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Alternative Sources of Support - January 2020

Funding opportunities from OTF and elsewhere

OTF regularly compiles upcoming deadlines for funding opportunities relevant to Internet freedom, including those from both OTF and alternative funding sources.

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 - Internet Freedom Fund
Next deadline: March 1, 2020
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: March 1, 2020
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 - Community Prototype Fund
Deadline: Ongoing
The Community Prototype Fund (CPF) is OTF’s newest fund, focused on supporting the rapid development of innovative Internet freedom technology prototypes that serve the immediate needs of the human rights and Internet freedom communities. The CPF works from an idea pool populated with ideas sourced from the Internet freedom community. Activists, journalists, and human rights defenders with urgent technology needs can submit their ideas to this pool. Technologists (applicants) can then view eligible ideas and apply to build them. Alternatively, if you have an idea and want to build it yourself, you can also apply to do that. Focusing on short-term seed funding to jumpstart good ideas, the CPF offers up to $6,000 USD for a maximum duration of 12 weeks. Applications will be reviewed by the OTF community, consisting of current and former fellows and projects, the Advisory Council, and OTF staff. You can learn more in this announcement blog post, or click the link below to apply.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/funds/community-prototype-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 service partners to resolve digital emergencies experienced by high-risk Internet users and organizations, such as bloggers, activists, journalists. and human rights defenders.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/requests/rapid-response-fund

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: https://www.opentech.fund/labs

OTF - Information Controls Fellowship Program
Next deadline: February 24, 2020
The Information Controls Fellowship Program (ICFP) supports individuals working to examine restrictions on the free flow of information by repressive governments. In particular, ICFP fellows track Internet interference practices and investigate emerging means of overcoming censorship in repressive environments - the countries, regions, or areas worldwide where Internet freedom is most threatened. The ICFP program offers flexibility for candidates with fellowships available for three, six, nine, or twelve months in duration. This allows for the support of a wider range of proposed efforts, from those that are relatively short-term to projects that are larger in scope. The fellowship offers a monthly stipend of $5,000 along with a travel stipend.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/news/open-application-information-controls-fellowship-program/

Alternative Funding

Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society - Academic Year 2020-2021 Fellowship
Deadline: January 31, 2020
“Fellows appointed through this open call come into their fellowship with a personal research agenda and set of ambitions they wish to conduct while at the Center. These might include focused study or writing projects, action-oriented meetings, the development of technical tools, capacity-building, testing pedagogical approaches, or efforts to intervene in public discourse and trialing new platforms for exchange…Some broad topics of interest at the Center include (but are not limited to): Education, Libraries, & Digital Humanities; Ethics and Governance of AI; Governance of Technology & the Internet; Internet Health; Justice, Equity, & Inclusion; Media, Democracy, & Public Discourse; Privacy & Security; and Technology & the Law...During their fellowships, fellows are expected to live in Cambridge or elsewhere in the Greater-Boston area...Berkman Klein fellowships awarded through the open call for applications are rarely stipended, and most fellows receive no direct funding through the Berkman Klein Center as part of their fellowship appointment. To make Berkman Klein fellowships a possibility for as wide a range of applicants as possible, in the 2020-2021 academic year we will award a small number of stipends to incoming fellows selected through our open call for applications.”
More information: https://cyber.harvard.edu/getinvolved/fellowships/2021Fellows

Facebook - Ethics in AI Research Initiative for the Asia Pacific RFP
Deadline: January 31, 2020
“Facebook is supporting independent academic research work in the Asia Pacific in the field of AI ethics that takes into account different regional perspectives...We are particularly interested in proposals that pertain to the following topics: 1) Ethics / fairness by design...2) Governance…[and] 3) AI ethics and diversity...This RFP is open to academic institutions, think tanks, and research organizations registered and operational in the Asia Pacific region...Research findings will also serve as the basis for discussions for a workshop to be held in Hong Kong in September or October 2020...Organizations must be a nonprofit or non-governmental organization with recognized legal status in their respective country (equal to 501(c)(3) status under the United States Internal Revenue Code) and should comply with the applicable laws to receive foreign funds in their respective country.”
More information: https://research.fb.com/programs/research-awards/proposals/ethics-in-ai-research-initiative-for-the-asia-pacific-request-for-proposals/

