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Q&A: The Information Controls Fellowship Program

| By: Adam Lynn

Apply by February 24, 2019

The deadline for applications to the Information Controls Fellowship Program is fast approaching (February 24). The fellowship program focuses on advancing research, analysis, and tool development on topics related to internet censorship and surveillance. We’ve compiled answers to some commonly asked questions for those thinking of applying or looking to serve as a host organization.

Q: Who can apply?

A: We welcome individuals of all ages irrespective of nationality, residency, creed, gender, or other factors. Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate a commitment to reach audiences outside the research community and skill and ability to assist in efforts to overcome information controls.

Q: Are there restrictions on what countries or regions can be focused on?

A: While OTF has a global focus, we prioritize supporting projects focused on regions and countries where fundamental human rights are being repressed, specifically with high levels of surveillance and/or censorship.

Q: How much is a fellow paid?

A: Fellows receive a stipend of $4,200 per month and a travel stipend that is based on the duration of the fellowship

Q: How long do ICFP fellowships last?

A: ICFP fellowships may be 3, 6, 9, or 12 months in duration.

Q: Can fellowships be done remotely?

A: Yes. While fellows are ideally able to work locally within their host organization, applicants who wish to work remotely will also be considered with the expectation that a strategy for remote communication will be established.

Q: Can fellowships be done while fellows are employed at another organization?

A: Fellows are expected to work full time on their project. Some previous fellows have maintained part time positions but full time positions are not allowed.

Q: What have previous fellows worked on?

A: A wide range of projects. You can find a list of all previous OTF Fellows on our website. You you also read about the outcomes for previous rounds of fellows (round one, round two, round three, round four and round five)

Q: What are the requirements for host organizations?

A: Applicants can specify the host organization of their choosing. Non-academic host organizations are welcome, as are those based outside the United States. Email [email protected] for more information.

Q: When will I know if I’ve been accepted?

A: The length of the OTF review process depends on the applicant’s responsiveness and the specific project being proposed. We strive to provide successful applicants with a final determination by early June.

Q: Where can I ask a different question?

A: Should you still have questions, please add them to this public spreadsheet and they will be answered in a prompt fashion. If your question is not appropriate for a public forum, please email [email protected]

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The Open Technology Fund (OTF)’s Information Controls Fellowship Program (ICFP) supports examination into how governments in countries, regions, or areas of OTF’s core focus are restricting the free flow of information, impeding access to the open internet, and implementing censorship mechanisms, thereby threatening the ability of global citizens to exercise basic human rights and democracy.

To learn more about the ICFP, click here.