The Open Web Fellowship program empowers the next generation of open Internet leaders and advocates by embedding them at leading human rights and civil society organizations from around the world, where they can positively impact the health of the Internet and bring critical strategic expertise to the organization. Open Web Fellows are an amazing and diverse group. They are cryptographers, community organizers, educators and makers from around the world.

The Citizen Lab is a host organization for the Fellowship, as is Cyber Stewards Network Partner Derechos Digitales. The Fellowship gives an individual the opportunity to work with the Citizen Lab, and benefit from the expertise of its staff and research environment to work on a project for a sustained period.

Expectations and Responsibilities

  • Champion the open Internet in collaboration with their fellowship cohort peers
  • Be an active contributor to the work, culture and mission of the host organization
  • Participate in Mozilla-organized events, such as conferences, learning labs, and weekly calls, and community events (MozFest, etc.)
  • Communicate and share openly their work on an ongoing basis (e.g., blog posts)

Citizen Lab, University of Toronto

The Citizen Lab is a research laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. Our research focuses on the intersection of information communications technologies, global security, and human rights.

At the Citizen Lab we believe that impartial, evidence-based, peer-reviewed research on information controls will help advocacy and policy engagement on an open and secure Internet. We conduct our research through a mixed methods approach that combines technical techniques from information security and network measurement with policy and legal analyses and field research.

Project Areas

The Open Web fellow can contribute to four broad areas. Fellows may work on a single project or multiple projects depending on their skills and interest. In all of our projects the fellow will be part of interdisciplinary teams.

Measuring Internet filtering and network interference

This area includes developing new tools and methods for network measurement, analyzing Internet filtering systems, and correlating network interference with political events (e.g., elections, protests, conflicts, etc).

Targeted malware attacks against civil society

This area focuses on investigating politically motivated targeted malware campaigns against civil society groups. Specifically, reverse engineering malware, mapping attack infrastructure, tracking malware development, and linking contextual information to technical data.

Privacy and security of apps and social media

Projects  include uncovering censorship and surveillance in popular apps and social media platforms (e.g, chat apps, microblogs, etc), and evaluating the privacy and security of popular consumer apps (e.g., browsers, fitness trackers, etc). We are particularly interested in widely used apps and platforms that are understudied by security researchers. The goal of this work is to help users make more informed decision about the technologies they use.

Corporate and public transparency

Projects in this area include developing software platforms for empowering citizens to exercise their rights to data protection and access requests, and analyzing the systems and policies practices of telecommunication and Internet companies.

Award details and benefits

The Fellowships are designed to allow for flexibility for both Fellows and their families. To help offset cost of living, the fellowship also provides supplements for childcare and health insurance, and helps pay for research/equipment and books. The fellowships also covers the costs of required travel for fellowship activities. The 10-month Fellowship carries with it a $60, 000 USD stipend paid in 10 monthly instalments. Other benefits include:

  • A stipend of $60,000 USD paid in 10 monthly installments.
  • One-time health insurance supplement for Fellows and their families, ranging from $3,500 for single Fellows to $7,000 for a couple with two or more children.
  • One-time childcare allotment of up to $6,000 for families with children.
  • Allowance of up to $3,000 towards the purchase of laptop computer, digital cameras, recorders and computer software; fees for continuing studies or other courses, research fees or payments, to the extent such purchases and fees are related to the fellowship.
  • All approved fellowship trips – domestic and international – are covered in full.

Application Process

Please fill out the application form, which requires a resume, answers to several questions, and a proposed project description. Questions about the Fellowship itself can be directed to Any inquiries about the Citizen Lab itself can be sent to

Applications are due May 21st at 11:59pm PST or 3:59pm EST.

Read information on the Fellowshipdescriptions from past Fellows, a full list of organizations, and FAQs.