Alternative Sources of Support – June 2019

Funding opportunities from OTF and elsewhere
Tue, 2019-06-18 18:52

OTF sends a regular 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 June 2019 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 those with approaching deadlines, while a number of funders accept applications on a rolling basis.

OTF Funding

OTF – Digital Integrity Fellowship Program
Next deadline: July 15, 2019
The Digital Integrity Fellowship Program (DIFP) connects individual digital security experts with organizations and communities most affected by Internet freedom violations, with a goal of increasing their digital security capacity and know-how. By embedding with host organizations for the full duration of their fellowship, DIFP fellows are able to address both short- and long-term threats facing these organizations – instilling longer lasting change and improvements for organizations, filling a gap left by short-term, one-off security trainings. DIFP fellows may embed with any host organization of their choosing so long as sufficient justification is provided demonstrating their relevance and need. Fellows are given a stipend of $5,000 per month for a maximum of 12 months; Awarded fellows will also be allotted an “organizational support stipend” of $5,000 total to cover equipment and subscription costs used in connection with maintaining security protections for recipient organizations.

OTF – Internet Freedom Fund
Next deadline: July 1, 2019
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: July 1, 2019
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
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 service partners to resolve digital emergencies experienced by high-risk Internet users and organizations, such as bloggers, activists, journalists. and human rights defenders.

OTF – Labs
Deadline: Ongoing
For more specific, one-off support needs and services, check out OTF’s Labs: Localization, Community, Engineering, Usability, Red Team, Learning, and Legal.
Learn more about OTF’s Labs here:

Alternative Funding

Knight Foundation – Funding opportunity: Governance, Norms and Values – Research on the Future Internet
Deadline: Rolling
The Knight Foundation is accepting applications “to support fundamental research that addresses issues of rules, norms and governance of the internet and digital platforms.” Specific topics of interest include content (“the rights and responsibilities of users of services, as well as the rights and responsibilities of social media companies and digital service providers, with regard to content”), market (“how to understand the digital services and social media marketplaces”), and regulation (“regulatory response – in terms of self-regulation, consumer behavior and government regulation – including new regulatory theories and specific regulatory proposals”). Activities may include research (such as publication development), faculty (such as new full-time faculty or visiting professorships), or fellowships.
More information:

Facebook – Request for Proposals: The Online Safety Benchmark
Deadline: June 20, 2019
Facebook is accepting proposals from the academic community in pursuit of “building open-source datasets on which the community can measure the progress of existing techniques to reduce misleading behavior online.” Seeking to address challenges related to “safer online conversations,” including “misinformation, as well as hate speech and inauthentic online behavior,” “[t]he grant aims to provide funding for projects that build research infrastructure such as datasets or evaluation platforms that can accelerate research in a broader way.” Funding can range between $10k and $50k; note that the grant is only available to “current full-time faculty at an accredited academic institution that awards research degrees to PhD students.”
More information:

UC Irvine School of Law – Digital Rights Fellow, International Justice Clinic in the School of Law
Deadline: June 30, 2019
The University of California, Irvine School of Law is accepting applications for a Digital Rights Fellow in its International Justice Clinic (IJC). The fellowship aims “to provide an individual with mentorship and the opportunity to launch or deepen a career in digital rights lawyering and human rights education. The successful candidate will work principally on projects defending and promoting human rights online, with a specific focus on rights to freedom of opinion and expression and privacy.” Note that a J.D. is required. The fellowship is one year “with the possibility of extension for an additional year” and starts on August 1, 2019.
More information:

USAID – Request for Information: Promoting Internet Freedom
Deadline: July 1, 2019
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to gather information “to support anticipated Activity design in support of the U.S. Government’s efforts to strengthen local non-governmental organizations’ (NGOs) ability to promote Internet freedom.” Please note that this solicitation will not result in the award of funding – it is rather a way for USAID to collect “responses from interested individuals and organizations to provide information and recommendations that can help shape USAID’s strategy for strengthening Internet freedom in the countries where USAID works.”
More information:

