Switch! – Frequently Asked Questions

Project support/ Support Package

The APNIC Foundation is committed to providing logistics and financial support to project participants to complete the activities as per their approved Professional Development Plan, including (but not restricted to):

  1. Cover pre-approved costs associated with your Professional Development Plan (training courses fees, exams fees, learning material purchase/subscription, mentoring session fees, upgrade to your existing Internet access to support online learning from home) upon presentation of valid receipts/invoices. When possible, the Foundation will process the expense directly to the supplier. If not possible, a bank reimbursement will be processed using the bank information provided. 
  2. Cover pre-approved travel/transport associated expenses if you need to travel outside of the city in which you reside to participate from a course/exam according to our travel policies and procedures.

Key Dates

01 February 2024Applications Launch at 12:00 Brisbane time (UTC +10)
29 February 2024Applications Close at 23:59 Brisbane time (UTC +10)
01 March 2024Application Reviews Commence
31 March 2024Final list of successful participants

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Applications are open to women and gender diverse working professionals, who are residents of Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste or Viet Nam.

The term gender-diverse is the term the Foundation is using to identify and be able to provide tailored support to people who do not identify themselves as either male or female or those who identify as a gender different to their biological sex.

Applicants need to be actively involved in Internet network management and operations, cybersecurity, or internet governance in any of the following capacities:

  • Internet network management and operations, e.g. Network engineering and network design, Network operations and Network Operation Centre, Internet systems engineering and systems operations.
  • Cybersecurity, e.g. network security, software security, information security.
  • Internet governance, e.g. policy making

The Selection process is entirely at the discretion of the APNIC Foundation and the decisions are final. The APNIC Foundation will not be able to provide detailed feedback to unsuccessful applicants.  

Participation Requirements

As a Sponsored Participant, you agree to undertake the following activities to the best of your ability for each of the courses on your Professional Development Plan:

  1. To complete any registration requirements to undertake the proposed courses approved on your plan. 
  2. To explore course content and prepare to make the most of your participation. 
  3. To attend and actively participate in the courses that you have identified as part of your plan. 
  4. To support your National Coordinator in the organization of online mentoring sessions that support your plan, and to commit to join for the full duration of each session(s). 
  5. To document your experience and learnings in an individual Learning Journal. 
  6. To engage with your National Coordinator regularly to discuss your progress and professional development.
  7. To complete any post-training surveys or questionnaires to provide feedback on your experience as a participant, according to the deadlines provided by the course provider and share with your National Coordinator brief reports about the experience. 
  8. To contribute to the preparation of blog articles to share Switch!  project updates and milestones with the technical community for publication on the APNIC Foundation website. 
  9. To share your experience and knowledge with your colleagues, relevant project participants and the local Internet community as appropriate. For example, you can:
    1. write a blog post in your local language to share your experience with your local community
    1. join and engage with the Foundation on social media – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
    1. subscribe to the APNIC training mailing list to keep up to date with local training activities
    1. whenever possible, participate in relevant local and regional events
  10. To respond promptly to reminders/call for action to meet any agreed deadlines. Please inform your National Coordinator should any problems arise.
  11. To fulfill your plan requirements to gain the intended certificate(s). 

Why does the Foundation focus on women and gender diverse people for the Switch! project?

The APNIC Foundation is committed to increasing participation and representation in the Internet industry. It invests across its program areas of Inclusion, Infrastructure and Knowledge, through projects that are targeting the organizations and individuals that are directly involved in Internet research, development and adoption across the Asia Pacific region.

Available data from our consultation processes and anecdotal evidence confirm that there is still a big disparity in the workforce between men employed in technical roles vs women and gender diverse professionals. While there are many initiatives that support young women to study STEM careers and others focusing on developing leadership skills in technical companies to have more women in leadership positions, the APNIC Foundation identified scenarios where 1) women and gender diverse people, already employed in technical roles in the industry, has to limit their professional development to opportunities that respond to the needs of their employers, instead of their personal development, availability and capacity, and 2) once leadership development pathways are available, many of these highly skilled technical professionals end up leaving technical roles again in the hands of men, as gender considerations are not considered as part of succession planning/recruitment.

The APNIC Foundation established the Switch! Project to fill those gaps and respond to the individual needs of highly motivated women and gender diverse people in the industry so that they can positively and proactively contribute to the development of the industry, as they define their own goals and receive tailored support to achieve them.

What professional development topics can I request support for and in which modalities? 

Access to education and training either online or face-to-face, through a combination of one or more workshops, webinars, seminars, tutorials, and so on, that are part of professional certifications pathways that are related but not limited to the following topics:

Technical: Network operations (Fundamentals, Routing, DNS, Cloud); Security (Network, Software, Cloud, Information, Privacy); Data science and analytics; Software and web development; research skills on technical related areas

Management: Management skills; Governance and risk; Internet governance, Communication (Public speaking, English proficiency); Leadership and self development

If selected, how long will support be available?  

Expenses can only be covered from April to October 2024, with completion of all items approved under the professional development plan to be completed by October 2024. That includes exams, course attendance and related activities.

Can I take a course in my local language? 


How much is the financial support available per person?

Since selected participants will be seeking support for a variety of roles and career levels, their needs and required support can also vary. The APNIC Foundation has also negotiated discounts with some training providers, and those calculations will affect final amounts. We encourage selected participants to define their Professional Development (PD) requests thinking about what will be the most relevant opportunity in the timeframe available. All requests received will be assessed.

Do participants have any obligations to the project after it ends?

Although the participants are only required to participate within project duration as per their participants agreement mentioned in the Participation Requirements section, participants are encouraged to remain subscribed to the project mailing list and are welcome to take advantage of any additional support available and the network of contacts they established due to their participation in the project. The project participants may be contacted after the project has ended, to provide feedback on past or future projects, assist with engagement with their employers and the community in their respective economies.