Senior Fellows

Senior Fellows

Call for Proposals

For 25 years, Mozilla has existed to protect and promote the internet as a global public resource, open and accessible to all. Our vision is rooted in the Mozilla Manifesto, anchored by openness, agency and accountability, and focused on trustworthy AI. Mozilla’s Senior Fellowship Program brings together experts advancing trustworthy AI and promoting an ethical, responsible and inclusive internet environment.

Mozilla is concerned about how technology impacts people, either when real life oppression, marginalization, and injustices are replicated online, or when technology is used to shift power to people. Mozilla believes that everyone has a stake in understanding and protecting the health of the internet; that’s why our movement building strategy invests in people at the forefront of global innovation, amplifying and acknowledging their work and commitment.

Building sustained political power is our most important task as a movement builder. Over the next three years we will prioritize three areas from our Theory of Change we believe will accelerate and increase the creation of trustworthy AI:

  1. Partnering with civil society actors in promoting trustworthy AI, thus building sustained political power and shifting the public narrative on AI.
  2. Including communities, especially people historically shut out of tech, in the design of AI by building connections that represent their perspectives.
  3. Working with builders who prioritize open source and community-driven approaches to building and governing trustworthy AI and in the development and deployment of datasets.

2024 Mozilla Senior Fellows

We are recruiting a cohort of up to 10 Mozilla Senior Fellows who are making trustworthy AI a reality. We are seeking experienced practitioners, technologists, researchers, policy experts and activists from around the world who work at the intersection of technology and society and are passionate about change.

The fellowship experience

Mozilla's Senior Fellowship program provides time, resources, tools, community, and amplification to those building a more human centered digital environment.

Learn more about this fellowship opportunity.

The Focus

Fellowships should be aligned to Mozilla's vision and demonstrate significant influence in the trustworthy AI ecosystem and an ethical, responsible and inclusive internet environment.

For this fellowship, we are interested in applications from these key geographies: East and Southern Africa, Europe, Brazil, India and the United States. We also welcome applications from outside of these geographies, particularly those working on issues in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and SouthWest Asia and North Africa (SWANA), as well as representation from indigenous and displaced communities.

Preference will also be given to projects that intersect with a clear social justice area, involving communities historically excluded in the use and/or processes to design, deploy and regulate tech. These may be projects related to human rights, economic justice, racial justice, community justice, gender justice, disability justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, environmental and climate justice, or another issue that centers people's lived experience.

Applicants are invited to submit a proposal for an independent project which may answer one or more of the following:

  • What are the current issues with consumer tech, and, ideally, how should it be built, deployed and regulated in order to reduce harm, promote user privacy, consent and fairness across different communities?
  • Given the current privacy, bias and toxicity challenges and concerns in the management of datasets, what are the practical solutions, measures and/or policies that should be put in place to increase transparency and equitability?
  • What is it that public institutions should incorporate in the design and adoption of AI and machine learning systems to increase transparency, fairness and equity in the services they provide? For example, in relation to humanitarian assistance, development assistance, public sector services such as finance, health, education, labor, social welfare, etc.
  • How do AI developments and ongoing regulatory initiatives impact adjacent issue areas such as competition, labor rights and practice and supply chain? What can be done to reduce harm, promote fairness, openness, trust, and accountability in the AI environment?
  • How can existing legislation and ongoing regulatory initiatives promote openness, trust and accountability in the design and deployment of AI? Potential areas of exploration could include (but are not limited to): climate and sustainability, surveillance of populations, AI enabled warfare
  • What are ways in which the implementation of AI related laws and regulations can be assessed and monitored with due consideration of oversight mechanisms, enforcement, and the promotion and exercise of people’s rights?
  • Are there effective policy and regulatory approaches for supporting open source in AI and open innovation around data and business models on the web?
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Learn more about independent projects.

Application and proposed projects should demonstrate:

  • Experience + Impact
    • a deep understanding of and commitment to public interest technology
    • deep experience working at the intersection of AI and other movement areas (e.g. community justice, racial justice, climate justice, human rights, economic justice, or other social justice movements)
    • a tightly defined independent project proposal that includes a clear focus, timeline, and impact related to the focus area selected and shows a deep understanding of what it means to inspire change at a systemic level
    • demonstrated contributions in advancing work around the area of focus for the project proposed
  • Collaboration + Communication
    • strong reach in their communities, and a network of partners and collaborators
    • 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 publicly and in conference settings
    • ability to pair subject matter expertise and research with execution in order to launch programs and related work products
  • Leadership + Initiative
    • the ability to work in a self-directed manner to achieve agreed goals and outcomes
    • an intersectional approach that recognises 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
    • a facilitative leadership style and demonstrated skills in community building
    • 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 demonstrated commitment to approaches that advance the open web

In addition to the criteria above, candidates for the Senior Fellowship will:

  • Be able to begin the Fellowship in September 2024, if selected.
  • Have working fluency in English

Application and Selection Process

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How to apply

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

Registrations must be submitted by 17 April 2024 at 3pm GMT.

Full applications must be submitted by 6 May 2024 at 3pm GMT.

Please note: The registration form must be submitted by the deadline in order to submit a full application.

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Download the application guide. This plain text guide includes detailed instructions on how to apply and allows you to preview the application questions.

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Information Sessions

Join us for a conversation with current and former Senior Fellows on April 10 from 16:00-17:00 CET. This is an opportunity to hear more about the fellowship experience and what to expect. Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn to find out when RSVPs open.

An information session for interested applicants will held on April 8, 2024 at 3-4PM (UTC+2) / 6-7 AM (UTC-7) / 9-10AM (UTC-4). This is an opportunity to learn more about Mozilla's Senior Fellowship program and ask questions about the application. Click here to watch the recording, and here for the information session's slides.

Both of these sessions will be recorded for anyone who is unable to attend.

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Selection Process

Fellows will be selected based on a review of fellowship applications and interviews with short-listed candidates. Those involved in selection may include a combination of Mozilla staff, fellowship alumni, and other experts in the field.

Reviewers will seek to fund people and projects that are aligned with the focus area of this call and meet the criteria outlined above.

Important​ ​Notes

  • All registrations and submissions must be in English. However, we encourage applicants to use free translation services. Applications will be reviewed based on their conceptual strength, not quality of language.
  • 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.
  • With applicant permission, submitted applications may be shared with other projects within Mozilla, other foundations, and partner organizations.
  • Fellows are responsible to pay their own taxes. Mozilla reserves the right to withhold taxes as it believes necessary under applicable laws, and to reduce the net grant provided to the fellow accordingly.
  • Neither Mozilla nor any potential fellow responding to this Call For Proposals shall be considered to have entered into an agreement, until and unless both parties have signed a contract.