Alternative Sources of Support - July 2018
Funding opportunities from OTF and elsewhere
Each month, OTF sends an announcement of upcoming funding deadlines relevant to Internet freedom to our OTF-announce mailing list. The announcement includes funding opportunities from both OTF and alternative funding sources. Below you can find the July 2018 edition.
If you’d like to receive this announcement directly in your inbox, you can sign up for our low traffic OTF-announce mailing list here. In addition, you can find our compiled list of alternative funding sources here. The opportunities listed below are only for those with approaching deadlines, while a number of funders accept applications on a rolling basis.
OTF - Internet Freedom Fund
Next deadline: September 1, 2018
The Internet Freedom Fund is OTF’s primary way to support projects and people working on open and accessible technology-centric projects that promote human rights, internet freedom, open societies, and help advance inclusive and safe access to global communications networks. Successful applicants are awarded monetary support up to $900,000 and no less than $10,000, with preference given to projects and people who are new to the internet freedom community, directly serving those living within repressive environments, and are requesting less than $300,000 for a duration of 12 months or less.
OTF - Core Infrastructure Fund
Next deadline: September 1, 2018
The Core Infrastructure Fund supports the development, improvement, and increased adoption of foundational ‘building block’ technologies that are relied upon by digital security and circumvention projects. This may include efforts focused on sustaining or improving PGP, SSL, SSH, Tor, OTR, pluggable transports, code libraries, or other technologies, infrastructures, and standards that make up the core building blocks of everyday internet freedom technologies and which are used by people throughout the world to increase their access, privacy, and security online.
OTF - Rapid Response Fund
The Rapid Response Fund is part of a broader OTF initiative which aims to facilitate the development of a strong digital emergency response community that can work together to resolve threats in a timely and comprehensive manner. OTF offers both direct financial support as well as technical services from trusted partners to resolve digital emergencies experienced by high-risk Internet users and organizations, such as bloggers, cyber activists, journalists. and human rights defenders.
OTF - Labs
For more specific, one-off support needs and services, check out OTF’s Labs: Localization, Community, Engineering, Usability, Red Team, and Legal.
Learn more about OTF’s Labs here: https://www.opentech.fund/labs
State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) - FY 2018 DRL Internet Freedom Annual Program Statement
Deadlines: September 14, 2018 and February 8, 2019
The State Department’s Internet Freedom program has issued its annual program statement detailing its desired criteria for applicants interested in submitting a Statement of Interest (SOI). There are four funding themes: 1) “Technology: Uncensored and Secure Access to the Global Internet,” 2) “Digital Safety,” 3) “Policy and Advocacy,” and 4) “Applied Research,” with preference given to open source technologies and projects that include a long-term sustainability model, feature collaborative partnerships, and which benefit at-risk and vulnerable populations. In order to remain eligible, SOIs should not request “less than $500,000” or “more than $3,000,000.” Organizations may submit up to two SOIs per deadline.
More information: https://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/284025.htm
State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) - Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Internet Freedom Core Support for Anti-Censorship Technology
Deadline: November 9, 2018
The State Department’s Internet Freedom program issued a call for “organizations interested in submitting applications for long-term, core support for proven anti-censorship technologies.” DRL “anticipates having approximately $7,000,000…available to support approximately two to three successful applications” for technologies “that can be expanded to serve a larger and more diverse user base,” which have a “proven track record of successfully circumventing online censorship in highly Internet-restricted environments,” and which have a “significant existing global user-base,” among other requested specifications.
More information: https://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/284036.htm
State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) - Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Internet Freedom: Advancing and Promoting Anti-Censorship Transport Libraries
Deadline: November 9, 2018
The State Department’s Internet Freedom program has announced “an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for long-term development, core support, outreach, and implementation of censorship-defeating pluggable transports (PTs).” DRL “anticipates having approximately $2,000,000…available to support approximately one successful application” for “a multi-year program to expand the existing open-source pluggable transports library, provide support for emerging and innovative pluggable transports, engage in outreach to support the implementation of open-source transports into a variety of communication tools that are vulnerable to blocking by censorious regimes, and provide ongoing measurement and testing to determine the effectiveness of transports in different censorship environments,” among other requested specifications.
