What are Mozilla Fellowships?
The internet today is pervasive: It shapes economies, influences governments, and is layered into billions of lives.
A pervasive internet has the potential to uplift society — it can promote democracy, open markets, and free expression. But it can also promote polarization, mass surveillance, and misinformation.
More than ever, we need a movement to ensure the internet remains a force for good. Mozilla Fellows are activists, open-source researchers, engineers, and technology policy experts who work on the front lines of that movement. Fellows develop new thinking on how to address emerging threats and challenges facing a healthy internet.
Mozilla Fellows are working to create new models of data governance, hold artificial intelligence accountable, stop the spread of misinformation and develop voice recognition for the languages of underserved communities. As part of a multidisciplinary and global community, Mozilla Fellows have the opportunity to learn from and contribute to a variety of approaches to address emerging threats and challenges facing a healthy internet.
Fellows work in the realm of public interest technology, addressing issues like privacy, security, and inclusion online. These open web activists embed at leading human rights and civil society organizations around the world, lending their technical expertise.
Tech + Society
These Fellows are building capacity at the intersection of technology and society. They are embedded with local organizations to create a ‘third space’ where key civil society organizations and tech-focused individuals address issues at the intersection of technology and society.
These experts in deep learning-based voice technologies are fostering open data collection efforts and providing technical advising to support speech recognition and speech synthesis for local languages in East Africa. These Fellows are part of Mozilla’s Common Voice project.
As part of Mozilla’s Responsible Computing Challenge, these fellows support promising approaches to integrating ethics into computer science education and empowering a new wave of graduating technologists to bring holistic thinking to the design of tech products and drive a culture shift in the tech industry.
Senior Fellows: Tech policy
These Senior Fellows are policy experts who are thinking deeply about innovative but specific policy solutions needed for making the AI ecosystem more trustworthy and who are looking at these policy issues from an intersectional lens with other movement areas.
Senior Fellows: Trustworthy AI
These Fellows are issue-area experts partnering with Mozilla toward the goal of a world where trustworthy AI enriches the lives of human beings. Their work is focused on tackling issues around bias, poor transparency, and data governance that currently hinder that reality.
Since 2011, the Mozilla Foundation has designed and run Fellowship and Awards programs in partnership with a variety of funders to uplift innovative, multidisciplinary technologies and talents at the intersection of technology and civil society.
Mozilla Fellowships provide time, resources, tools, community, and amplification to those building a more humane digital world. During their tenure, Fellows use their skill sets — in technology, in policy, in research, in movement building — to conduct investigatory research, develop policy frameworks, build community, and ultimately lay the groundwork for a more open and inclusive internet.
In addition to a monthly stipend and benefits support, Fellows become part of Mozilla’s community and gain access to our resources and diverse network. Supports include:
- Impact Design: Working in partnership with Mozilla, each Fellow creates a project plan — outlining a theory of change and accompanying impact metrics.
- Individual and Peer Support: All fellows have the opportunity to receive mentorship and guidance from Staff and Fellows at Mozilla, with expertise ranging from AI to community management to project governance. Fellows also report to a Program Officer and will have regularly scheduled 1:1 meetings.
- Community: Connections with like-minded leaders, opportunities for collaboration with partner organizations, alumni, and Mozilla staff, and interdisciplinary connections to support their project.
- Network and Resources- From projects like Common Voice to the deep expertise — and reach — of Mozilla’s Insights and Advocacy teams, Mozilla has a wide range of programs and tools Fellows can plug into to advance their work.
- Project Promotion: Mozilla’s Communications and PR Team provides a spectrum of support for Fellows in communicating their work to a wider audience, including writing, editing, content production, pitching to media outlets, facilitating speaking engagements, and sharing with Mozilla’s website audience and email list.
- Showcasing Work: Mozilla holds an annual festival called MozFest which brings together artists, activists, thinkers, and builders working from around the world who are all working towards a healthier internet. This event provides a place and an opportunity to convene, facilitate or curate in a way that helps Fellows raise the issues that are most pressing for them and their communities.
Why become a Fellow?
Mozilla Fellows are invited to use the fellowship as a platform to carry out work of importance to them and the health of the internet. Mozilla Fellows have the opportunity to learn from and contribute to a variety of issues and approaches to ensure the internet remains a force for good. As a Fellow, you will:
- Become part of a multidisciplinary and global community. Meet the Mozilla Fellows.
- Design impactful projects with the potential to reach millions. See what Fellows and their collaborators are working on.
- Expand your reach and amplify your work. See how Fellows and Awardees - and their work - are showing up in the world.
- Learn from and collaborate with a global community of Mozillians. Meet more than 10,000 Mozilla contributors around the world.
I was working for the New York Times as a data journalist and spending my nights and weekends donating time, helping groups think about surveillance and digital safety and hygiene and security. I talked to a few people and they said, there’s this Mozilla fellowship you should look at. So I thought, I’ll apply and if I get it, I will dedicate myself to it, maybe I’ll feel more satisfied doing good and giving back that way.... It’s not even hyperbole when I say it changed my life.”
Matt Mitchell, 2017-2018 Mozilla Fellow
Want to support the incredible work Fellows are doing? Either as a host organization or a funder, you can join us to keep the Internet healthy. Find out how to partner with us.