Facebook's Digital Citizenship Research Grants

August 2, 2011 at 10:23am

­­­Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected. At the heart of this mission is the belief that an increasingly social world can have a profoundly positive impact on people’s lives – changing the way we share, discover, and learn.


Facebook’s Digital Citizenship Research Grants is a new effort to support world-class research that improves understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with how kids are growing up in a world of media and technology.


As part of this initiative, Facebook will invest $200,000 to support research that highlights trends associated with Digital Citizenship, broadly, with an initial focus on bullying prevention. This research grant is open to academic and nonprofit institutions.



The following are areas of particular interest as well as general selection criteria.

  • Online and offline bullying trends.
  • Bullying prevention strategies.
  • The role of parents and educators in developing solutions.
  • Messages and outreach strategies to kids to address bullying.


  • Funding $200,000 in total funding for relevant research.
  • Judging Facebook will work with its Safety Advisory Board – made up of external safety and children’s advocates – to award the grants.
  • Eligibility Full or part-time faculty members from universities worldwide and nonprofit organization employees may submit proposals describing the research they wish to pursue.
  • Timing (subject to change)Submission deadline is Monday, September 12, 2011 at midnight PT with final awardees announced by Monday, October 31, 2011.


To apply for a Facebook Digital Citizenship Research Grant, applicants should use the following guidelines for proposal submission:


Eligibility: Full or part-time faculty members from universities worldwide and nonprofit organization employees may submit proposals describing the research they wish to pursue.


Deadlines: Research proposals are due by Monday, September 12, 2011 at midnight PT. We will notify final awardees by Monday, October 31, 2011.


Submission: Proposals must be submitted in PDF format via email to: digitalcitizenship@fb.com


Proposal Format:

Overview (maximum one page)

  • Proposal Title
  • Summary of research and publicity plan
  • Principal researcher – full name, contact info, affiliation (university or nonprofit)

Proposal (maximum two pages)

  • Abstract
  • Research goals, including a problem statement
  • Description of the work you’d like to do and the expected outcomes and results
  • How this research relates to prior work in your area or your organization’s mission.
  • DO NOT include confidential or proprietary information

Budget (maximum one page)

  • The amount requested should be between $25-$50K
  • The budget section should provide a breakdown across major line items of research
  • Resumes/CVs of principal researchers
  • Initial ideas for sharing/publicizing research results

Decision Criteria: Our goal is to identify and support research that will advance understanding of issues related to raising kids in the digital age. To identify research award recipients, we will consult with our external Safety Advisory Board – made up of experts and advocates in the safety arena. General selection criteria includes:

  • Focus on issues related to kids and the impact of digital and social media
  • Global application
  • Novelty of research topic (we want new insights)
  • Your previous track record of conducting world-class research
  • Focused goals/objectives
  • Extent to which the research is open sourced and shared broadly


“Social media is a part of the world we live in. Today’s kids are surrounded by social media, and we must make sure they are both protected and able to effectively use this tool.  Facebook is launching an important initiative that will help provide needed research on kids and young adults in the digital world from digital citizenship to the problem of bullying.  I am committed to encouraging kids to harness this technology, but I equally understand the need to expand our understanding of social media and its impact, both positive and negative.  This initiative will help us do that.”

Senator Jay Rockefeller

Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


“I’m excited about the research possibilities that will be generated by Facebook's Digital Citizenship Research Grants! Facebook is leading the way in the effort to bridge the gap between research and practice.”

Dr. Susan M. Swearer

Professor of School Psychology, University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


"This research initiative will take great steps to help us better understand the challenges we face in protecting kids online. We hope that the outcomes from this research will help provide communities with the tools and resources they need to foster digital citizenship among their kids in our constantly evolving digital world."

Stephen Balkam

CEO, Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI)