April 16, 2018

Facebook invites submissions for Global Literacy & Accessibility Challenge research awards

By: Meta Research

At Facebook, we strive to build communities across the globe and bring the world closer together. To do so, we need to reduce the barrier for everyone to participate, regardless of their backgrounds and abilities.

A lack of literacy skills has been shown as one of the top challenges for people to adopt technologies and take part in the social communications online. Although, as a whole, there has been a lot of progress in education and literacy over the past 5 decades, as of 2014, there were still 758 million adults – two-thirds of whom are women – lacking basic reading and writing skills.

In order to better understand and address global literacy and accessibility issues, we invite the academic community to respond to a call for research proposals in the field of literacy and accessibility. Grants will be awarded for both qualitative or quantitative research proposals including, but not limited to:

  • Novel, scalable methods on assessing individual or population literacy levels.
  • Understanding the experiences and challenges associated with literacy issues.
  • Understanding the social, structural, and technology issues that prevent people from improving literacy skills.
  • Understanding the impact of literacy skills on individuals and society.
  • Digital, social technologies used to improve literacy level, especially, closing the gender gap in literacy rate.
  • Design and development of technologies to elevate the literacy barrier, preferably with a focus on social and AI technologies.

We will make four up to $30K USD awards for projects up to one year in duration for projects that demonstrate innovative and compelling research which has the potential to significantly deepen the scientific understanding on literacy issues and lower the socio-technological barriers for people with limited literacy skills.

We encourage award recipients to openly publish any findings from their work as well as make any code available as open source. No Facebook data will be provided for accepted research proposals.

For more information and to respond to the Global Literacy & Accessibility request for proposal visit the Global Literacy & Accessibility Challenge grant page.