Proposals may assess a key challenge or opportunity raised by the technology, propose possible policy interventions, or — ideally — both. Proposed interventions can be, but need not be, limited to changes to law or regulations; rather, they might help galvanise a range of solutions that inform advocacy and support policy objectives. Regardless, we will evaluate proposals based on their feasibility, potential impact, and novelty (i.e., whether it makes a fresh or innovative contribution to the topic), and we will prioritise interdisciplinary research.
We expect to consider grants focusing on shorter term policy analysis and research projects, as well as in-depth research and advocacy projects spanning 6-12 months. We anticipate grants will fall into three broad types of work:
To researchers, independent writers and PhD students to support case study development and analysis. We anticipate these grants will be under $10,000 and have shorter timelines.
To civil society organisations, research teams, or research institutions to support targeted research and advocacy efforts. These grants will range in size from about $25,000 – $50,000 and we anticipate project timelines will average about 6 months.
To civil society and larger research institutions to support wider-ranging projects utilising innovative research to inform advocacy and start policy conversations. The maximum size of these grants will be $100,000 and we anticipate the project timelines will span 6-12 months.
XR is an emerging area, and we will not limit review of proposals to a bounded list of problem-and-solution spaces. However, key areas that we hope to explore include:
How will XR platforms ensure the safety and security of users on the platform?
Given the scale of real-time interactions, will a more community-driven form of moderation be required?
What will be necessary to support both platforms and communities in addressing harmful content and behavior?
Conversely, how might XR be designed to enable or encourage certain values — e.g., empathy and comity?
How will user data be protected and what privacy rights will users have over their experience on these platforms?
How might surveillance advertising evolve in an XR environment?
What are the implications of increased collection and use of biometric information?
What health impacts — mental health, physical health — should we expect will arise from wider adoption of XR technologies?
Will the health concerns associated with social media today (e.g., distraction, disassociation, addiction) become even more pressing with the adoption of XR?
Conversely, given early evidence about the ways that XR might help medical professionals, what policy frameworks are necessary to facilitate positive deployment of XR in supporting health?
If XR means a worker can be paid for labour in performing a service intermediated by an XR platform, what rights and protections does that worker have?
How will creators who build on top of these platforms be empowered?
Will users own the rights to things they create on these platforms?
What are the possible implications of platforms developing in walled-gardens during the emerging phases of XR environments?
What will ensure competitiveness between and within these platforms, and ensure users don’t get unduly locked in to any one ecosystem?
How will broadband policy evolve to address these needs?
Will XR environments be predominantly commercial, or will there be the equivalents of the public square (e.g. public parks, libraries, and other civic spaces)?
What are the ways such spaces can be incentivised and governed?
How will XR platforms be made accessible, including to those with disabilities?
How will these platforms be held accountable for including diverse viewpoints and user needs in the development of XR technology?
We expect your application to include:
We expect this to be no more than 1500 words, although you are free to include additional detail in an appendix.
Please also include, separate from the 1500-word application, detailed biographies and backgrounds of the team and, if relevant, your institution. These should include links to relevant prior work.
Once we receive your submission, we will evaluate it, including by working with our Advisory Panel of experts in this emerging field.
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