Mozilla Fellows for Science: Project Idea Mentorship

The call for our first round of fellows at the Mozilla Science Lab closes in less than two weeks; over the past couple of months, we’ve been posting and speaking to many of you on the details of this program. Here’s the content thus far:

Over the past few months, many of you have asked about the project element of the fellowship; what makes a good project, how will time be divided up, and how to combine your research and open science interests. A few common themes:

  • Your project idea does not have to be finalized at the time of your application. The first thing we’ll be working on together is refining your plans together, with the rest of the Lab and our wider community. We will, however, be looking for a vision that looks towards promoting open practice in your field as broadly as possible.
  • You will be spending the majority of your 80% time with the lab working on your project. The rest will be on community leadership, collaborations with other fellows, and interacting with the wider Mozilla community.
  • Both programming- and community building-oriented projects are first-class candidates. If your project involves no coding whatsoever, but helps build strong patterns of collaboration and openness, that’s fantastic; if your project is engineering-heavy but seeks to empower your colleagues to work more openly, that’s great too. The nature of your project is flexible and up to you.
  • The nature of your project may change over the course of the fellowship. We like trying new things and experimenting here at the Science Lab; sometimes as we do so, we realize we can do more and better if we change course a bit. There will be plenty of room to grow and adapt your project through the course of the fellowship.
  • We will provide skills training to help you achieve what you are aiming for. If your plan seems like it will require you to learn some new skills in order to follow through, we will help provide that training; one of our greatest hopes is that the fellows will complete the program having learned many new things, and we will put resources behind that hope.

Project Mentorship & Advising

One week before applications close, Bill Mills will be available on Skype all day on August 7, from 9 AM to 5 PM PT, to discuss your project ideas with you one-on-one and help you refine your idea before you submit. If you’d like to chat, sign up on this etherpad in one of the empty slots; first come, first served! A couple of procedural points:

  • Meetings will be strictly limited to 20 minutes – I’d love to chat with you all day, but conciseness matters. This also allows as many people as possible to participate. The clock starts at your appointed time.
  • After you sign up, email me your skype ID and a draft of your project description at Please note: Your spot is not confirmed until I receive this email.

These sessions are short, so you’ll get the most out of them if you come with a first draft of your project idea already in hand, and a list of any questions you may have. Looking forward to chatting with you!