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Program Update

Alternative Sources of Support - May 2018

Funding opportunities from OTF and elsewhere

Each month, OTF sends an announcement of upcoming funding deadlines for Internet freedom and related projects and fellowships to our OTF-announce mailing list. The announcement includes funding opportunities from both OTF and alternative funding sources, as well as some new funders we’ve recently added to our list. Below you can find the May 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 a 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 Funding

OTF - Internet Freedom Fund
Next deadline: July 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 those projects and people who are new to the internet freedom community, helping those living within repressive environments, and are requesting less than $300,000 for a duration of less than 12 months.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/requests/internet-freedom-fund

OTF - Core Infrastructure Fund
Next deadline: July 1, 2018
The Core Infrastructure Fund supports building blocks of digital security and circumvention projects. This may include efforts focused on sustaining or improving PGP, SSL, SSH, Tor, OTR, pluggable transports, code libraries, and other technologies used within the core building blocks of everyday Internet Freedom technology used by people throughout the world to increase their access, privacy, and security online.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/requests/core-infrastructure-fund

OTF - Rapid Response Fund
Deadline: Ongoing
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.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/requests/rapid-response-fund

OTF - Request for Proposals: Rapid Response Services
Deadline: June 15, 2018
In support of the Rapid Response Fund, OTF is currently seeking multiple service partners to expand its offered services and better support the urgent digital threat mitigation against targeted individuals and organizations. Specifically, OTF seeks service providers with capabilities in four areas: web hosting and resiliency, auditing, circumvention support, and analysis.
More information: https://www.opentech.fund/requests/rfp-rapid-response

OTF - Labs
Deadline: Ongoing
For more specific, one-off support needs and services, check out OTF’s Labs: Localization, Community, Engineering, Usability, Red Team, and Legal. Of note, the Usability Lab recently expanded its offered services, which you can read about here.
Learn more about OTF’s Labs at: https://www.opentech.fund/labs

Alternative Funding

NLNet Foundation - Network and Internet Technology
Deadline: June 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/2018/20180601-call-en.html

DefendDefenders - Training of Trainers and Cyberwoman Forum
Deadline: June 1, 2018
DefendDefenders is hosting two upcoming events back-to-back in Nairobi, Kenya: a three-day “training of trainers” workshop from June 18-20 and a two-day “cyberwoman forum” held from June 21-22. The former will “cover basic topics around digital security practices and pedagogy to equip trainers to pass on the learning to their communities” while the latter will allow participants to “work together to advocate and influence policy aimed at protecting the rights of women and girls on the internet,” with a focus on the East Africa context.
More information: https://www.defenddefenders.org/2018/05/call-for-applications-training-of-trainers-and-cyberwoman-forum/

Ford Foundation - Digital Infrastructure Research RFP
Deadline: June 13, 2018
The Sloan and Ford Foundations are seeking to fund multiple research projects centered around “digital infrastructure” - or, the “foundation of free and public code that is designed to solve common challenges” on which many of society’s most vital institutions operate. Specific focus will be given to “better understanding the economics, maintenance and sustainability of digital infrastructure.” Projects are expected to run anywhere from 6-24 months in duration, with funding available in “tiers” from Small (<$50k) to Medium ($50 - 125k) and Large (>$125k).
More information: https://ford-foundation-6.forms.fm/digital-infrastructure-research-rfp/forms/4770

Internews - Pluggable Transports Funding
Deadline: June 15, 2018
Internews is offering small grants to support pluggable transports, specifically around the “implementation of new transports,” implementing pluggable transports in apps “providing security, privacy, or access to information,” and updating existing transports to the 2.x spec. Efforts may be supported for up to 6 months in duration and should be for $25,000 USD or less.
More information: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/pluggabletransports

DARPA - Computers and Humans Exploring Software Security (CHESS)
Deadline: June 15, 2018
“DARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals to develop techniques and systems that will substantially accelerate software vulnerability research (VR). The goal of the CHESS program is to develop computer-human systems to rapidly discover all classes of vulnerability in complex software…with the goal of finding 0-day vulnerabilities at a scale and speed appropriate for the complex software ecosystem upon which the U.S. Government, military, and economy depend.”
More information: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=303775

