This page contains important information about the application, review and selection process for the role of Senior Fellows - Trustworthy AI as well as some frequently asked questions. If you have questions about the opportunity or the information provided below, please email [email protected].
To submit an application for the Senior Fellow-Trustworthy AI role, please visit Mozilla's Job Listings.
Along with a resume, you will be asked to include the following:
- Selection of a topic area with which your interest and work most closely align - transparency; bias; data stewardship; movement building; open source.
- A brief description of the impact of your work related to that topic area.
- Your ambitions in that field and how being a Mozilla Fellow would help advance that ambition.
- An example of how you approach working openly.
- Examples of previous work (such as URL links to a video of a talk/presentation and a blog/article/opinion piece).
- Any feedback you’d like to provide on Mozilla’s Trustworthy AI Theory of Change.
- A proposal for an independent project related to that thematic area that you would drive as part of your fellowship (see more details on what should be included below).
- A timeline for your fellowship.
- All applications must be submitted via Mozilla’s Job Listings.
- All applications must be in English.
- No responsibility is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, invalid, illegible, incorrect, inaccurate or misdirected registrations or submissions; or for any error, human, technical or otherwise, that may occur in the processing of submissions.
As a Mozilla Fellow, you're invited to use the fellowship as a platform to carry out work of importance to you and the health of the internet. Independent projects are projects proposed by, designed by and carried out by you, but that may leverage the resources and expertise a partnership with Mozilla can provide through its fellowship program.
Fellows are expected to propose independent projects as part of the application process. The project should have a clear focus, timeline, and impact related to the thematic area of your fellowship. The impact defined for the project should demonstrate a deep understanding of what it means to drive change at a systemic level.
The project must also be for the public benefit and not for the primary benefit of Mozilla. It is expected that the project will result in tangible outputs and demonstrate the Fellow’s dedication of substantial time to the work of the fellowship. It is also expected that Fellows work in the open, regularly sharing and documenting their work and releasing it under an open license.
Projects may not include activities that involve lobbying, voter registration, or political campaign interventions.
Your proposal for an independent project should answer the following questions:
- What will the project produce?
- What are the key milestones and timeline for this project?
- What impact will it have on trustworthy AI, and how will the impact be measured?
- What are the benefits of doing this project as part of a Mozilla fellowship vs. somewhere else?
- Are there particular skills, assets, or resources Mozilla can bring to the table as part of our collaboration?
- What support(s) might you need to be successful?
Tips on describing the project you would like to pursue as a fellow
We recommend framing your proposed project in terms of how it contributes to the broader, system level change you’d like to see in the world, and how it supports your mission and vision to advance that change. You are encouraged to think creatively, but you should make sure your proposal has a clearly identified problem statement and information about potential outcomes. Think about whom you will collaborate with, how will you engage others in your work, and how the impact of your project could be communicated.
Transparency + AI
With transparency, we can better scrutinize how AI systems impact — and potentially harm — billions of people and then hold their creators to account. When paired with the appropriate accountability mechanisms, transparency can also decentralize power in the tech industry.
Fellows in this area should have a strong technological background and be deeply engaged in work to develop — and encourage — the adoption of AI transparency and documentation best practices for consumer technologies that use AI. The ultimate goal of these fellows’ work should be to develop best practices for guiding those who build AI products, the policymakers who regulate them, and the consumers who use them.
How data is controlled and governed is central to our understanding of internet health and trustworthy AI. We are committed to working with data governance innovators — builders, founders, community leaders, and policymakers — to develop responsible data stewardship approaches that shift power from companies back to communities and individuals.
Fellows in this area should be deeply committed to responsible data practices, and leading a body of work that has the potential to disrupt current data economies. Their work might be focused on collective governance, business models, data donation incentives, personal vs collective approaches, specific legal questions etc.
The Fellow in this area will plug into Mozilla’s Data Futures Lab and help to shape our policy positions in this area.
AI + Bias
AI relies on computational models, data, and processes that reflect existing bias, often resulting in biased or discriminatory outcomes, with outsized impact on marginalized communities.
Fellows in this area should be technologists and activists with a profound understanding of algorithmic bias who are working to increase fairness and reduce discrimination, inequality, and harms caused by flawed AI systems. Their work might focus on building, testing, and encouraging the adoption of early bias detection tools and/or developing and advocating for policies at both the industry and legislative levels that promote fairness. They may also be working to foster a community of AI practitioners studying AI through the critical lens of justice and equity.
AI isn’t just a technology issue: it impacts community justice, climate justice, and many other movements. As such, Mozilla is committed to working across movements and to deepening the intersections between their primary issues and ours.
Fellows in this area should have a deep understanding of how critical internet freedom is to building and sustaining movements, and be working in community with others to address challenges around AI and data as defining computing technologies of today. Their work might sit at the intersection of the internet health movement and other movements (e.g. community justice, climate justice, human rights, economic justice, or other social justice movements) and should embody an interdisciplinary, collective, and intersectional approach to building and prototyping the frameworks necessary for creating equitable technology and AI.
Mozilla was born out of and remains a part of the open source movement. The practices of openness, transparency, and community stewardship guide our work and that of our awardees and fellows.
Fellows in this area should have deep technological expertise and embrace openness, transparency, and community stewardship as methodology. They might be working on open source tools, data and/or approaches that other developers can use, modify and interrogate to help mitigate the harms resulting from technologies that are not open. The ultimate goal of the fellow’s work will be to help technologists equitably redistribute power through the use of open technologies and practices.
