NOTE: The deadline has been extended to 9 November at 12:22pm (just after noon). You can edit your proposal up until that deadline.
Mozilla seeks proposals for research funding to support its mission: to ensure the internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all.
Research Domains For the 2018H2 funding series, we are organizing proposals differently from previous rounds. Specifically, we will only be accepting proposals to answer very specific research questions, in three categories:
Voice, language and speech: We are exploring text-to-speech to help people listen to the web. What sort of content is easy or good to listen to, and what content is hard or bad to listen to? What would a listenability score look like, and how would it work? How can we turn hard-to-listen-to content into easy-to-listen-to-content?
Web of Things: Mozilla’s Web of Things solution has been exploring the opportunity for an open, standards-based Internet of Things package for the home. What are people doing in their homes that needs the Internet of Things, and how do you know? What features are attractive to early-stage developers but won’t translate to a wider audience, and what features will engage a more mainstream audience despite the lack of interest from an early-adopter or maker community?
Core Web Technologies: Mozilla has been deeply involved in creating and releasing AV1, an open, royalty-free video encoding format. We are looking for someone to port the rate control model from Theora/Daala to AV1, and to explore how best to use novel AV1 features like alt-refs and frame super-resolution to optimize the result.
Mixed Reality: We will also fund one more project in Mixed Reality; rather than issue a call for this project, we will draw one from our existing 2018H1 submissions.
We absolutely recognize the value of research outside of these domains, and will return to our more open-ended funding model in the future, but for this round we will only accept funding for work in these categories. Limitations Our aim with this program is to support Mozilla’s research efforts, rather than to generally fund research on the internet. In the absence of a strong Mozilla champion and/or a strong tie to current research, historically there are a few approaches we’re unlikely to fund:
We generally don’t fund the development of new open source projects through Mozilla Research Grants. We are looking to fund the creation of new research knowledge in the world, and in some cases this may involve releasing open source code, but that can't be the primary aim of the proposal.
We generally don’t fund proposals to improve the state of closed ecosystems, such as app stores.
We generally don’t fund studies of particular populations using or not using technologies, unless those are tied to very particular Mozilla goals.
We don’t fund development of ongoing open source (or closed source) programs, except as specified in the research questions: such programs should go through MOSS.
What should I do? Your first step should be to read through the whole submission form, well in advance, so you know what you're going to need to do. We expect you to put together a clear, coherent expression of your problem, the approach you're taking to solve that problem, and the solution you hope to achieve. You might want to think of this as a business plan for your research effort. What's the minimum level of success you're hoping to achieve and what's the best case? How will you know how successful you are? How many people will be impacted by what you do if you’re successful? What would happen if you didn’t do this research?
Make sure that someone who isn't an expert in your field can understand your project, and make sure that someone who is an expert in your field can understand what you're doing that's new.
You should make sure that you explicitly cover these criteria: viability, alignment, value, and impact.
viability: how likely is it that you will be able to execute on what you plan?
alignment: how well is this project aligned with the specific request?
value: is this project good value for money?
impact: how much will this project impact the world? how many people will it impact? what would happen if you don't do this project?
Incorporating a plan for ongoing engagement with Mozilla is a great plus, as we’ve found the most successful projects are those with strong ongoing interactions. If there are Mozilla data sources you would like to collaborate around, such as Firefox, Common Voice, or survey data, please specify that in the proposal. Rather than request you have a Mozillian as a champion, as we have in previous rounds, we will assign successful projects an internal champion.
What limitations are there for this funding? Applications must be affiliated with a university, research institute or research-focused registered non-profit, in any country except for those embargoed by the US State Department. Gifts are awarded to those institutions; we cannot award them to unaffiliated individuals. You must include a plan for disseminating the results, which would normally include publication in a peer-reviewed and open-access venue, and we encourage you to make those publications, results, code, and/or data publicly accessible. We will pay open-access fees for not-for-profit publishers included in your budget. Please acknowledge Mozilla's support in your publication, and send it to us when it gets published. We particularly encourage you to further publish your work in a format more accessible to the public, like blog posts or articles in the popular press. Send us those, too!
University-affiliated applicants can be students or faculty; students will require a letter from their advisor. Funding amounts are set at $25,000 including all expenses. We expect the timescale for most projects, not counting final publications, to be around one year, although that is only a guideline. We strongly encourage ongoing collaboration with Mozilla over the entire course of the grant.
As part of our commitment to diversity, we will fund childcare up to 10% of a grant, with a cap of $2500. We particularly encourage applications from new faculty in their first or second years. Funding is given as an unrestricted gift to the institution. We do not pay university overhead.
Please make sure you've read the FAQ before you start writing your application; please ask questions through that same page. In addition, we will have live online office hours in this Vidyo room on Wednesday, October 3rd at 10am PDT and Tuesday, October 16th at 6pm PDT.
The submission deadline is Thursday, November 1st at 12:22pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). The new deadline is Friday, November 9th at 12:22pm Pacific Standard Time. The next deadline will be announced in Spring of 2019; please sign up for our mailing list if you wish to be notified.
When you're ready to begin, hit the big Start button at the top right.