More information: https://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/284037.htm
Digital Freedom Fund - Strategic Litigation Grants
The Digital Freedom Fund offers legal support to strengthen digital rights in Europe, focusing on three types of activity: single-instance litigation, pre-litigation research, and emergency support. DFF is particularly interested in supporting cases which may help individuals’ ability to advance their right to privacy, protect and promote the free flow of information online, and ensure accountability, transparency & adherence to human rights standards in use & design of technology.
More information: https://digitalfreedomfund.org/support/
Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) - Open Source Center Strategic Grants
Deadline: July 31, 2018
DIAL is now accepting applications for its “first round of strategic grants for open source software projects serving the international development and humanitarian sectors.” DIAL aims to “support solutions to common challenges and to fund projects that foster creativity, scale, and support functionality of [FOSS] software by removing some of the barriers to FOSS projects meeting full maturity.” DIAL will provide up to five grant awards for up to $900,000 USD total.
More information: http://www.osc.dial.community/grants.html
NLNet Foundation - Network and Internet Technology
Deadline: August 1, 2018
“NLnet foundation supports a large array of activities, from software development, standardisation work and development of educational material up to hacker festivals, digital rights activities and the international development of open source software licences. The NLnet contribution can also be used as so called “matching” for other subsidies from organisations such as the EU and Science foundations.” Funding requests must be for less than EUR 30,000.
More information: https://nlnet.nl/news/2018/20180801-call-en.html
Mozilla - Creative Media (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning)
Deadline: August 1, 2018
Mozilla is offering a total of $225,000 USD for artwork and advocacy projects that “help the public understand how threats to a healthy internet affect their everyday lives,” with a focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Mozilla is looking for “projects that are accessible to broad audiences and native to the internet, from videos and games to browser extensions and data visualizations,” and stipulates that “projects must be freely available online and suitable for a non-expert audience.”
More information: https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2018/06/04/mozilla-announces-225000-for-art-and-advocacy-exploring-artificial-intelligence/
Mozilla - Open Leaders
Deadline: August 5, 2018
Mozilla is now accepting applications for its sixth cohort of its Open Leaders program, which supports individuals “running or starting an open project that supports a healthy Internet” and who are looking for ways to welcome additional contributors. Open Leaders “receive ongoing 1:1 project help from Mozilla staff and mentors,” “have access to a community of mentors [and] technologists,” and “get practical experience empowering others to collaborate.” The emphasized theme for this cohort is “Data and You,” exploring topics and projects related to the use and collection of personal data.
More information: https://medium.com/read-write-participate/announcing-mozilla-open-leaders-round-6-88224f6e4857
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) - Berlin Scholarship Program
Deadline: August 9, 2018
RSF has announced a new scholarship program training journalists in digital security. The program features “several weeks of intensive training in digital security” and offers travel costs to and from Berlin, takes care of visas, provides housing and public transportation costs, and offers a monthly stipend of around €1000 per month as well as use of a computer.
More information: https://rsf.org/en/news/rsf-new-scholarship-program-trains-journalists-digital-security
Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) - Digital Rights Advancement Grants
Deadline: August 9, 2018
MLDI is looking to offer multiple “one-off grants” to “NGOs, law centres and/or independent media outlets in East, West, and Southern Africa to advance digital rights and freedom of expression online.” MLDI is interested in funding “short-term, pilot projects that contribute to better local level access to legal assistance and support to online independent media.” Grants totaling GBP14,000 and GBP16,000 will be offered for efforts between 6 and 8 months in duration, and are available to “NGOs, law centres and independent media outlets registered in East Africa, West Africa, or Southern Africa.”
More information: https://www.mediadefence.org/news/special-call-digital-rights-advancement-grants
Facebook - WhatsApp Research Awards for Social Science and Misinformation
Deadline: August 12, 2018
Through its WhatsApp Research Awards, Facebook is offering “a competitive set of awards to researchers interested in exploring issues that are related to misinformation on WhatsApp,” providing funding for proposed research efforts seeking to explore “information processing of problematic content,” “election related information,” “network effects and virality,” “digital literacy and misinformation,” and the “detection of problematic behavior within encrypted systems.” Rewards are for up to $50,000 per proposal and offers recipients an invitation to attend two workshops held in Menlo Park, CA, with travel costs covered. Researchers with PhDs are strongly preferred.
