Apply for OTF’s Digital Integrity Fellowship Program 2018

Apply for OTF’s Digital Integrity Fellowship Program 2018

Deadline: December 30, 2017

Open Technology Foundation (OTF)’s Digital Integrity Fellowship Program is now accepting applications for its next cohort of fellows. The fellowship aims to fill missing digital security capacity needs for on-the-ground organizations promoting human rights, focusing on those fighting to increase free expression and internet freedom.

The Digital Integrity Fellowship Program (DIFP) provides fixed monthly stipends to individuals capable of addressing short-term and long-term threats to freedom of expression online. Fellows provide organizations and communities most affected by internet freedom violations (like journalists, human rights defenders, NGOs, activists, bloggers, and others) comprehensive internal support with their digital security expertise. Simultaneously, Fellows will educate the broader internet freedom field about the threats and vulnerabilities experienced, to ensure that emerging and existing technologies best meet the needs of at-risk communities.

Typically, DIFP fellows have experience working within digital security teams with a holistic security mindset who are willing to work with diverse sets of at-risk individuals, and have contributed to digital security technology projects to make them more suitable for users or raised awareness about digital security needs for at-risk communities. Generally, a fellow’s work may be to conduct the initial digital security assessments, understand and document the organization’s adversary as well as the organization’s culture, vision, and what they need to succeed in the face of their digital threats.


Each approved fellow will sign a performance-based contract directly with OTF for the SOW, be required to report a monthly status to their organization, OTF, and other fellows. Awarded fellows are given a stipend of 5,000 USD per month for a maximum of 12 months.

Awarded fellows will also be allotted an “organizational support stipend” of 5,000 USD total to cover equipment and subscription costs that will maintain security protections for organizations receiving digital security assistance from the fellow.


  • Individuals of all ages irrespective of nationality, residency, creed, gender, or other factors, with the exception that OTF is not able to support applicants within countries that the United States has trade restrictions or export sanctions as determined by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC);
  • Individuals who demonstrate skill and ability to perform the relevant digital security tasks;
  • Individuals who demonstrate a desire to grow their knowledge through mentorship and cross-discipline collaboration; and,
  • Individuals who demonstrate a commitment to advance internet freedom globally;

Further, fellowship candidates should ensure:

  • They and the organization(s) agree they are a good match
  • Their capabilities align with the organization’s overall digital security needs and interest and have the means of achieving them,
  • The organization’s leadership believes in the organizational change expected to occur.
  • These conversations should also identify areas of particular concern for the organizations, including but not limited to: the types of threats they face to their work by adversaries, previous digital security issues experienced, anticipated escalations in threats to their work, etc.
  • The fellowship candidate will work with the organizations’ leadership and OTF to share concrete feedback to the internet freedom community about specific usage of digital security / internet freedom technologies.

Ultimately, these components should determine the fellows scope of work laid out in the application. OTF’s assessment will likely directly affect and modify the proposed Scope of Work (SOW) from the fellow, which will then be reviewed by the Advisory Council for additional perspective and due diligence. Each SOW will include goals, objectives, activities, and deliverables for the fellowship. Final determinations are made by OTF and may include consultation with previous Fellows, Mentors, Host Organizations, and other OTF partners as they see fit.

Potential areas of focus
  • Enhancing the capacity of locally-based digital security professionals as a partner to increase their knowledge and capacity;
  • Implementing, maintaining, and scaling up the day-to-day digital security best-practices from within that enable an organization’s digital assets to defend against common “threats-of-the-day”;
  • Responding to digital emergencies and targeted attacks utilizing incident response best-practices to inform further protection measures; and/or,
  • Conducting highly-specialized digital forensics such as identifying and documenting malware and other vulnerabilities used in targeted attacks against human rights defenders.


Before applying, ideal fellowship candidates should initiative a strategic conversation with the organization(s) and network(s) that they intend to assist and work with for their fellowship duration.

Important considerations
  • Projects should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to the mission of promoting freedoms of expression, assembly, and association online.
  • Objectives should be ambitious, yet measurable and achievable with activities and milestones listed monthly.
  • The overall project goals should extend beyond traditional audiences.
  • For the duration of fellowships, the fellow will be expected to work full time with their host organization(s).
  • Before completing a submission, we strongly encourage you to review their Terms of Service.

If you have any questions at all, please contact us at [email protected]

Click here to apply.

For more information, visit Digital Integrity Fellowship.