FAQ

What types of efforts does OTF support?
Does OTF support projects, individuals, or both?
Does my project sound like something OTF would support?
What does OTF look for in an application?
When does OTF accept applications? When are the deadlines?
Is there a minimum or maximum monetary amount for funding requests?
I submitted an application. When can I expect to hear a response from OTF?
Does OTF support projects that are commercial or proprietary in nature?
Does OTF support overhead costs?
Do I have to include an attachment with my application?

What types of efforts does OTF support?
OTF supports research, development, and implementation efforts focused on increasing:
* Access to the internet, including circumvention tools;
* Awareness of access, privacy, or security threats, including research, censorship detection, measurement platforms, and increasing digital security know-how among targeted groups;
* Privacy for at-risk users; and
* Security against threats to internet access and safety.

Does OTF support projects, individuals, or both?
OTF does not have any requirements regarding an applicant’s status - whether for-profit, nonprofit, or a single individual, located inside or outside the United States, so long as the proposed effort fits within OTF’s mission, goals, and focus areas, it may be considered.

OTF supports both individuals and projects through several different funding mechanisms:
Projects
* Internet Freedom Fund
* Rapid Response Fund
* Core Infrastructure Fund
* Labs
Fellowships
* Information Controls Fellowship
* Digital Integrity Fellowship

Does my project sound like something OTF would support?
OTF encourages any potential applicant to first explore OTF’s mission, goals, and primary focus areas. If it sounds like your project might be a good fit, you’ll want to identify which fund or fellowship is most appropriate for you. From there, submitting a concept note is the best next step.

What does OTF look for in an application?
See OTF’s listed Concept Note considerations for details on important factors and things to include in your Concept Note. If you’re applying for a fellowship, refer to that specific fellowship’s page for criteria and more details. For those invited to submit full proposals, we also list publicly the evaluation worksheet used by OTF staff and our Advisory Council during the proposal review phase.

When does OTF accept applications? When are the deadlines?
For the Internet Freedom Fund and Core Infrastructure Fund
OTF accepts applications on a rolling basis for the Internet Freedom Fund and Core Infrastructure Fund with a recurring deadline of every other month. The round deadlines are Jan 1, March 1, May 1, July 1, Sep 1, and Nov 1.

For the Rapid Response Fund
OTF accepts and reviews applications for its Rapid Response Fund on an ongoing basis as they’re received. There is no deadline for Rapid Response so that digital emergencies can be confronted as they arise.

For Fellowships
OTF’s fellowship programs accept applications once annually:
* Information Controls: Annual window opens in the spring, typically from mid-February to mid-March.
* Digital Integrity: Annual window opens in the fall.

For Labs
OTF’s Labs accept applications for services on an ongoing basis.

Is there a minimum or maximum monetary amount for funding requests?
For the Internet Freedom Fund
Minimum of $10,000 and maximum of $900,000 for a year-long contract. Note, however, that OTF’s target support ceiling is $300,000; most supported efforts receive between $50,000 and $200,000. $300,000.
For the Core Infrastructure Fund
Minimum of $5,000 and maximum of $300,000.
For the Rapid Response Fund
Minimum of $1 and maximum of $50,000 for a period of no longer than six months.
For Fellowships
Fixed stipend rates for both senior and seasonal fellows.

I submitted an application. When can I expect to hear a response from OTF?
Immediately after submitting your application, you should receive an email from OTF confirming that we have received your submission. After that, your next contact with OTF will be a determination notice, which you can expect within a month from when that round’s application window closes.

Does OTF support projects that are commercial or proprietary in nature?
OTF places high priority on funding tools that are open-source and freely available to download and use, ensuring a low barrier to user adoption and use.

Does OTF support overhead costs?
OTF generally does not support standalone costs which are not directly associated with the completion of contractually stated objectives or deliverables. In the very limited instances where OTF determines that an overhead cost is permissible, such costs cannot be greater than 10% of the overall project cost. More information can be under the Overhead section here.

Do I have to include an attachment with my application?
Attaching a resume or CV is required for first time applicants. If you’re applying as an organization, include those of staff that will actually be working on the project. Beyond this requirement, if you have something you feel strengthens your application and it can’t be added as a link, including such materials as an attachment is fine.