Next Generation Internet Initiative - Decentralized Technologies
Deadline: January 31, 2020
The Next Generation Internet (NGI) Initiative’s Ledger Open Call is accepting submissions from applications looking to “shift data management, leveraging on decentralised algorithms based on blockchains, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and/or peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies to address Privacy-by-Design, reliability, trustworthiness and openness to build human centric solutions.” Ledger plans to accept 16 proposals for up to €150K in funding for each, with the top eight receiving an additional €50K. Ledger is financed by the European Commission and applicants should be registered (for organizations) or residents (for individuals) in an EU Member State or a Horizon 2020 Associated country.
More information: https://www.ngi.eu/opencalls/ledger/

Lumen - 2020 Open Call for Ideas
Deadline: January 31, 2020
Lumen “endeavor[s] to provide all North Koreans with access to uncensored sources of information and media as well as safe channels of communication.” In their first open call for ideas, Lumen “is seeking imaginative ideas for ways in which modern technology can bring more freedom of information and media to North Korean people.” Lumen “invite[s] you to submit an innovative idea based on a new or existing technology that can be used to distribute information into North Korea. It could be a moonshot idea, or a ‘smaller,’ more practical idea. We are open to all ideas and are excited to learn what big and creative thinkers around the world come up with for this call for ideas.”
More information: https://www.lumen.global/lumen-2020-open-call

Prototype Fund - Round 8
Application Opens: February 1, 2020
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 supports up to 25 projects per funding round, and each funding round focuses on a specific theme. Projects and their outputs must be released publicly under an open source license. Note: Limited to German residents, but German citizenship is not required.
More information
: https://prototypefund.de/en/

NLNet - Next Generation Search and Discovery
Deadline: February 1, 2020
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: https://nlnet.nl/discovery/

NLNet - Privacy & Trust Enhancing Technologies
Deadline: February 1, 2020
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: https://nlnet.nl/PET/

Motorola Solutions Foundation - 2020 Grant Program
Inquiry Form Deadline: February 3, 2020
Application Deadline: April 17, 2020

“The Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, focuses its funding on public safety, disaster relief, employee volunteerism and education, especially engineering and information technology programming...Motorola Solutions Foundation strongly prioritizes programs within North America and internationally that take place in or near the metropolitan area of Motorola Solutions offices as well as the universities Motorola Solutions recruits future employees.” Grant request maximum is $50,000.
More information: https://www.motorolasolutions.com/en_us/about/company-overview/corporate-responsibility/motorola-solutions-foundation.html

Library Freedom Project - Library Freedom Institute
Deadline: February 10, 2020
“Library Freedom Institute (LFI) is a privacy-focused training program for librarians to teach them the skills necessary to thrive as Privacy Advocates; from educating community members, to installing privacy software, to influencing public policy...Participants will spend 5 hours per week on a combination of readings, webinars, exercises, class discussion, and assignments. LFI is a free online course with one in-person requirement, which will take place on a weekend in New York City...There is no cost to this program; including the weekend in NYC. LFI is primarily seeking public librarians, but we welcome applications from all librarians who do outreach in their communities.”
More information: https://libraryfreedom.org/index.php/lfi/

Carr Center for Human Rights Policy - Technology and Human Rights Fellowship Program
Deadline: February 28, 2020
The Carr Center’s Technology and Human Rights Fellowship “invites applications from individuals to affiliate with the Center for one academic year to conduct research on the ethical and rights implications of technological advancements in general, and artificial intelligence in particular.” Applications focusing on “Ethical Implications of Artificial Intelligence”, “Racial Justice and Technology,” “Business and Human Rights Principles in the Age of Technology,” and “Human Rights in the Digital Public Sphere” are encouraged. Fellowships last in duration for one academic year, from September 2020 - June 2021. Note that the fellowship is unpaid.
More information: https://carrcenter.hks.harvard.edu/news/call-applications-technology-and-human-rights-fellowship-program

