Beyond the Net Large Grants (formerly known as Medium/Large) are specifically for Internet Society (ISOC) Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) with innovative ideas that contribute to the empowerment of people through projects that make a local impact by providing meaningful access to an open, trusted, and globally-connected Internet.
- Strengthen the impact of the Internet Society and the Internet Society Foundation’s mission and global initiatives with complementary local activities
- Contribute to the development of the Chapter and local community
- Engage members and Chapter leadership around a common activity
- Develop new or strengthen existing relationships and partnerships at the local level
At the Internet Society Foundation, we believe in an open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet for all that positively impacts humanity. The Internet Society Chapters and SIGs help to achieve this goal at the local level by developing initiatives within one of the following project areas.
Strengthening the Internet
- Promoting the Internet Way of Networking: Efforts to articulate and promote a positive vision for the decentralized “Internet way of networking.” Example projects include:
- Undertaking research on emerging issues, sharing findings with the local and national community
- Helping assess the extent to which local and regional networks adhere to principles in the Internet Way of Networking framework
- Extending Encryption: A project to fight against the recent attacks on secure online communications, and to promote deployment of such technologies where needed. Example projects include:
- Raising awareness of the importance of encryption within the local tech industry
- Translating RFC (from the IETF) or encryption guides into local languages
- Securing Global Routing: Ongoing efforts to get the Internet service provider, IXPs and CDN/Cloud Providers to practice good routing hygiene. Example projects include:
- Measuring routing security issues at the national level by moving beyond the MANRS observatory
- Analyzing IRR (Internet Routing Registry) and RPKI (Resource Public Key Infrastructure) data from the national, sub-regional, regional point of view
- Increasing Time Security: This project will stimulate the implementation of secure network time protocols, raise awareness to promote adoption, and build capacity to decrease the cost and risk of deployment. Example projects include:
- Standing up a time server (or enabling existing servers) to support time security
- Contributing to distributed test bed that measures time security
- Promoting Open Standards and Protocols: This project will demonstrate and document the operational details of implementing open standards and best practices for secure web servers, and translate them into easy-to-access and use resources that allow others to do the same. Examples projects include:
- Developing tools or training courses to support other Chapters or the broader community to become compliant
- Mentoring local developers on the need for website compliance
Growing the Internet
- Building Community Networks (or providing internet access to unconnected communities): Ongoing efforts to ensure our vision that the Internet is for Everyone can be realized even where conventional mechanisms for connectivity are not viable. Example projects include:
- Building a community with the knowledge and ability to establish a Community Network
- Setting up a WiFi hotspot in a key gathering point for a local community
- Fostering Infrastructure and Technical Communities: This project will work on supporting the local technical communities around the world, with continued emphasis on technical capacity building, mobilization of communities of practices and establishment of critical Internet infrastructure by;
- Facilitating local technical communities to deliver foundational face-to-face and online technical capacity building.
- Working with local technical communities to form Network Operator Groups (NOGs) and support them to deliver on technical Internet development activities.
- Identifying and promoting local content development initiatives/efforts that can benefit / strengthen local Internet Exchange Points (IXPs).
- Measuring the Internet: This project addresses the need to have a single, easily identifiable place to go to find timely data about trends that are shaping the Internet’s infrastructure and the health of the Internet Way of Networking itself. Example projects include:
- Supporting Internet measurement at the local level, such as deployment of measurement agents or installation of software tools
- Compiling and sharing of local measurements, and/or collecting relevant local human interest impact stories.
The Internet Society Foundation may fund projects outside of the focus areas listed above. Such exceptions could include a Chapter or SIG having previously been funded to implement projects outside of these funding areas and can demonstrate the value of continuing this work. Or a Chapter or SIG can demonstrate strong local need. Strong local need could include an urgent legislative proposal or the Chapter’s unique ability to work with an underserved community. In all instances, projects must support the overall mission of the Internet Society Foundation.
Given the exceptional situation created by the spread of COVID-19, the Foundation will also accept applications that propose Internet-based solutions in response to local needs created by the pandemic. On this note, the Foundation encourages Chapters and SIGs to consider the health and safety of their members, participants and the broader community. To this end, virtual events, trainings and learning opportunities are encouraged when possible.