EU - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Research Grants (PhD)
Deadline: June 15, 2018
JOLT, “a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) European Training Network aimed at harnessing digital and data technologies for journalism,” is currently seeking to support 15 PhD candidates based at universities throughout the EU around a range of topics related to digital and data journalism, including “Journalism, Security, and Surveillance,” “Algorithms and News,” and “Impact of Infomediaries and Platforms on Journalism,” among others. Research funding is available for three years and includes a living allowance/salary, which varies depending on the topic/host university.
More information: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BKA865/15-phd-positions-in-digital-and-data-technology-for-news-media/

Sixth African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) - Call for Applications
Deadline: June 16, 2018
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the African Union Commission are seeking participants for the upcoming sixth African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG), a five-day learning and knowledge-sharing event. Applications are welcome from a diverse array of disciplines, whether you are “a policy maker, a researcher, a regulator, an engineer, a journalist, an entrepreneur or a gender equality and human rights defender.” The annual event’s “primary goal is to give Africans from multiple sectors and stakeholder groups the opportunity to gain knowledge that will enable them to participate confidently and effectively in internet governance processes and debates at the national, regional and global levels.” A limited number of scholarships are available for successful applicants.
More information: https://afrisig.org/2018/05/29/call-for-applications-for-the-sixth-african-school-on-internet-governance-now-open/

US Department of State, Mission to India - Workshops for Journalists to Counter Disinformation in the Digital Age
Deadline: June 27, 2018
The U.S. Consulate General, Public Affairs Section in Hyderabad is supporting a series of workshops for journalists, focusing on ways to build capacity for local journalists to fact check and source information responsibly in the digital age. Support for the conduct of four workshops is sought, with broad goals for the trainings including “an overview of media tools used for dissemination of information,” “tools and smart solutions to counter disinformation,” and ways to identify disinformation with discussion on “the ways it gets propagated.” Funding between $45,000 and $50,000 USD is available.
More information: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=304373

RIPE NCC - Community Projects Fund
Deadline: June 29, 2018
RIPE NCC is now offering project funding through its Community Projects Fund, providing EUR 250,000 total per year to efforts that are “of value to the operation and resilience of the Internet” with special focus on those that support the technical community in RIPE NCC’s service region (viewable here).
More information: https://www.ripe.net/support/cpf

USAID - Investigative Journalism, Mexico
Deadline: June 29, 2018
In support of advancing the capacity of local Mexico-based media outlets, USAID is seeking applications from qualified applicants around activities including improving the digital security of local journalists (including ensuring that “Journalists understand cyber-security best practices, utilize secure communications methods, and have a reduced exposure for data breaches and monitoring”), and increasing “local capacity in data journalism” (including by enabling local journalists to “utilize public data and technology- based approaches [machine learning, data scraping, social network analyses, etc] to develop stories.”
More information: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=304719

Call for Proposals: g0v Summit
Deadline: June 30, 2018
The 2018 edition of the Taiwan-based g0v community’s biannual summit will take place from October 5-7, 2018 in Taipei. The conference theme is examining the “ecosystem” of Civic Tech, both globally and locally. Proposals may draw from a wide variety of topics and fields including “fake news and fact checking, participatory and deliberative democracy, environmental sustainability, LGBTQ rights and gender equality, community-building and governance models, Civic Tech ecosystem and sustainability, and more.”
More information: https://summit.g0v.tw/2018/cfp/

Newly Added Alternative Funding Sources

Given the large amount of funding requests OTF receives, we’re always on the lookout for new funding sources that may be of interest to the community - keeping a special eye out for funders that are relevant in some way to Internet freedom, technology development, or the broader intersection between human rights and technology. Here are a few recently added to our list:

Coinbase - Coinbase Ventures
Cryptocurrency-exchange site Coinbase has announced plans for a startup funding arm, Coinbase Ventures, which will “provid[e] financing to promising early stage companies that have the teams and ideas that can move the [cryptocurrency] space forward in a positive, meaningful way.”

Snap Inc. - Yellow
The makers of Snapchat have launched Yellow, providing startup funding ($150k over three months) for ideas and projects centered around mobile storytelling.

Lumi Labs
A new Palo Alto-based “tech incubator” focused on “the consumer media and artificial intelligence space,” currently seeking developers to build prototypes.

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Join the OTF-announce mailing list to receive this in your inbox on a monthly basis here. Access our compiled list of alternative support sources here.