Mozilla Fellows for Open Internet Engineering

This year we are introducing a new focus area of the Mozilla Fellowship Program for open internet engineers.


To unlock the full potential of the open internet and bring it to everyone around the world, we need a critical mass of network engineers in all countries. Supporting local knowledge and local technical expertise is essential to building and maintaining a healthy internet. Yet in many countries, there is a serious lack of network engineering expertise to design and build the internet infrastructure that reaches everyone. Without that expertise, national internet development policy and regulatory decisions get made in a vacuum. The result is uncertainty about the practical and sustainable development of an open internet. Finally, a healthy internet ecosystem requires that every country has the technical resources and expertise to participate in global internet engineering standards development and governance issues.

To address these gaps, the Mozilla Foundation and Internet Society are partnering to create a cohort of Mozilla fellowships focused on open internet engineering in countries with low internet penetration. In addition to increasing technical capacity, this program will help build a pipeline and community of network engineering experts. Likewise, these fellowships will strengthen partnerships among leading global organizations working on connecting the unconnected, and will broaden movement-building in this area. Fellows will pair with and be mentored by host organizations already engaged in internet engineering capacity-building across the globe, including the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC) and the Internet Society (ISOC) in the first year. Future host organizations are likely to include regional internet registries, network operator groups, and national research and education networks.

Open internet engineering fellowships have the following criteria in addition to those shared by all Mozilla Fellowship Programs:

  • The fellowship is open to applications from early- to mid-career internet engineering professionals around the world.
  • Applicants must come from and be resident in a country with low internet penetration, and must have demonstrated expertise in internet network design and development.
  • Applicants will identify a challenge/opportunity for open internet development in their country or region, and demonstrate how they can influence/address it.
  • Applicants will nominate their preferred host organization, and Mozilla will leverage our years of experience in running fellowship programs to find the best host org-fellow fit.
  • Finally, the design of the selection process will ensure a diverse and balanced cohort.

Fellows will be associated with host organizations throughout their fellowship, but will not be required to physically relocate. Through mentorship and peer-learning, fellows 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.

Focus Areas

ISOC and NSRC’s areas of focus are as follows. Your project should align with at least one of the host organization’s focus areas:


The mission of the Internet Society (ISOC) is to support and promote the development of the Internet as a global technical infrastructure, a resource to enrich people’s lives, and a force for good in society. ISOC works to build an Internet that is open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy.

In this program, the Internet Society is looking for fellows who wish to:

  • Build and support community-owned Internet infrastructure;
  • Develop secure Internet infrastructure, technologies, and open standards; and
  • Architect network infrastructures that increase trust.


The Network Startup Resource Center works directly with the indigenous network engineers and operators who develop and maintain the Internet infrastructure in their respective countries and regions by providing technical information, engineering assistance, training, donations of networking books, equipment and other resources. The end goal in this work is to make it easier for local scientists, engineers and educators to collaborate via the Internet with their international colleagues by helping to connect communities of interest. By strategically working with universities, research institutes, Internet Service Providers, Regional Internet Registries, government agencies, supranational agencies, industry, private foundations and non-governmental organizations, the NSRC helps develop national and regional Internet infrastructure for collaborative research, education, and international partnerships.

NSRC is looking for fellows who wish to:

  • Develop and deploy internet infrastructure and/or services in national and regional Research & Education networks.
  • Assist in the evolution of commonly held internet infrastructures such as IXPs, ccTLDs, etc.
  • Promote the development of secure internet infrastructure and services such as DNSSEC, etc.
  • Provide strategic planning assistance to governments in the development of national internet infrastructure.

2019/20 Host Orgs

NSRC logo
Internet Society logo