All applications are evaluated based on the selection criteria listed below. Applications will be screened by program staff to shortlist applicants. Shortlisting will be done based on topic area alignment, depth of experience, communication skills, ability to work remotely, and commitment to openness. Applicants may then be invited to participate in panel interviews with Mozilla staff, Mozilla leadership, and other Fellows. A quantitative scoring rubric based on the selection criteria listed below will be used in addition to qualitative discussion. Diversity in applicant background and past work are also considered.
Applicants must include a detailed independent project proposal in their fellowship application. The project proposal should provide a clear description of an independent project aligned to the topic area selected [transparency, bias/fairness, data stewardship, movement building, open source], and an intended impact of that project that demonstrates a deep understanding of what it means to drive change at a systemic level.
Applications should demonstrate the following criteria. Additional criteria by topic area will also be considered.
Experience + Impact
- proven impact in the thematic area identified in the application
- an in-depth understanding of, technical expertise in, or background related to the thematic area(s)
- a tightly defined independent project proposal that shows a deep understanding of what it means to drive change at a systemic level
Collaboration + Communication
- a keen understanding of the ecosystem related to the topic area, strong reach in their communities, and a network of partners and collaborators in the given field
- experience working in interdisciplinary, collective, and/or intersectional ways to make progress toward a shared goal
- the ability to work on diverse and geographically distributed teams and across cultures
- the ability to communicate complex issues to a broad audience
- experience in public speaking and presenting in conference settings
Leadership + Initiative
- a facilitative leadership style and proven skills in community building
- an intersectional approach that recognizes different identities and realities, acknowledges the way those are interconnected, and the ways in which power impacts those interactions, or power relates to those interconnections
- the ability to work in a self-directed manner to achieve agreed goals and outcomes
- strong interpersonal skills, ability to communicate, and relationship building skills
- experience working virtually with a high level of autonomy
Commitment to Open
- knowledge and examples of open documentation and collaborative approach to research/project build
- a commitment to working towards a healthy, open internet - and to open source as a way to shift power to be more equitable
The following criteria are also considered by topic area:
- technical expertise and background necessary to identify, test, and evaluate transparency features and to provide guidance to awardees and others on transparency best practices.
- existing relationships with builders, start-ups, and other key players in the field.
- an applied understanding of the project's impact on a particular type of AI system, or to a particular group of actors in this space (builders, policymakers, or consumers).
- existing relationships with policy experts, networks of founders and builders, innovators, and other ecosystem leaders
- expertise at the intersection of data governance and policy, with deep localized experience
- significant work in data governance exploring areas such as collective governance, business models, data donation incentives, personal vs collective approaches, or specific legal questions related to those approaches
- deep experience working on early detection tools that promote fairness and reduce bias in AI
- existing relationships with communities discriminated against or harmed by AI driven technology
- identify as part of a movement such as community justice, climate justice, human rights, economic justice, or other social justice movements
- demonstrated ability to connect movement area(s) of concern with our trustworthy AI focus
- deep experience building open source tools, programs, and documentation for other developers to use — and making work available under an open license
- a proven track record of open source community building and in advocating for openness
- embrace openness, transparency, and community stewardship as methodology
Frequently Asked Questions
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, and part-time arrangements may also be possible. There is space in the application for a Senior Fellow role to suggest a timeline and level of engagement that makes sense for you.
Are Fellows required to step away from other obligations?
Part-time and full-time fellowship commitments are invited, especially where a part-time arrangement gives you an opportunity to serve without stepping away from current ongoing professional or personal commitments. We’re not necessarily asking you to step away from other work you’re doing, but affiliating with us in ways that are mutually meaningful.
Are there Participation Guidelines?
Our Fellowships and Awards programs respect Mozilla's community participation guidelines. To help us create a safe and positive community experience for all, we require all those who participate to agree and adhere to these Participation Guidelines.
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.
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. Mozilla Foundation is unable to offer visa sponsorship.
How frequently does Mozilla publish calls for applications?
The Mozilla Foundation accepts fellowship applications through periodic recruitment for specific fellowships. We expect to have another call for applications in early 2022.
How many Fellows will there be?
We determine the size of a cohort based on a combination of applicant characteristics, our capacity to support fellows, and Mozilla’s needs.
Do Fellows receive a stipend?
Yes. Fellowship stipends are intended for the benefit of an individual to aid in the pursuit of that individual’s own study or research, and are generally to an individual as gross income.
Fellowship stipends are based on the fellowship track, level of engagement (i.e. full-time or part-time), and location of the fellowship.
In addition to a fellowship stipend, fellows also receive benefits to support healthcare, mental wellness, and child care, as well as a budget supplement to support project-related and travel costs.
What benefits are Fellows provided?
In addition to a monthly stipend, fellows receive benefits to support health care costs, mental wellness, childcare, and equipment. If you have more specific questions, please reach out to us directly at [email protected]
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. It is the fellows’ responsibility to communicate in advance with Mozilla about where they will be located throughout the fellowship.
How does the Fellowship accommodate applicants and Fellows with disabilities?
To ensure that individuals with disabilities can fully participate in our program, we provide reasonable accommodations for the application process and in the Fellowship. Please contact us with an questions about accommodations at [email protected].