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.