Alternative Sources of Support – October 2018

Funding opportunities from OTF and elsewhere
Fri, 2018-10-26 17:00

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 October 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: November 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: November 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
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): 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:

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:

US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) Internet Anti-Censorship Tool Solicitations
Deadline: December 3, 2018
The US Agency for Global Media (USAGM), formerly the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), has posted three new “Internet Anti-Censorship Tool” solicitations. The solicitations are geared specifically towards development of desktop PC software, a mobile application, and a Software Developer’s Kit (SDK). More information about each can be found at the following links:

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:

Internews – Small Grants for Digital Rights Advocacy
Deadline: October 26, 2018
Internews is offering support for “short-term and targeted advocacy initiatives” that seek to “raise awareness of internet policy and digital rights.” Supported efforts could include “podcasts, research reports, infographics, blog series, radio spots, art projects, academic papers, webinars, [or] working groups” and may focus on subject areas such as “filtering or blocking” and “online surveillance and data privacy.” Individual grants may request between $3,000 and $5,000. Projects may begin any time after November 2018 but must be completed by March 31, 2019.
More information:

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:

Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy – Individual Grants
Deadline: December 1, 2018
The Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy provides individual grants for current PhD students working on “projects with a social policy application on either a global or local level” and which “address contemporary issues in the social sciences.” Grants are worth $7,500 and recipients have five years to complete their project.
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:

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: