Groups, individuals or organisations with research interests about Wikimedia movement
Research proposals to contribute to generalizable knowledge or to strengthen the Wikimedia research community
Less than 5 months processing time, one round in a year
Who we fund 
The Research Fund provides support to individuals, groups, and organizations with interest in conducting research on or about Wikimedia projects. We encourage submissions from across research disciplines including but not limited to the humanities, social sciences, computer science, education, and law.
We prioritize supporting applicants who have limited access to research funding, are in regions of the world where the Wikimedia research community has less representation, are proposing work in coordination or collaboration with Wikimedia affiliates, and/or are proposing work that has potential for direct, positive impact on their local communities or the global Wikimedia communities.
What we fund 
We welcome two types of submissions:
- In-depth research proposals to contribute to generalizable knowledge that has the potential to improve and expand our understanding of the Wikimedia projects and their impact, introduce technical and socio-technical solutions that can enhance the technology in support of the Wikimedia projects, and advance the Wikimedia Movement towards the 2030 strategic direction.
- Proposals that focus on strengthening, expanding and diversifying the community of researchers studying Wikimedia projects.
Eligibility criteria 
- Individuals, groups, and organizations may apply. Any individual is allowed three open grants at any one time. This includes Rapid Funds. Groups or organizations can have up to five open grants at any one time.
- Requests must be over USD 2,000. Maximum request is USD 50,000.
- Funding periods can be up to 12 months in length. Proposed work should start no sooner than June 1, 2024 and end no later than June 30, 2025.
- Recipients must agree to the reporting requirements, be willing to sign a grant agreement, and provide the Wikimedia Foundation with information needed to process funding. You can read more about eligibility requirements.
- We expect all recipients of the Research Funds to adhere to the Friendly space policy and Wikimedia’s Universal Code of Conduct.
- Applications and reports are accepted in English and Spanish.
- Potential applicants should not submit a proposal if at least one of the following holds true:
- At least one applicant has been an employee or contractor at the Wikimedia Foundation in the last 24 months;
- At least one applicant has had an advisee/advisor relationship with one or more of the Research Fund Committee Chairs or members of the Wikimedia Research team;
- At least one of the applicants is a current or has been a former Formal Collaborator of the Research team at the Wikimedia Foundation in the last 24 months;
- At least one applicant has co-authored a scientific publication with the Research Fund Committee Chairs within the last 24 months.
For country eligibility, refer to the list of countries that have previously been funded.
Application forms and guides 
Please review our privacy statement prior to submitting your application.
Please use our Stage I submission template to prepare your submission. Please carefully read the document before preparing your final Stage I proposal.
The deadline for submissions to this year's Research Fund has now passed.
For proposals that have advanced to Stage II, please use our Stage II submission template to prepare your submission.
How we fund 
- Stage I
- Applicants submit proposals in response to the call for Research Fund Proposals.All proposals will be publicly available to allow the Wikimedia community to share feedback and suggest improvements. The Research Fund Committee and reviewers will evaluate all proposals, taking into account the community input. At the end of this process, Research Fund chairs make the final decisions as to whether to accept or reject an application. All accepted applications will receive an additional meta-review and will be invited to Stage Ⅱ. All other applications are rejected at this point.
- Stage Ⅱ
- Applicants whose proposals are invited for Stage Ⅱ submissions submit their full proposal. These proposals will be made publicly available and are significantly more elaborate than Stage Ⅰ proposals and will include a full budget. They will also need to include responses to meta-reviews from Stage I.
We will use a single-blind review process in which the identities of the applicants are known, but the Research Fund Committee reviewers are anonymous. Technical reviewers will self-declare their expertise for each proposal and disclose any potential conflicts of interest to Technical Review chairs. Each proposal will receive at least three technical reviews. The proposals will be discussed among the reviewers and the Technical Committee chairs. Each submission will receive a composite score based on this assessment and comprehensive reviews from the Technical Committee unit. Proposals may also receive input from the relevant Wikimedia affiliates or user groups. Each proposal can also receive public input from the Wikimedia volunteer communities through a structured feedback process on Meta-Wiki. The final decision will be made by the Research Fund Committee chairs considering the recommendations from the Technical Review chairs as well as the feedback and input from the Wikimedia Affiliates and the broader Wikimedia communities.
We will assess submissions based on the following criteria:
- Research. The primary focus of the proposed work must be either to conduct research designed to contribute to generalizable knowledge or research community building. Because they are not focused on generalizable knowledge, research efforts on understanding the specific needs of an organization or community will not be considered. Note that proposals with primary focus on outreach, technology development/deployment, institutional support, or other non-research activities, or research focused on specific organizations are funded through other funds offered by the Wikimedia Foundation.