Beyond the Net Large Grants are available to the Internet Society Chapter and SIGs only. Chapters and SIGs must also meet the following criteria:
- Be in good standing (or pre-rejuvenation – on a case by case basis) and meet the minimum Chapter/SIG standards as outlined in the Chapter’s Charter.
- Have an official bank account in their name (based on their legal registration) in order to receive Internet Society Foundation funds.
- Are not undergoing a rejuvenation process.
- Have submitted required funding reports from previous years.
- Chapters and SIGs may only receive one Large grant per calendar year
Any applications that do not meet the above requirements will automatically be disqualified from receiving funding.
Application Review Process
The Beyond the Net Large Grants Selection Committee is responsible for the review, evaluation, and selection of applications, in accordance with the approved selection criteria, and in a manner that reflects the values and mission of the Internet Society. Throughout this process, members of the Selection Committee must adhere to the Foundation’s Conflict of Interest Policy.
The members of the 2020 Selection Committee are:
- Chapter representatives
- Nadira AL-Araj, Independent researcher and member of ISOC Palestine Chapter
- Adarsh BU, Senior Network Engineer, Innominds and Founder & Chair of the ISOC Rural Development SIG
- Amrita Choudhury, Director of CCAOI, President of Internet Society India, Delhi Chapter and the APAC Lead of ISOC Women SIG
- Cedrick Adrien Mbeyet, Infrastructure Unit Manager at AFRINIC and member of ISOC Senegal Chapter
- Vincenzo Puliatti, CEO, ITSYN Srl and Board Member of ISOC Italy Chapter
- Alfredo Calderon Serrano, eLearning Consultant and member of ISOC Puerto Rico Chapter
- Pierre-Jean Darres, Consultant in International Affairs and member of ISOC Canada-Québec Chapter
- ISOC Project representatives
- Each of the eight ISOC project areas will be represented on the Selection Committee by an ISOC employee.
- Internet Society Foundation employee
The selection criteria against which the Selection Committee will review eligible applications is:
- The proposed project is in-line with ISOC’s 2020 Action Plan and the overall mission of the Foundation.
- The proposed project effectively responds to a clearly identified need (for individuals, communities and/or the broader Internet community).
- The proposed project provides a creative solution for the presented problem, that is well tailored to the local environment.
- The Chapter/SIG has a plan to ensure the project will be sustainable beyond this funding.
- Technical specifications are suitable to accomplish the project activities and the equipment requested is appropriate for the execution of the project.
- The project team has identified relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and established reasonable targets.
One Large grant is available per Chapter or SIG in good standing at a time. Chapters and SIGs must have successfully completed all reporting for previous projects before being eligible to receive further Beyond the Net Large Grant funding.
Grants of up to USD $30,000 will be awarded for projects lasting up to 24 months.
The 2020 Beyond the Net Large Grants funding cycle will take place as follow:
- Round 1 — To account for COVID-19, deadlines for Round 1 have been extended
- Applications accepted: Week of 13 April to 3 July 2020
- Decisions will be shared in two waves:
- The week of 6 July 2020
- The week of 3 August 2020
- Projects can be implemented:
- Beginning 13 July 2020 (for approvals received the week of 6 July 2020)
- Beginning 10 August 2020 (for approvals received the week of 3 August 2020)
Note: We will consider all applications that address COVID-19 on a rolling basis, Chapters can expect a response within 13 business days of submitting their proposal and can begin implementing their project (if approved by the Foundation) three weeks following their submission date.
- Round 2
- Applications accepted: 5 October to 31 December 2020
- Decisions will be shared the week of 22 February 2021
- Projects can be implemented beginning 1 March 2021
How To Apply
Applications must be completed and submitted online based on the above funding cycle. Incomplete applications or applications that do not meet eligibility requirements will not be considered (see “Eligibility” section above).
If you have questions about this programme or the application process, please email Beyond_the_Net@isocfoundation.org.
Projects Supported by this Grant