May 12, 2021

2021 Instagram request for proposals on safety and community health

This Research Award is now closed

About

Instagram’s mission is to bring people closer to the people and things they love. To achieve this, we need to invest in keeping our communities safe and understanding Instagram’s impact on people. We have invested heavily in technology and people to remove bad content and behavior from our services. While we do a lot to understand problematic issues, the effectiveness of these efforts relies strongly on our investment in foundational research and partnerships with social scientists.

In 2021, Instagram requests research proposals to help us better understand experiences on Instagram that may or may not contribute to the safety and health of our community. This includes, but is not limited to, research that will help us better understand equity and fairness issues facing our communities, develop better policies, assess possible improvements to protect our younger community, or better understand the mechanisms (e.g., social support, social comparison) through which Instagram usage would directly impact the people that use our service. We especially encourage researchers investigating topics that may affect teen communities or underserved or vulnerable communities to apply.

This RFP challenge will be open to applicants worldwide from academic institutions and non-profit organizations. This includes individual researchers addressing a well-defined problem, or may require multiple university departments to collaborate with a diverse set of skills to solve a more complex multi-disciplinary challenge. We encourage emerging scholars and researchers studying these issues from perspectives around the world to apply. Instagram will grant awards of up to $50,000 USD per awardee to fund projects of up to one year in duration. Payment will be made to the proposer’s host institution as an unrestricted gift.

Applications are now closed

Application Dates

  • Launch Date May 12, 2021
  • Deadline July 13, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. AOE
  • Winners Announced October 2021

Areas of Interest

In 2021, Instagram requests research proposals to help us better understand experiences on Instagram that may or may not contribute to the safety and health of our community. This includes, but is not limited to, research that will help us better understand equity and fairness issues facing our communities, develop better policies, assess possible improvements to protect our younger community, or better understand the mechanisms (e.g., social support, social comparison) through which Instagram usage would directly impact the people that use our service. We especially encourage researchers investigating topics that may affect teen communities or underserved or vulnerable communities to apply.

Requirements

Proposals should include

  • A summary of the project (1-2 pages), in English, explaining the area of focus, a description of techniques, any relevant prior work, and a timeline with milestones and expected outcomes.
  • A draft budget description (1 page) including an approximate cost of the award and explanation of how funds would be spent
  • Curriculum Vitae for all project participants.
  • Organization details; this will include tax information and administrative contact details

Eligibility

  • Proposal must comply with applicable US and international laws, regulations and policies.
  • Institutions must be academic institutions or non-governmental organizations with recognized legal status in their respective country (equal to 501(c)(3) status under the United States Internal Revenue Code).
  • Applicants must be the Principal Investigator (PI) on any resulting award. All funding will be directed to the PI’s host institution.
  • Facebook cannot consider proposals submitted, prepared or to be carried out by individuals residing in, or affiliated with an academic institution located in, a country or territory subject to comprehensive U.S. trade sanctions.
  • Government officials (excluding faculty and staff of public universities, to the extent they may be considered government officials), political figures, and politically affiliated businesses (all as determined by Facebook in its sole discretion) are not eligible.

Additional Information

  • Projects can focus on safety and community health in online platforms more broadly, though the findings should be scalable/relevant for Instagram.
  • We encourage applications from and proposals focusing on people across the globe.
  • Instagram will not provide any data to research teams. All data collected by research teams for use in proposed projects must comply with Instagram’s terms and policies. Please be aware that Instagram prohibits the automated pulling of information from the platform and API access is not currently supported for research purposes.
  • Award recipients will be listed on the Facebook Research website and will also be invited to meet with the Instagram team and present their work.
  • We encourage the winners to openly publish any findings or insights from their work.

For additional questions related to this RFP, please email academicrelations@fb.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most of the RFP awards are an unrestricted gift. Because of its nature, salary/headcount could be included as part of the budget presented for the RFP. Since the award/gift is paid to the university, they will be able to allocate the funds to that winning project and have the freedom to use as they need. All Facebook teams are different and have different expectations concerning deliverables, timing, etc. Long story short – yes, money for salary/headcount can be included. It’s up to the reviewing team to determine if the percentage spend is reasonable and how that relates to the decision if the project is a winner or not.

We are flexible, but ideally proposals submitted are single-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt font.

Research awards are given year-round and funding years/duration can vary by proposal.

Yes, award funds can be used to cover a researcher’s salary.

Budgets can vary by institution and geography, but overall research funds ideally cover the following: graduate or post-graduate students’ employment/tuition; other research costs (e.g., equipment, laptops, incidental costs); travel associated with the research (conferences, workshops, summits, etc.); overhead for research gifts is limited to 5%

One person will need to be the primary PI (i.e., the submitter that will receive all email notifications); however, you’ll be given the opportunity to list collaborators/co-PIs in the submission form. Please note in your budget breakdown how the funds should be dispersed amongst PIs.

Terms & Conditions

Facebook’s decisions will be final in all matters relating to Facebook RFP solicitations, including whether or not to grant an award and the interpretation of Facebook RFP Terms and Conditions. By submitting a proposal, applicants affirm that they have read and agree to these Terms and Conditions.

  • Facebook is authorized to evaluate proposals submitted under its RFPs, to consult with outside experts, as needed, in evaluating proposals, and to grant or deny awards using criteria determined by Facebook to be appropriate and at Facebook’s sole discretion. Facebook’s decisions will be final in all matters relating to its RFPs, and applicants agree not to challenge any such decisions.
  • Facebook will not be required to treat any part of a proposal as confidential or protected by copyright, and may use, edit, modify, copy, reproduce and distribute all or a portion of the proposal in any manner for the sole purposes of administering the Facebook RFP website and evaluating the contents of the proposal.
  • Personal data submitted with a proposal, including name, mailing address, phone number, and email address of the applicant and other named researchers in the proposal may be collected, processed, stored and otherwise used by Facebook for the purposes of administering Facebook’s RFP website, evaluating the contents of the proposal, and as otherwise provided under Facebook’s Privacy Policy.
  • Neither Facebook nor the applicant is obligated to enter into a business transaction as a result of the proposal submission. Facebook is under no obligation to review or consider the proposal.
  • Feedback provided in a proposal regarding Facebook products or services will not be treated as confidential or protected by copyright, and Facebook is free to use such feedback on an unrestricted basis with no compensation to the applicant. The submission of a proposal will not result in the transfer of ownership of any IP rights.
  • Applicants represent and warrant that they have authority to submit a proposal in connection with a Facebook RFP and to grant the rights set forth herein on behalf of their organization. All awards provided by Facebook in connection with this RFP shall be used only in accordance with applicable laws and shall not be used in any way, directly or indirectly, to facilitate any act that would constitute bribery or an illegal kickback, an illegal campaign contribution, or would otherwise violate any applicable anti-corruption or political activities law.
  • Awards granted in connection with RFP proposals will be subject to terms and conditions contained in the unrestricted gift agreement (or, in some cases, other mechanisms) pursuant to which the award funding will be provided. Applicants understand and acknowledge that they will need to agree to these terms and conditions to receive an award.