Announcing the Rapid Response Fellowship Program

New fellowship program to develop a strong digital emergency response community
Tue, 2015-09-01 17:37

The Open Technology Fund (OTF) today announces the launch of the Rapid Response Fellowship Program (RRFP), a new program designed to support individuals working to resolve highly time-sensitive and urgent digital emergencies in repressive environments.

The Rapid Response Fellowship Program is part of a broader OTF Rapid Response initiative which aims to strengthen and grow the global digital emergency response community, enabling the mitigation of emerging tactics and threats in a more timely and comprehensive manner. In addition, the fellowship is an investment in increasing the capacity of local, targeted communities.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis starting September 1, 2015.

Apply to the Rapid Response Fellowship

Supporting Individuals Responding to Sudden Escalations in Surveillance and Censorship

Individuals eligible for the fellowship must be working on urgent digital emergencies affecting vulnerable groups such as activists, bloggers, journalists, human rights defenders, and NGOs. Relevant digital threats include, among others, DDoS attacks, spear phishing campaigns, malware infection, and Internet blackouts. To combat such threats, fellows may implement defensive measures that improve an individual or organization’s digital security, or conduct topically relevant research.

In-Kind Resources Fellows can also request services from OTF’s Labs including but not limited to security audits, localization of tools, legal advice, global cloud infrastructure, remote server access, and the ability to connect to a variety of Internet freedom experts.

Rapid Response Fellowship Specifics

The RRFP fellows are awarded a contract of either 3 or 6 months, as OTF sees fit, based on the applicant’s proposed effort and experience. Each fellow will receive a monthly stipend of $4,200 as well as a travel stipend of up to $5,000 USD. After a contract term ends, a fellow may re-apply if the need for continued support exists.

In addition, all fellows must work with a host organization of their choice, housed preferably within the community they are serving. Notably, OTF recognizes that not all communities under attack may have the capacity to form and sustain organizations. In these cases, OTF can act as a fellow’s host organization.

While the fellowship is relatively short-term, the impact of a fellow’s work can and should reach further: RRFP fellows are expected to approach their work with sustainability in mind, so that the Rapid Response community can learn from their work, and at-risk Internet users can learn how to better defend themselves in the future. Ideal candidates would be those who are embedded in their respective communities and who prioritize knowledge-sharing and increasing overall community capacity.

The Application

Applications are now being accepted on a rolling basis, meaning there is no set deadline for applications. Your application will undergo a review process by OTF staff, Advisory Council members, and the proposed host organization.

For questions or comments, please contact [email protected]

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Apply to the Rapid Response Fellowship