The Digital Civil Society Lab’s Non-Resident Fellowship 2019 at stanford University

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Application Deadline: September 28th 2018

The digital age has expanded the potential for civil society participation and presented new challenges and threats. Our dependencies on digital software and infrastructure that are commercially built and government surveilled require new insights into how these digital systems work and how we can safely and ethically engage them for civil society’s purposes.
The Digital Civil Society Lab’s Non-Resident Fellowship supports social sector leaders to dedicate some of their time working on ideas that apply to broad swaths of civil society. It allows working people to dedicate a portion of their time to advancing an idea or project that doesn’t quite fit into their “day job.” The goal is to provide enough time, space, expertise, and financial support to help turn ideas into prototypes or action. Previous fellows have built online tools for understanding privacy regulations, drafted new data governance mechanisms, and incubated a digital security exchange.
Fellows will be selected to receive a stipend, travel support, and additional support and guidance as they undertake a yearlong project in one or more of four areas:
  • Social norms and practices that promote safe and ethical data collection, generation, and use
  • Software and hardware designed for the values and interest of civil society actors
  • Organizational practices that align with civil society missions and protect institutional independence from markets or governments
  • Legal practices and regulatory frames that protect the building blocks of civil society, including free association, speech, and privacy

Fellowship projects should be designed to:


  • address a challenge of safe, ethical, and effective digital data governance or practice that is common to nonprofits and civic associations globally
  • produce a prototype, draft or complete product in one year
  • benefit from access to scholarship and researchers
  • have a plausible plan for post-fellowship implementation and support
  • be shareable and open for discussion, adaptation, promotion and reuse during and after the fellowship period

Fellows will receive:
  • A $20,000 stipend, paid at the beginning of the fellowship, to support work on a year-long project.
  • A weeklong in-person convening of the cohort on the Stanford campus in January 2019. 
  • Travel support up to $5,000 over the course of the year-long fellowship to support travel to the January 2019 weeklong cohort convening, as well as additional campus visits, conference presentations, or other project-related trips as appropriate.
  • Access to the Digital Civil Society Lab’s network of partners.
  • Promotion of the project via the Lab’s public-facing communications channels, including Digital Impact.
  • Mentorship from Lab directors and access to Fellowship alumni from previous cohorts.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants should complete the online application during the application window. 
During the application process you will be asked to submit:
  • cover letter
  • resume or CV
  • project summary (maximum of approximately 200 words) and brief proposal (maximum of approximately 1000 words)
  • names and email addresses of two references
Timeline: 2019 cohort
August 27: Application period opens
September 28: Application period closes
October: Judging process and interviews of short-listed candidates
November: Fellowship recipients announced
January 2019: Cohort begins with weeklong convening at Stanford University


For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Digital Civil Society Lab’s Non-Resident Fellowship 

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