Facebook – Request for Proposals: Instagram Well-being and Safety Research
Deadline: July 3, 2019
Facebook is accepting proposals related to research with a goal of “better understand[ing] experiences on Instagram that foster or harm the well-being and safety of our communities and societies. This includes, but is not limited to, research that will help us understand problematic issues facing our communities, develop better policies, assess possible interventions to protect our communities, or identify the mechanisms (e.g., social support, social comparison) through which Instagram usage directly impacts well-being.” Funding up to $50k per awardee is available for a duration of up to one year. “Applicants worldwide from academic institutions and non-profit organizations” are eligible for this request.
More information:

NLNet Foundation – Next Generation Search and Discovery
Deadline: August 1, 2019
NLNet is seeking proposals requesting between €5,000 and €50,000 for projects looking to improve online search and discovery functionality. Specifically, projects should focus on ways “to put powerful new technology in the hands of future generations as building blocks for a fair and democratic society and an open economy that benefits all.” This effort is part of the EU’s Next Generation Initiative (NGI), which seeks to “re-imagine and re-engineer the internet for the third millennium and beyond to shape a value-centric, human and inclusive society for all.”
More information:

NLNet Foundation – Privacy & Trust Enhancing Technologies
Deadline: August 1, 2019
NLNet is seeking proposals requesting between €5,000 and €50,000 for projects for Privacy and Trust projects “aimed at providing people with new instruments that allow them more agency – and assist us with fulfilling the human need of keeping some private and confidential context and information private and confidential.” This effort is part of the EU’s Next Generation Initiative (NGI), which seeks to “re-imagine and re-engineer the internet for the third millennium and beyond to shape a value-centric, human and inclusive society for all.”
More information:

Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF) – Standard Grant
Deadline: August 5, 2019
EMHRF provides support to “human rights defenders [in the South-Mediterranean region] in difficulty or at risk, for the specific purpose of allowing them to pursue their activities, as well as to small human rights organisations or groups with the aim of strengthening their capacities in implementing innovative activities in the region.” Funding may not exceed €40,000 and is usually between €5,000 and €30,000 for a duration of 12-18 months.
More information:

State Department Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues – Strengthening International Engagement on Security in Cyberspace
Deadline: August 9, 2019
The State Department’s Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues (S/CCI) is accepting applications “for a program to support upcoming United Nations-related cyber events of strategic importance, in particular meetings related to the UN Group of Governmental Experts and the UN Open Ended Working Group. The purpose of this award is to support travel, lodging and other logistics for civilian government officials to participate in these key cyber-related discussions, as well as other UN events that may discuss non-security cyber issues of concern (e.g. Internet governance, cybercrime, and Internet freedom). The recipient will also develop an online training course, which aims to provide foundational understandings on core U.S. cyber policy concepts for foreign civilian government officials, particularly regarding international security and stability in cyberspace. Pending the availability of funds, S/CCI anticipates awarding one cooperative agreement of up to $500,000.00.”
More information:

State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) – Internet Freedom Annual Program Statement
Deadlines: September 20, 2019 and March 6, 2020
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 marginalized populations. Eligible SOIs should not request “less than $500,000” or “more than $3,000,000.” Organizations may submit no more than two SOIs per deadline.
More information:

National Science Foundation (NSF) – Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) FY19 Solicitation
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). Note that per NSF guidelines, applicants must be U.S.-based. 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:

Internet Society Foundation – Beyond the Net Small Grant Programme
Deadline: October 30, 2019
The Internet Society’s Beyond the Net Small Grant Programme is available to Internet Society Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for “projects such as learning opportunities, skill development, networking events, and membership and marketing campaigns” with a goal of “contribut[ing] to the development of the Chapter and local community” or “strengthen[ing] the impact of the Internet Society’s mission and global initiatives with complementary local activities,” for example. Grants of up to $3,500 per Chapter are available. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and must be completed at least 60 days in advance of the proposed effort.
More information:


In addition to the open application windows listed above, you can always check our compiled list of alternative sources of support:

To receive this and other funding or OTF-related announcements, sign up for our low-traffic OTF-announce mailing list here:!forum/otf-announce/join