This program is now closed. The list of winners is updated here.
WhatsApp is a fast, simple and reliable way to talk to anyone in the world. More than 1.5 billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends and family, anytime and anywhere. WhatsApp is not only free but also available on multiple mobile devices and in low connectivity areas - making it accessible and reliable wherever you are. It's a simple and secure way to share your favorite moments, send important information or catch up with a friend. WhatsApp helps people connect and share no matter where they are in the world.
WhatsApp cares about the safety of our users and is seeking to inform our understanding of the safety problems people encounter on WhatsApp and what more we can do within WhatsApp and in partnership with civil society to address the problem. For this first phase of our program, WhatsApp is commissioning a competitive set of awards to researchers interested in exploring issues that are related to misinformation on WhatsApp. We welcome proposals from any social science or related discipline that foster insights into the impact of technology on contemporary society in this problem space. The WhatsApp Research Awards will provide funding for independent research proposals that are designed to be shared with WhatsApp, Facebook, and wider scholarly and policy communities. These are unrestricted monetary awards that offer investigators the freedom to deepen and extend their existing research portfolio. Applications are welcome from individuals with established experience studying online interaction and information technologies, as well as from persons seeking to expand their existing research into these areas.
We will seriously consider proposals from any social science and technological perspective that propose projects that enrich our understanding of the problem of misinformation on WhatsApp. High priority areas include (but are not limited to):
Our preference is for proposals based on independent research, in which the applicant develops conceptual tools, gathers and analyzes data, and/or investigates relevant issues. Each awardee will retain all intellectual property rights to their data and analyses. WhatsApp staff may provide guidance, but investigators are responsible for carrying out the scope of work.
The program will make unrestricted awards of up to $50,000 per research proposal. All applications will be reviewed by WhatsApp research staff, with consultation from external experts. Payment will be made to the proposer’s host university or organization as an unrestricted gift.
In addition to the award monies, WhatsApp invites award recipients to attend two workshops:
WhatsApp will arrange and pay for the travel and accommodation of one representative from each awardee. This will be in addition to the research award amount.
By applying to this award, you are agreeing to the following:
Applications are due by August 12, 2018, 11:59pm PST. Award recipients will be notified of the status of their application by email by September 14, 2018.
For all questions regarding these awards, please contact us.