 250 participants that are being organized and promoted by non-profit or volunteer groups.

In addition to showing evidence of significant R related content in the talks and meetings at the conference, to be eligible for support conference organizers must agree to:

  • Adhere to the R Consortium’s Code of Conduct.
  • Publish a code of conduct on the conference website along with information about how conference participants can report violations or seek help.
  • Acknowledge the R Consortium as a sponsor and display the R Consortium logo on the conference website.
  • Provide at least one full admission ticket for an R Consortium member.
  • To write a post after the conference, summarizing some key metrics for the conference (number of attendees, number of R related talks, etc.) for possible publication on the R Consortium blog.
  • Offer the R Consortium the same benefits that conference offers to other sponsors at the same level of support.


Any grant relating to a specific activity will be cancelled if (a) the activity to which it relates is cancelled without rescheduling, (b) the activity has otherwise not occurred within 365 days of the date of the grant, or (c) the applicant does not attend the activity to which the grant relates.

How to Apply to the R Consortium RUGS Program

The 2020 RUGS program began accepting requests for support on January 20, 2020, and will continue to take applications through September 30, 2020.

To apply for either a RUG or Small conference grant please fill in and submit the form located here.