More information: https://research.fb.com/programs/research-awards/proposals/whatsapp-research-awards-for-social-science-and-misinformation/
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) - Resilient Anonymous Communication for Everyone (RACE)
Deadline: Abstracts due date: August 14, 2018
Proposals due date: September 18, 2018
DARPA has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for RACE, which “will research technologies for a distributed messaging system that a) can exist completely within a given network, b) provides confidentiality, integrity, and availability of messaging, and c) preserves privacy to any participant in the system.” The issued BAA includes a table detailing the necessary security standards for the proposed system, descriptions of the proposed system’s high level system architecture and program structure, and details around technical areas including cryptography, obfuscated communication, integration, and distribution. DARPA expects to issue multiple awards, with a total of $44 million available and an expected program start date of March 2019.
More information: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=1c268989fc5d242c2d94c4d45abd505d&tab=core&_cview=0
Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) - HIIG Internet and Society Fellowship 2019
Deadline: September 1, 2018
For its 2019 fellowship cohort, HIIG seeks applicants to pursue research in the following areas: 1) “the evolving digital society: concepts, discourses, structures,” 2) “Data, actors, infrastructures: the governance of data-driven innovation and cyber security,” and 3) “Learning, knowledge, innovation: the change in knowledge production, organisation and transfer through digital innovation.” HIIG fellows must obtain their own funding, but may use the institution’s facilities for the duration of their fellowship, which may range in length from 3 to 12 months. Travel grants and visa subsidies are available.
More information: https://www.hiig.de/en/fellow-programme/
Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University - Assembly 2019
Deadline: September 2, 2018
The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society is now accepting applications for its 2019 Assembly program, which will run from March to June 2019. The 2019 edition will focus on AI, gathering “a small cohort of technologists, managers, policymakers, and other professionals to confront emerging problems related to the ethics and governance of artificial intelligence.” Participants receive a $2,500 stipend and are expected to be in Cambridge for the first two weeks of the program, and then work “half-time for the remaining twelve weeks of the program.”
More information: http://bkmla.org/apply.html
IBM - Call for Code Global Challenge
Deadline: September 28, 2018
IBM’s Call for Code Global Challenge is offering awards to projects seeking to “build applications that improve disaster preparedness and build resilient communities” which can be “deployed effectively and easily around the world,” with the first place grantee receiving a $200k USD cash prize and “long-term open source project support from The Linux Foundation,” while second and third prize awards total $25k USD. IBM stipulates that all submissions “must be deployed and run on the IBM Cloud.” Potential project goals include improving supply chain management through blockchain technology and utilizing analytics to predict the impact of extreme weather events.
More information: https://callforcode.org/challenge/
Facebook - Request for Proposals: Statistics for Improving Insights and Decisions
Deadline: October 30, 2018
Facebook is offering $150k in research grants “to address problems of applied statistics that have direct applications for producing more effective insights and decisions for data scientists and researchers” in order to improve Facebook’s platform while also “producing generalizable knowledge” and the creation of “useful, easy-to-use and open-source software.” Facebook is looking to support studies in areas such as the design and analysis of experiments; surveys, nonresponse bias and missing data; forecasting; statistical models of complex social processes; and the efficiency and correctness of human analysts, among others.
More information: https://research.fb.com/programs/research-awards/proposals/statistics-for-improving-insights-and-decisions-request-for-proposals/
National Science Foundation (NSF) - Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) FY19 Solicitation
Application opens: October 1, 2018
Deadline: September 30, 2019
NSF’s SaTC program “welcomes proposals that address cybersecurity and privacy,” with preference given to “proposals that advance the field of cybersecurity and privacy within a single discipline or interdisciplinary efforts that span multiple disciplines.” NSF estimates that there will be $68 million available for project funding, with 93 awards in total expected. Funding is available for small (up to $500k, up to three years) and medium (from $500,001 to $1.2 million, up to four years) projects across three designations (CORE, Education, and Transition to Practice). This year, NSF is accepting SaTC submissions on a rolling basis over the course of a year, from October 2018 until September 2019. There are a number of other notable changes made from past NSF SaTC solicitations, which can be found in the posting linked to below.
More information: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2018/nsf18572/nsf18572.htm