Fellowships

Mozilla Fellowships cover a range of topics and disciplines within the broader mission of Internet Health, upholding the internet as a force for good.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about the Mozilla Fellowship? See if you can find the answer to your question below. If you can’t find the answer to your question here, you can reach out to fellowships@mozillafoundation.org.

General

Who are Mozilla fellows?
Mozilla Fellows are working to stop the spread of misinformation, to put individuals in control of their data, and to keep artificial intelligence accountable. They are leaders who ensure smart cities and next-generation voice technology are diverse and equitable, and who conduct open research.

Hang-Do-Thi-Duc.jpg
Fellows put individuals in control of their personal data

Mozilla Fellow Hang Do Thi Duc created Data Selfie, a browser extension that provides an intimate window into data mining, predictive analytics, and Facebook consumption. Fellow Linet Kwamboka researched policies that guide data collection and dissemination across East Africa. And Fellow Rebecca Ricks worked with Human Rights Watch to explore how people use encryption online.

Sarah-Kiden.jpg
Fellows help connect the unconnected

Mozilla Fellow Amina Fazlullah promoted policies that support broadband connectivity in rural and vulnerable U.S. communities. Fellow Steve Song examined regulatory and policy barriers associated with bringing the next billion online. And Fellow Sarah Kiden researched last-mile connectivity in East Africa.

Jason-Schultz.jpg
Fellows keep artificial intelligence accountable

Mozilla Fellow Jason Schultz analyzed the impact of machine learning on civil liberties. Fellow Terah Lyons coordinated international governance of AI. And Fellow Suchana Seth worked alongside Data & Society to research biased algorithms.

Amel-Ghoulia.jpg
Fellows make scientific research more open

Mozilla Fellow Amel Ghouila leveraged open-source data and tools to bolster biomedical research across the African continent. And Fellow Chris Hartgerink explored how to make scholarly communication more collaborative, accurate, and open.

Meet the Mozilla Fellows.

What are Mozilla fellows expected to do?

Fellows are expected to use their skill sets — in technology, in advocacy, in research, or in law — to carry out the specific project identified in the proposal submitted to Mozilla. Mozilla Fellows are also expected to:

  • Champion the open Internet in collaboration with others in the Mozilla network, including other Mozilla Fellows
  • Communicate and share openly their work on an ongoing basis (e.g., blog posts)
  • Participate in Mozilla-organized events, such as conferences, learning labs, and weekly calls, and community events (MozFest, etc.)
  • Meet regularly with their Program Officer, and provide written fellowship updates as requested
  • Comply with all applicable policies and procedures of Mozilla and of host organizations (where applicable), as well as applicable U.S. and local laws
  • Release any code and non-confidential content created during the fellowship under an open license determined in consultation with Mozilla

What types of projects do Mozilla Fellows typically work on?

Fellows use their skill sets — in technology, in activism, in science, in policy — to design products, run campaigns, influence policy, develop tools, and ultimately lay the groundwork for a more open and inclusive internet.

For inspiration, learn more about projects led by current and previous Mozilla Fellows.

What is the time commitment of a Mozilla fellowship?

Most fellowships require a commitment of one year at a level generally consistent with full-time engagement. However, fellowships timelines can vary by fellowship track (i.e. the engagement length for Tech + Society fellows is a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 2 years, with an expectation that most will go for the full two year cycle). Part-time arrangements may also be possible.

Eligibility

What are the eligibility requirements for a Mozilla fellowship?

Applicants should be domain experts in the area in which they are applying. Fellows should also have a track record of success in the space of their proposed project, and a dedication to continuing to work in that space after their fellowship.

Specific fellowship tracks may have additional eligibility requirements, such as technical expertise or geographic location. Please be sure to consult the Applications Guidelines published along with the call for applications for any specific requirements.

Do I need to have a university or post-graduate degree?

There is no educational or experience prerequisite required for a Mozilla Fellowship, and applications will not be declined on the basis of educational completion.

Does the fellowship require special work authorization/ residency?

In general, Mozilla Fellows are required to have work authorization in the location where they will be carrying out their fellowship.

Application Process

What is the application process?

The application for a Mozilla Fellowship is a two part process: 1) registration and 2) full application.

The registration form and full application must be submitted in English using Mozilla’s Fluxx portal.

Please note: We recommend starting your application early, so our team has adequate time to respond to any questions you may have.

How do I create an account in Fluxx to submit my application?

To begin the application process, complete the Mozilla Fellows 2020-2021

Registration Form. Within two business days of submitting your registration form, you will receive an email from @fluxx.io with instructions to set your password on Mozilla’s Fluxx portal.

The answers you provide on your registration form will become a part of your full application, and will be assessed by reviewers. Please provide accurate and complete responses to the questions on the registration form.

If you have any difficulties with this process, please email grants@mozillafoundation.org.

How should I describe the project I would like to pursue as a fellow?

We recommend framing your proposed project in terms of how it contributes to the broader change you’d like to see in the world, and how it supports your mission and vision to advance that change. You might start by identifying a problem statement your project aims to address. Your project description could also include: information on the potential outcome(s) of your project; who you will collaborate with to achieve the intended impact and outcomes; how you will engage others in your work; and how your project impact could be communicated and socialized. We are particularly interested in applicants who understand how to leverage their proposed projects to drive change at a wide level.

Please note: Impact is defined as ‘a demonstrable effect, change or benefit, beyond academia’. It includes, but is not exclusive to, influences on, or changes to: people, society, industry/business, culture, the economy, public policy, professional practice, and/or the environment.

How will applications be reviewed?

