Alternative Sources of Support – November 2018

Funding opportunities from OTF and elsewhere
Tue, 2018-12-04 21:02

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 November 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 Funding

OTF – Internet Freedom Fund
Next deadline: January 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: January 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

State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) – Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Secure and Sustainable Human Rights Documentation Solutions
Deadline: December 7, 2018
The State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) has announced “an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that support the research, development, and implementation of secure human rights (HR) documentation solutions,” in furtherance of DRL’s goal “to promote accountability for perpetrators of genocide and mass atrocities…Programs should provide civil society actors with sustainable solutions for usable and secure documentation-gathering, short and long-term storage, delivery and interface with international and national truth, justice, and accountability bodies and processes, and training in the implementation of such technologies and strategies.” DRL “anticipates having approximately $1,000,000…available to support approximately one successful application” for projects which “may span multiple years as appropriate[.]”
More information:

National Science Foundation (NSF) – America’s Seed Fund
Deadline: December 4, 2018
NSF’s “America’s Seed Fund” program helps “startups and small businesses transform their ideas into marketable products and services,” focusing on “high-risk, high-impact technologies — those that show promise but whose success hasn’t yet been validated” in a variety of areas including “ IoT, edtech, smart health, [and] robotics.” The program awards $200 million in funding for entrepreneurs each year. Successful applicants may receive up to $225,000 for 6 to 12 months for Phase I funding, and are eligible to apply for second round funding of up to $750,000 over 24 months. Note that eligible applicants may not be non-profit institutions and must qualify as an American “Small Business Concern,” per the program’s stated eligibility requirements.
More information:

National Science Foundation (NSF) – Dear Colleague Letter: Enabling Early-Stage Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) Socio-Technical Interdisciplinary Collaborations
Deadline: December 12, 2018
NSF has issued a Dear Colleague Letter “announcing its intention to encourage the submission of EArly-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals that foster excellent interdisciplinary research in the SaTC domain to be carried out in early-stage collaborations between one or more Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) researchers and one or more Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) researchers.” Note that per NSF guidelines, applicants must be U.S.-based. Proposals may request up to $300,000 for a duration of two years.
More information:

Mozilla – Responsible Computer Science Challenge
Deadline: December 13, 2018
Omidyar Network, Mozilla, Schmidt Futures, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies have announced the Responsible Computer Science Challenge, “an ambitious initiative to integrate ethics and accountability into undergraduate computer science curricula and pedagogy at U.S. colleges and universities.” The challenge is offering up to $3.5 million between December 2018 and July 2020. The challenge will consist of two “stages,” with the first focused on developing concepts and the second focused on implementing and scaling the approaches devised in Stage 1.
More information:

Data Transparency Lab – Luca Challenge for Responsible Use of AI
Deadline: December 15, 2018
This hackathon has two main objectives: (1) identify the prevalence of biased AI systems in society that result in unfair discrimination, and (2) “develop tools and/or algorithms that help detect and mitigate the concerns.” Submitted projects should be original and teams are limited to four or less people. There are cash prizes for the top three projects, and winners “receive the prize award in exchange for a, worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive license for Telefonica to use the projects.”
More information:

DARPA – RFI: Applications and Barriers to Consensus Protocols (ABC)
Deadline: December 20, 2018
DARPA has solicited this request for information (RFI) on three topics: (1) Incentivizing Distributed Consensus Protocols without Money; (2) Economic-Driven Security Models of Distributed Consensus Protocols; and (3) Centralities of Distributed Consensus Protocols. “Responders with submissions deemed of interest will be invited to a two-day workshop, tentatively scheduled for February 14 and 15, 2019, in Arlington, VA. Some responders may be asked to speak at this workshop about the contents of their submission.”
More information:

Digital Whistleblowing Fund – “Anti-Corruption Activism”
Deadline: December 31, 2018
The Digital Whistleblowing Fund offers financial support up to €3,000 or IT and advisory support for “investigative journalism groups and human rights grassroots organisations” to start their own “ secure digital whistleblowing initiative.” Eligible organizations must be a member of one of the following networks: Southeast Europe Coalition on Whistleblower Protection, Whistleblowing International Network, Transparency International, or the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The theme of the first round is “Anti-corruption Activism.”
More information:

Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University – Fellowship 2019-2020
Deadline: January 18, 2019
The Berkman Klein Center is now accepting applications for its fellowship program for the 2019-2020 academic year. “This opportunity is for those who wish to spend 2019-2020 in residence in Cambridge, MA as part of the Center’s vibrant community of research and practice, and who seek to engage in collaborative, cross-disciplinary, and cross-sectoral exploration of some of the Internet’s most important and compelling issues.” Fellowships are “rarely stipended,” though Berkman “will award a small number of stipends to incoming fellows.”
More information:

Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF) – Standard Grant
Deadline: January 20, 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:

NLNet Foundation – Privacy & Trust Enhancing Technologies
Deadline: February 1, 2019
NLNet is committed to allocating 5.6 million euros to “small to medium-size R&D grants towards privacy and trust enhancing technologies” through 2021, and are currently accepting proposals for projects seeking between €5,000 and €50,000. Project outputs will be open sourced and seeks to provide 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.”
More information:

State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) – FY 2018 DRL Internet Freedom Annual Program Statement
Deadline: 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:

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). 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: