Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about the Mozilla Fellowship? See if you can find the answer to your question below. If you can’t find the answer to your question here, you can reach out to fellowships@mozillafoundation.org.

General

Q: How much are fellows paid?
A: The funding for each fellow is based on multiple considerations, including profession, discipline, geographic location, and others. The base stipend for researchers and technology activists is $60,000 USD and is adjusted for location and other considerations. Similarly, the base stipend for policy professionals is $90,000 USD and is adjusted for location and other considerations. Fellows are provided additional benefits, such as funding to support health care, childcare, fellowship-related travel, equipment, and project costs.

Q: What is the application process?

A: Applicants are invited to submit an application for a 2018-19 Mozilla fellowship starting on March 21, 2018 and ending on April 20, 2018. We recommend starting your application early, so our team has adequate time to respond to any questions you may have.After registering, applicants will be asked to select a fellowship focus area: open web, tech policy, or science/research, which are further described on the application page and which determine the questions an applicant will be asked to answer. After April 20, the Mozilla team will read all applications and select candidates for interviews, which, depending on the focus area, might involve reference checks, advisor interviews, or applicant matching interviews with host organizations. All applicants should be contacted with the status of their applications on or before May 31, 2018.

Q: What is the fellowship start/end date?

A: Our standard timeline for fellowships is 10 months, starting September 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2019.

Q: Do I need to have a university or post-graduate degree?

A: There is no educational or experience prerequisite that we enforce across all focus areas, but each application focus area seeks a different level of educational and career experience -- more details on that are in the specific profile FAQs below. The fellowship is generally considered to be a full-time commitment for the fellows' 10-month tenure, so some of the application questions will ask applicants to explain their time commitments and potential to invest in fellowship work during the 10 months of the fellowship. NOTE: For scientist/researcher applicants, Masters graduates, PhDs, post-docs, and early-career researchers or professors with academic institutional affiliation are preferred for selection.

Q: Is this full time or can I do the fellowship while I’m working or in an educational program?

A: This fellowship is a generally a full-time commitment but our Mozilla fellows in science and research often have concurrent studies/teaching that they balance with their participation in the program.

Our fellows fit three profiles (open web activists, scientists/researchers, tech policy professionals).

  • For open web activists, we match fellows to host organizations globally (you can see this year's list here); typically working nearly full time, so that might not be ideal for you since you'll likely want to stay local to your place of employment or college.
  • For scientists and researchers, the fellowship is designed to accommodate and support early-career researchers (PhD candidates, post-docs, pre-tenure track faculty, visiting researchers at academic and research institutions).
  • For tech policy professionals, the fellowship is designed to accommodate experienced policy and advocacy experts from various technology sectors, and priority is given to individuals actively working in the policy field outside of academia.

For all fellows, Mozilla is comfortable with fellows having minimal outside activity (i.e., teaching a class as an adjunct professor, consulting with another organization or company) so long as it is not in conflict with fellowship contract.

Q: On what basis are the fellows selected? And can undergraduate college students apply for the Fellowship Program?

A: Fellows are selected on the basis of their creativity, aptitude, references, and the quality of their application. Exceptional undergraduate would definitely be considered for fellowship placement, but the following profiles should be kept in mind; the application pool is competitive, and the fellowship time-commitment is considerable, so undergraduates with a full course-load and responsibilities might find it challenging to meet these requirements.

  • For open web activist applicants, these applicants are also considered by the host organizations they listed as "preferences" and are invited to interview with those hosts to assess how they might collaborate with their hosts.
  • For scientist/researcher applicants, our fellows directory and profiles of our previous cohorts would indicate that PhD, post-docs, and early-career researchers or professors with academic institutional affiliation are preferred for selection.
  • For tech policy applicants, professionals with mature policy and advocacy experience are preferred for selection.

Scientists + Researchers

Q: Do fellows focused on science need to be affiliated with a research institution?

A: Those interested in the science and research profile will need to provide an affiliation with a research institution. The reasoning for this is two-fold: on the one hand, our fellowships are designed to catalyze institutional change through empowering leaders, and that's often challenging if the fellow is not seen as a peer in the academic or institutional space; on the other hand, our fellowships are not considered employment, and we prefer to support folks who have an institutional affiliation that anchors them in an organization with an advisor who advocates for them, and in a way that mitigates tax complications associated with employment status. Still, we are flexible about the nature of this institutional affiliation, and welcome early-career scientists and researchers who are still completing their studies, working on a post-doc, or considered visiting researchers at their institutions. You might check out some of the details and profiles for our Mozilla Fellows in science and research here for respective eligibility requirements that are enumerated in more detail.

Q: I live outside of the US, UK or Canada - am I eligible?

A: Yes, as long as you are legally allowed to work in the country where you currently reside. Our fellowship application is a global call for researchers. See related information below about tax considerations.

Q: What are the tax considerations alluded to in the call for applications?

A: 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. For instance, Mozilla may have to withhold up to 30% of any stipend payments attributable to fellowship activities taking place in the U.S., although fellows may be able to claim reduced rates of withholding or refund of a portion of these taxes. It is fellows’ responsibility to communicate in advance with Mozilla about where they will be located throughout the fellowship.

Q: What disciplines are included in the eligible sciences?

A: Previously, our fellowship focused on the physical and natural sciences: biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, astronomy, ecology, etc.

We’ve opened our current application eligibility to include the social and library sciences; in fact, all scientific disciplines are welcome among our applicants. Strong attachment to furthering open scientific research in some capacity is favored, and a recommended emphasis in the applications we receive. This year, we have some specific funding for open biomedical researchers, so please apply if you think your voice is under-represented in that field. We'd love to promote it!

See FAQ on the Science Site for updated and profile specific questions.

Open Web Activists

Q: What is the role of host organizations?

A: A host organization supports each open web activist in our program, and what that means in practice is that we solicit applications from potential fellows, and try to match them to the organization in our current cycle that we think might best support their work, and inspire their projects as fellows.

Q. How are we supposed to work with them?

Fellows join the host organization for their 10-month tenure in the program, and build programs and projects that blend their personal interests and the organization's broader mission; in some cases, fellows relocate to the organization's base location and in some cases, they work remotely. You can read about each of the host organizations in this article featuring this year’s host partners, and each applicant is asked to select two of their "preferred" organizational partners from that list.

See FAQ on the Advocacy Site for updated and profile specific questions.

Tech Policy Professionals

Q: How should I describe the policy work I would like to pursue as a fellow?

A: It’s best to explain the policy area you are seeking to advance and to describe the steps you would take as a Mozilla fellow to further that work. For example, you may plan to conduct research and put out a formal paper or recommendations document. Or you may plan to hold convenings and workshops to build consensus and produce recommendations or action items. Or you may plan to publish through various formats, give speeches and keynote-style remarks at major events, and give press interviews to further your proposed body of work. It’s also helpful to explain how you expect your work will advance the field after your fellowship term is completed -- where you see the longer arc of the work and how your time as a fellow will contribute to that.


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