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Alternative Sources of Support - August 2018

| By: Dan McDevitt

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 August 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: 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.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/requests/internet-freedom-fund

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.
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 - Learning Lab Request for Proposals (RFP)
Deadline: September 7, 2018
OTF is launching a new Learning Lab, whose purpose is to better tell the stories of OTF’s supported projects and the results they produce. To launch the Lab, we’re looking for researchers, writers, and graphic designers to help us track projects as they finish their contracts, write up blog posts describing their work and outputs, and ensure finished products are visually appealing and well-designed. If you’re interested in becoming a Learning Lab service provider, learn more at the link below.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/requests/request-partners-learning-lab

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.
Learn more about OTF’s Labs here: https://www.opentech.fund/labs

Alternative Funding

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

Poynter - International Fact-Checking Fellowship
Deadline: August 31, 2018
Poynter is accepting applications for its International Fact-Checking Network fellowship, with two positions available. Each fellowship is designed “for fact-checkers who want to spend time embedded in a fact-checking organization from another country to be exposed to best practices they are seeking to adopt.” Fellowships are for $2,500 and open to applicants “ from a fact-checking organization with a public working method, transparent funding sources and a commitment to nonpartisanship.”
More information: https://www.poynter.org/news/apply-2018-international-fact-checking-network-fellowships

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

TechCongress Congressional Innovation Fellowship
Deadline: September 9, 2018
TechCongress is recruiting its fourth class of Congressional Innovation Fellows, offering “tech savvy individuals” the opportunity “to work with Members of Congress and Congressional Committees in order to build capacity in Congress, train cross-sector leaders…and keep Congress up to date about the latest challenges and opportunities relating to technology.” TechCongress will select up to ten candidates to work in Congress for one year starting January 2019. The fellowship offers “an annual stipend of $80,000, with other benefits like reimbursements for relocation, health care and travel.”
More information: https://www.techcongress.io/apply

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/

Prototype Fund
Deadline: September 30, 2018
The Prototype Fund “supports ideas in civic tech, data literacy, data security, and software infrastructure.” Grants of up to €47.500 are available, and projects have up to 6 months to implement ideas from a concept to prototype. The Prototype Fund is able to support up to 25 projects per funding round, and outputs “must be made publicly available under an open source license.” This funding round features a specific theme of “Letting machines learn,” calling for submissions which “encourage more people to participate in shaping…new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.”
Note: Limited to German residents
More information: https://prototypefund.de/en/

Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative - News and Information Quality Challenge
Application opens: September 12, 2018
Deadline: October 12, 2018
The Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative (the AI Initiative) has announced $750,000 in funding aiming to ensure “the use of artificial intelligence in the news ecosystem” is applied “ethically and in the public interest.” The AI Initiative will accept proposals focused on four specific topics: “governance,” “platform design,” “bad actors,” and “journalism.” Proposals will be accepted through an open call.
More information: https://aiethicsinitiative.org/news/2018/8/5/ai-initiative-announcing-750000-challenge-on-news-and-information-quality

National Endowment for Democracy (NED) - Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program
Deadline: October 15, 2018
NED’s Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program “offers five-month fellowships to leading democracy activists, journalists, civil society leaders, and scholars from around the world.” Fellows work out of NED’s International Forum for Democratic Studies in Washington D.C. for the duration of their fellowship. Intended candidates include “practitioners from developing and aspiring democracies, and those from non-democratic countries.” The fellowship offers “monthly payments to cover living expenses, plus basic health insurance, travel reimbursement, and research support” and runs from October 1, 2019–February 29, 2020 (Fall Session) or March 1–July 31, 2020 (Spring Session).
More information: https://www.ned.org/fellowships/

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

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