Research Grants

Mozilla is dedicated to keeping the web open, healthy, and accessible to everyone. As part of that mission, we provide research grants to universities, labs and research-focused registered non-profits working to make the internet a better place.

Research Domains

We fund research in a wide variety of ways, including building new technologies, improving existing technologies, and studying how people use technology. Our research domains include Emerging Technologies’ four core areas:

  • Open Web Platform, such as Rust, Servo and Daala. We recently funded projects testing the Rust and bindgen compilers, and implementing Typed WebAssembly.
  • Mixed Reality, including virtual reality and augmented reality. In 2017 we funded a study into gender differences in virtual reality, and another exploring how to design pro-social norms in VR.
  • Speech, Language & Assistants: recent funded research includes improvements to word2vec; aiding the creation of a corpus of human-chatbot interaction open data; and mining translations from existing webpages.
  • New Explorations: We have funded proposals to design more usable IoT access controls; family use of IoT; and building distributed computing in remote islands

We also fund research relevant to Mozilla in other ways:

  • Firefox: We funded a study to understand how users think Private Browsing modes work and how they actually work, as well as a study exploring older adults’ use of the internet.
  • Internet Health: Funded proposals have included studies of the ethics of hacktivism and evaluating add-ons to understand their privacy implications.
  • Accessibility: We have funded the creation of a corpus of unambiguous data for evaluating text entry for blind users, as well as tools to improve privacy and accessibility of web extensions.
  • Inclusion: We believe in the value of inclusive innovation and impact, continuously exploring new possibilities with and for diverse communities, and have funded projects that include studying ways to ameliorate harassment in streaming video and encouraging computer science education for youth.

In addition, we’re always interested in projects that explore answers to difficult questions impacting the open web, such as:

  • Developing open data resources and allowing for data portability
  • Exploring reasonable ways to balance advertising and privacy
  • Improving web anonymity
  • Developing open identity solutions and open standards for encrypted messaging
  • Researching alternatives to advertising to fund internet experiences
  • Finding ways to improve the decentralization of the internet away from closed-source software and closed-source data
  • Exploring issues related to vulnerable populations, and improving diversity in open-source software

For more detail, here are the previous funding announcements:

While we do fund a wide variety of domains, this program is for funding research. Requests for funding open-source software projects should go to Mozilla’s Open Source Software funding; requests for funding research or development conferences should go through Mozilla’s Conference Sponsorship program.

Submitting a Funding Request

Submissions for 2018H2 will open in September or October. To be notified about these or related opportunities for collaboration or funding, join this mailing list.

Applications must be affiliated with a university, research institute or research-focused registered non-profit, in any country (except for those embargoed by the US State Department). University-affiliated applicants can be students or faculty; students will require a letter from their advisor. We encourage the submission of small, focused proposals, and we expect the timescale for most projects, not counting final publications, will be around one year. In general, we cap individual grants at $50,000. As part of our commitment to diversity, we will fund childcare up to 10% of a grant, with a cap of $5000. We particularly encourage applications from new faculty in their first or second years. Funding is given as an unrestricted gift to the institution. We do not pay university overhead.

Proposals must include a plan for disseminating the results, which would normally include publication in a peer-reviewed and open-access venue, and we encourage you to make any resulting publications, results, code, and/or data publicly accessible. We will pay open-access fees for not-for-profit publishers included in your budget. In the interests of transparency, we ask you to acknowledge Mozilla’s support in your publication, and send it to us when it gets published. We particularly encourage grant recipients to further publish their work in a format more accessible to the public, like blog posts or articles in the popular press.