State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) - Internet Freedom Annual Program Statement
Deadline: 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: https://www.state.gov/request-for-statements-of-interest-drl-internet-freedom-annual-program-statement/

State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) - Request for Statements of Interest (SOI): Human Rights, Accountability, and Access to Information in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) Round 2
Deadlines: March 6, 2020; September 18, 2020
The State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) has announced “an open competition for organizations interested in submitting Statements of Interest (SOI) for projects that support the policy objective to promote human rights, accountability, and access to information in the DPRK.” DRL seeks to support projects that focus on “Fostering the Free Flow of Information into, out of, and within the DPRK” and “Documentation and Advocacy.” Applicants “that request less than $750,000 or more than $3,000,000 may be deemed technically ineligible.”
More information: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=323618

State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) - Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Annual Program Statement for Fixed Amount Awards for Human Rights, Accountability, and Access to Information in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea)
Deadline: March 6, 2020; September 18, 2020
The State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) has announced “an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for Fixed Amount Award (FAA) projects that support the policy objective to promote human rights, accountability, and access to information in the DPRK.” DRL seeks to support projects that focus on “Fostering the Free Flow of Information into, out of, and within the DPRK” and “Documentation and Advocacy.” Awards are for a minimum of $50,00 and maximum of $150,000 each. DRL anticipates 1-16 awardees for a period of performance of 3-12 months.
More information: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=323617

Ford Foundation - Technology Fellow
Deadline: March 11, 2020
“The Ford Foundation’s Technology Fellowship Program was created to support integrated learning and action at the intersection of social justice and technology throughout the work of the foundation...Technology Fellows will play a strategic advisory role to the Foundation as well as provide practical technical expertise to staff and grantees...Technology Fellows will enable the foundation to better serve the technical needs of grantees, identify emerging opportunities and threats related to technology, help develop networks and communities of social justice values-driven technology experts, and enrich the diverse perspectives of the program area teams.” Fellows will embed with one of three specific programs areas: Creativity and Free Expression, Future of Work(ers), and Cities and States. There are three open Fellowship positions to be filled and fellowships last for a duration of two years. Fellowship salaries are “based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity. A generous benefits package is provided.”
More information: https://fordfoundation.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/FordFoundationCareerPage/job/New-York-USA/Technology-Fellow_R691

Cybersecurity Tech Accord/United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs - Apps 4 Digital Peace
Deadline: July 30, 2020
“...[T]he Cybersecurity Tech Accord is excited to be partnering with the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) to launch Apps 4 Digital Peace, a first-of-its-kind competition, to stimulate new thinking from innovating young minds across the world (the “Competition”). The goal of the Competition is to develop original technology-based solutions, such as mobile applications, to both help limit the use of the internet as a domain of conflict, and to increase the stability of our online environment...Submissions will be reviewed by technical and policy experts from the Cybersecurity Tech Accord and UNODA, and finalists will have an opportunity to present their proposals during a dedicated event during High Level week of the United Nations in September 2020...Finalists for the Competition will be in the running to receive both cash prizes and networking opportunities to help get their ideas off the ground. This will include $15k for first prize, $10k for second, and $5k for third, as well as an opportunity to attend the Cybersecurity Tech Accord’s annual meeting to present the winning submission to some of the world’s leading technology companies committed to improving security online for users everywhere.”
More information: https://cybertechaccord.org/cybersecurity-tech-accord-announces-new-contest-in-partnership-with-the-un-office-of-disarmament-affairs/

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In addition to the open application windows listed above, you can always check our compiled list of alternative sources of support: https://guide.opentech.fund/appendix-iv-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: https://groups.google.com/a/opentech.fund/forum/#!forum/otf-announce/join