All applications are reviewed by a restricted panel of reviewers made up of Mozilla staff, organizational partners, and other experts in the discipline(s) of the application. Following this review process, Mozilla team will select candidates for interviews, which, depending on the focus area, might involve reference checks, advisor interviews, or applicant matching interviews with host organizations (where relevant).

What are the selection criteria for Mozilla Fellows?

Fellows are selected on the basis of a rigorous review process. We will be looking for the following criteria in reviewing all applications:

  • Mission Driven. We’re looking for individuals with a track record of success in the space of their proposed project, and a dedication to continuing to work in that space after their fellowship year. In addition to having a long term commitment to working on the issue(s) proposed in their application, fellows should align with Mozilla’s interests and focus, and be able to easily leverage Mozilla’s strengths as an organization, i.e. open source ethos, large network of contributors.
  • Collaboration. An ideal candidate for a Mozilla Fellowship should enter the program with a project that would benefit from feedback and input from Mozilla’s interdisciplinary community. We’re looking for fellows with an eagerness to share and learn new skills, and to work in the open.
  • Impact. We’re looking for individuals working on a project where they will make - or be the catalyst for - significant change, with tangible, measurable results. Fellows should also be able to articulate how the impact of their project will advance the change they’d like to see in the world.
  • Leverage. Ideal candidates for a Mozilla fellowship will understand how to leverage their proposed projects to drive change at a wide level. We’re looking for individuals who are able to think about changing systems, and understand levers of change.
  • Initiative. An ideal candidate for a Mozilla Fellowship is someone who shows a lot of initiative, and will take charge of the experiences and opportunities given to them. Fellows are expected to manage their time and resources, and must be comfortable working with a high level of autonomy.
  • Communication. We’re looking for individuals with an interest in advocating for change and/or popularizing new ideas and approaches, and be comfortable using their voice - whether through written media or public speaking - to do so. Fellows should also have the ability to explain technology to a broad audience.

Fellowship Benefits

What supports do Mozilla Fellows receive?

In addition to competitive compensation and benefits, Mozilla Fellows also become part of a vibrant community of practice working to ensure the internet remains a force for good. Fellows will have the opportunity to meet regularly with each other and with Mozilla staff to share their work and learn together. Mozilla staff will also work with Fellows to create, execute, and report back on project impact plans, share ideas for potential collaborators, and help to share their work more widely.

What is the fellowship stipend?

Fellowship stipends are based on the fellowship track (i.e. Open Internet Engineering, Open Web, Tech Policy, Tech and Society, etc), level of engagement (i.e. full-time or part-time), and location of the fellowship.

In addition to a fellowship stipend, fellows also receive project and travel supplements. Full-time fellows are also eligible for additional benefits as described below.

What benefits are fellows provided?

In addition to a monthly stipend, fellows may be eligible for additional benefits, such as funding to support health care costs, childcare, fellowship-related travel, equipment, continued learning, and project costs. Health insurance is not provided by Mozilla for fellows. Supplements for health care and child care will depend on family situations.

If you have more specific questions, please reach out to us directly at fellowships@mozillafoundation.org.

What are the tax considerations of participating in this fellowship?

Proposed fellowship amounts are gross amounts and may be reduced by applicable taxes. Fellows are responsible to pay all applicable taxes, whether in their home jurisdictions, the jurisdiction where the fellowship occurs, or any other jurisdiction. In some cases, Mozilla may be required to withhold taxes at the time of payment, and reduce the amount of fellows’ payments accordingly. For instance, Mozilla may have to withhold up to 30% of any stipend payments attributable to fellowship activities taking place in the U.S., although fellows may be able to claim reduced rates of withholding or refund of a portion of these taxes. It is fellows’ responsibility to communicate in advance with Mozilla about where they will be located throughout the fellowship.

Host Organizations

What is the role of host organizations?

Some Mozilla Fellows are embedded in civil society organizations - “host organizations” - that are dedicated to building stronger internet health related resources and systems. A host organization supports each open web activist in our program, and we match fellows with host organizations with synchronous interests, where they will find mentorship and work alongside each other fighting for digital rights.

Which fellowship tracks have host organizations?

Open web activists

Fellows embed with the host organization for their 10-month tenure in the program, and build programs and projects that further their personal interests and align with the organization's mission or related issues.

Host organizations build connections with fellows and with each other in the cohort to be able to deepen impact together and build connections across the public interest technology field.

View the current host organizations in this track.

Open internet engineers

Fellows will be associated with host organizations throughout their 12-month fellowship, and will build technical expertise and leadership skills, and become change agents for building the internet in their respective regions. Fellows will have the freedom to pursue a specific objective of their choice that is closely aligned with the aims of their host organization.

The current host organizations are Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC) and the Internet Society.

Tech + Society

Fellows will be placed as senior technology strategists within select host organizations and coalitions that are foundational to the strength and capacity of regional civil society. Fellows will help increase the impact of the organization’s work by supporting them to recognize, design, and implement a strategy that accounts for the impact of technology on the organization’s mission.

Learn about the potential host organizations in this track.

Will I have an opportunity to indicate a host organization preference?

Yes. All applicants applying in a track that includes host organization relationships will have an opportunity to indicate the specific organization(s) with whom they’re most interested in working with in the application.

How are Mozilla Fellows matched with host organizations?

We match fellows with host organizations with synchronous interests, where they will find mentorship and work alongside each other fighting for digital rights. We do this by soliciting applications from potential fellows, and trying to match them to the organization in our current application cycle that we think might best support and complement their work, and inspire their projects as fellows.