- Relevance. The research must be on or about Wikimedia projects or of significant importance to the Wikimedia projects.
- Impact. We aim to prioritize proposals that aim to enable the Wikimedia communities in making decisions or taking actions of significant impact as a result of the research conducted. We will give special consideration to proposals that directly address the Wikimedia 2030 Strategic Direction (including but not limited to the Movement Recommendations) as well as proposals that attempt to answer research questions in less commonly studied languages of Wikipedia.
- Geography of the applicants and their corresponding institutions. Because we aim to increase the geographical diversity of researchers who contribute to the Wikimedia projects, we encourage submissions from Central and South America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia and will give these applications special consideration.
- Community. We aim to fund work that helps the Wikimedia communities take the next step. We will prioritize proposals that support or work with Wikimedia user groups, affiliates, and developer communities. We encourage applicants to include one or more members of these communities in your team and consult Community Wishlists from 2019, 2020, and 2021 for ideas of problems raised by these groups.
- Prior contributions to related academic and/or research projects and/or the Wikimedia and free culture communities. We will review self-reported contributions by the applicants to gain a deeper understanding of applicants’ interests, skills and abilities.
Requests can be up to USD 50,000 and we intend to give a minimum of six grants during this funding cycle. Detailed budgets are not required as part of initial submissions but we request rough estimates in the following categories (if applicable) along with a brief explanation:
- Salary or stipend
- Open access publishing costs
- Institutional overhead (up to 15% of total budget requested)
- Other (as specified)
Because the WMF mission is focused on education, budgets should not include faculty teaching “buyouts”—i.e., any budgeting for salary or effort that will result in a reduction of teaching. If the research project being proposed is absolutely not possible without a buyout, please provide context in your budget request and an exception will be considered by the Research Fund Committee.
Final grant amounts are up to the discretion of the Research Fund Committee, who may reach out to finalists to ask for a reduced budget and a proportionally reduced scope of work. Funds will be disbursed in one payment at the beginning of the funding period (As early as May 2024).
All proposals should follow principles of ethical research and rules and guidelines related to human subjects research. We encourage authors to read the Menlo Report for further information on ethical principles, the Allman/Paxson IMC ‘07 paper for guidance on ethical data sharing, and the Sandvig et al. ‘14 paper on the ethics of algorithm audits. Finalists must address possible ethical challenges and how they will address them in their proposal. Institutional Review Board review (if applicable) needs to be completed before funds are distributed.
To make the results of the research actionable and reusable by the Wikimedia volunteer communities, affiliates and Foundation, applicants must ensure that any output of your research complies with the Wikimedia Foundation Open Access Policy. Applicants are encouraged to include open access publication costs as part of your budget.
Grantees are expected to create project pages on MetaWiki:Research documenting the progress of their work once a month. In addition, they are expected to complete final financial and project reports using provided templates, and present at a future Wikimedia Research event as well as at least at one event within their research community.
Application cycle 
- Open call for applications, with office hours for interested applicants
- Review of Stage Ⅰ proposals, including desk rejection of proposals that are out of scope, eligibility check, technical review, community review, and regional fund Committee review
- Invitation to finalists to submit to Stage Ⅱ
- Technical review of Stage Ⅱ proposals
- Final decision
Important Dates 
December 15, 2023
Stage Ⅰ application submission deadline
February 13, 2024
Stage Ⅰ selection result notifications
March 18, 2024
Stage Ⅱ application submission deadline
April 29, 2024
Stage Ⅱ selection result notifications
All deadlines are 23:59 Anywhere on Earth.
Review submissions 
The categorization below into key projects and regional focus is designed to aid individuals seeking submissions in specific categories. It's important to acknowledge that the list may not comprehensive and it is possible that proposals listed both below and elsewhere might exhibit a specific regional emphasis or highlight projects not specifically mentioned here. All regions are determined based on the division outlined in the Wikimedia regions.
- Submissions by Project Focus
- Submissions by Regional Focus
Office Hours 
We invite you to schedule 1:1 consultations with us to ask questions about the Research Fund program or the relevance of your proposed work. Schedule a session with Kinneret Gordon or schedule a session with Leila Zia. When scheduling your appointment, please provide a description of your proposed research topic or question.
Contact us 
Please direct questions to research_fundwikimedia.org.
Organizing Committee 
Grant committee chairs
- Benjamin Mako Hill (University of Washington)
- Leila Zia (Wikimedia Foundation)
Technical Committee chairs
- Aaron Shaw (Northwestern University)
- Miriam Redi (Wikimedia Foundation)
- Kinneret Gordon (Wikimedia Foundation)