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ICANN Meeting Fellowships

The Fellowship program is one example of how ICANN is supporting the next generation of community members, and is part of the work of ICANN's Development and Public Responsibility Department. This program seeks to create a broader and more regionally diverse base of knowledgeable constituents by reaching out to less developed regions of the world in order to build capacity within the ICANN Multistakeholder Model. Participation in the program at an ICANN Meeting is a "fast track" experience of engagement into that community model, with presentations designed to facilitate understanding of the many pieces and parts of ICANN while providing opportunities to network and promoting interaction with staff and community leaders.

This is a means- tested program. Applicants must be citizens of economically eligible countries as listed in the World Bank classification of low, lower-middle, and upper-middle economies, along with three (3) UN groupings of developing and least developed nations: UN Listing of SIDN which are based on distinctly different criteria that stretch beyond the World Bank's economically deterministic view.

If selected into the program through the online application and review process, each individual is provided a grant of support that covers the cost of economy class airfare, hotel and a stipend. Recipients are expected to engage prior to, during and after the ICANN meeting with the ICANN Fellowship office and alumni coaches, as well as actively contribute to ICANN processes and be a part of the next generation of ICANN volunteers and leaders when the program has ended.

Who may apply for and be awarded a fellowship?

The programme is targeted at individuals who are either new to the ICANN environment, are familiar with ICANN but have yet to attend a face-to-face meeting, or have started participating in ICANN through the program or by other means but are in need of travel funding in order to broaden their knowledge and deepen their engagement. Candidate backgrounds are diverse: government, the ccTLD community, civil society, academic, technical, commercial and non-commercial sectors. These individuals must NOT be involved in or associated with other ICANN supported travel programmes at time of selection.

Successful applicants will have demonstrated:

  • Desire and ability to utilize the experiences gained from the fellowship to become a part of the next generation of ICANN leadership
  • A role or interest in the Internet space
  • An interest in contributing to:
    • ICANN policy development processes
    • The ICANN fellowship alumni network
    • A leadership role in stimulating local interest in ICANN
    • An ICANN supporting organization, advisory committee, stakeholder group or constituency

How are the fellowships awarded?

Fellowships are awarded by an independent selection committee based on a mix of criteria including applicant experience and references, geographic proximity to meeting, receipt of past fellowships, etc. For more information please see the Terms and Conditions.

ICANN may not be able to provide fellowships for all qualified applicants. In the case of a dispute or similar applications final decisions will be made by the Fellowship Selection Committee.

Current Program Status

47 individuals from 35 countries successfully participated in ICANN's Fellowship program at the 52nd Public Meeting in Singapore, 8-12 February 2015.  See below for list of participants and photo.

Application Rounds

The 53rd ICANN meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina to be held 21-25 June 2015

  • Application Round opened: 5 December 2014 at 23:59 UTC
  • Application Round closed: 16 January 2015 at 23:59 UTC
  • Selected Fellows announced: 6 March 2015

The 54th ICANN meeting in Dublin, Ireland to be held 18-22 October 2015

  • Application Round opens: 3 April 2015 at 23:59 UTC
  • Application Round closes: 15 May 2015 at 23:59 UTC
  • Selected Fellows announced: 10 July 2015

The 55th ICANN meeting in Marrakech, Morocco to be held 6-11 March 2016

  • Application Round opens: 11 September 2015 at 23:59 UTC
  • Application Round closes: 23 October 2015 at 23:59 UTC
  • Selected Fellows announced: 7 December 2015

The 56th ICANN meeting in TBD location / Latin America and Caribbean to be held 27-30 June 2016

  • Application Round opens: 18 December 2015 at 23:59 UTC
  • Application Round closes: 31 January 2016 at 23:59 UTC
  • Selected Fellows announced: 25 March 2016

The 57th ICANN meeting in TBD location / North America to be held 29 October – 4 November 2016

  • Application Round opens: 22 April 2016 at 23:59 UTC
  • Application Round closes: 3 June 2016 at 23:59 UTC
  • Selected Fellows announced: 29 July 2016

Online Application

Fellowship Alumni


Meet 4 Fellow Alumni:

ICANN Fellowship Alumni Stepping Up: A conversation with Tracy Hackshaw

ICANN Fellowship Alumni Stepping Up: A conversation with Abibu Ntahigiye

ICANN Fellowship Alumni Stepping Up: A conversation with Gabriela Szlak

ICANN Fellowship Alumni Stepping Up: A conversation with Siranush Vardanyan


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I send information separately to the fellowship office if I cannot provide it in time for the application?

The online application system is the only method that you can use to apply for an ICANN fellowship. All information requested in the application has to be embedded in that online form; NO INFORMATION WILL BE ACCEPTED OUTSIDE OF THE ONLINE FORM OR AFTER THE APPLICATION ROUND CLOSES.

Who reviews the applications and how are the fellowships chosen?

An independent selection committee reviews all eligible applications and ranks them according to the selection criteria found on the fellowship web page. Additional weight is given to eligible candidates who meet the minimum requirements of the program, and live in the region of the ICANN meeting that is being held for that fellowship round. The Fellowship Program will support approximately 50 participants to each of the ICANN meetings held within a fiscal year.

How will I know if I received a fellowship?

All successful candidates are announced on the ICANN website, approximately 6 weeks after the online application closes. That is the only communication that all applicants will see; successful candidates also receive a follow-up email and confirmation letter at the time of posting, which must be returned within a week of receipt declaring that they accept the fellowship. If a candidate does not accept the fellowship, a pre-established list of alternates will be used to fill the vacated position.

Do I need to re-apply for each fellowship round?

You must re-apply for each fellowship round. No exceptions. You do not need to be selected and complete a fellowship before applying for a second or third; applications and participation in a current round may overlap.

How many times can I receive fellowship support?

ICANN staff and the selection committee have maintained a "3x" rule for receiving this grant of support. The underlying thought is that a first time attendee is new to the ICANN meeting and community, and will not fully grasp all of the opportunities or understand all of the issues that the community is working on. It is expected that a second time fellow will be better prepared and more knowledgeable about the process, taking the opportunity for further networking and finding their "fit" in the ICANN community. A third grant would require more out of the individual, including mentoring others, working at the ICANN Booth and solidifying other means of support to future meetings, via participation and membership in one of the ICANN ACs, SOs, Stakeholder Groups or Constituencies. Beginning with the ICANN 53 application process, alumni of the Fellowship program (minimum 2nd time applicants as well as those who have completed their third fellowship) may opt to apply as a Newcomer mentor. This mentor role does not count as a second or third fellowship. If that mentor applicant is not selected for that role, he/she may or may not be selected as a fellowship participant depending on the established terms and criteria for selection by the Fellowship committee and the status of other applicants who applied for the fellowship opportunity.

How will my travel be covered?

All travel including airfare and accommodations will be booked and paid for by ICANN directly. Any additional charges are the responsibility of the fellow.

How will the stipend work?

All fellows are eligible to receive a flat stipend not to exceed US $500.00. One half of the stipend will be provided to fellows at the ICANN Meeting; the remaining half will be received by wire transfer, following successful completion of that Fellowship program.

Do I need insurance?

Acquiring and paying for any and all insurance, including but not limited to travel insurance is the sole and exclusive responsibility of the fellow. Carrying proof of insurance is suggested.

I would like to add personal or other business segments to my travel. What do I do?

Please refer to the ICANN Travel Support Guidelines.

What travel documents are needed?

  • A valid passport **.
  • Travel documents as required by your country of origin.
  • Visa may be required by country hosting the ICANN meeting. It is very IMPORTANT that you check with your local consulate agency.
  • Transit visa may be required to connect in certain cities or countries. Please check with your local consulate agency.

**All travel documents must be consistent with the name on your valid passport

Questions/Comments?
Email: fellowships@icann.org


What is ICANN?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers. These include domain names such as .org or شبكة (Arabic for "web/network"), and country codes like .UK, as well as the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols. Computers use these identifiers to reach each other over the Internet. Careful management of these resources is vital to the Internet's operation. ICANN's global stakeholders meet regularly to develop policies that ensure the Internet's on-going security and stability.

The domain name system (DNS) and Internet Protocol (IP) addressing systems rely on global input and perspectives in order to ensure they continue to function in a stable and secure fashion. ICANN's fellowships program helps ensure that voices from all regions of the world have the opportunity to provide that input.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."