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Processing Foundation Fellowship Program
Open Call for 2021 Fellowships

Applications for the 2021 Fellowship Program are now closed.

The Processing Foundation Fellowship program sponsors artists, designers, activists, educators, engineers, researchers, coders, and collectives—and many combinations of these—in projects that conceive a new direction for what our software and community can do. Fellowships are an essential element of the Foundation’s work toward developing tools of empowerment, connection, and access, and in nurturing the aims and needs of the communities who use our software.

Fellowships are self-initiated projects proposed by members of our community, which we support with mentorship; infrastructural, technical, and practical resources; and community connections. Fellowship projects can range from development of the existing Processing software projects (Processing, p5.js,, Processing for Android), to creative and exploratory research for new iterations. We are less interested in funding an individual’s practice, and more interested in supporting work that uses our software to creatively connect a fellow with a group of people—be they students and educators, creators and users, artists and the public, or activists and organizers.

We are open to applicants from all backgrounds and skill levels, and support proposals that involve investigations into what a fellow may not already know how to do. We are attentive to proposals that demonstrate enthusiasm, innovation, and the evolution of a fellow’s practice rather than their pre-existing technical skills. We choose projects that will have a significant impact on the fellow’s practice, offering the fellow much-needed resources and support.

For 2021—

This year, the Fellowship Program has been adapted to respond to remote and online contexts and socially distanced communities. These new elements have compelled us to think about ways to feel more connected online, through increased access and a sense of shared values. With this in mind, we want to center a set of priorities in this year’s fellowships, which are described in detail in the Guidelines below. This year’s projects will be chosen based on how closely they align with these values: Applicants will be asked to select at least one Priority Area that their project addresses and explain how they will incorporate its concerns into their work .

Additionally, in 2021 we are sponsoring a separate cohort of Teaching Fellows, who will produce teaching materials to be published on our Medium publication and Education Portal. With the changes COVID has brought to education, we believe it is imperative to support a diverse group of perspectives for teaching in new contexts: from zoom classrooms, to homeschooling, to teaching accessibility and social-justice issues to a range of students. Because the 2021 Teaching Fellowships have a more specific framework around the finished product, they will require fewer hours than the other fellowships.

See Fellowship Guidelines below before applying. Fellowships are open to U.S.-based and international applicants. Only one application per person is allowed.

Application period is open March 1 – April 9, 2021. Selected fellows will be notified by early May 2021. Late applications will not be accepted. Fellows will be selected by the Processing Foundation’s Board of Directors and Board of Advisors.

Apply here. If you have questions, please email

The Foundation is looking for potential funders who would be interested in sponsoring part or all of a fellow’s project. If you are interested in sponsoring a fellow, contact Dorothy Santos, Executive Director, at!

2021 Fellowship Guidelines

We place the most emphasis on projects that activate, foster, and cultivate community, speaking to the needs of specific groups through outreach and engagement. Barriers to access and diversity should be thoughtfully addressed and included in the project’s scope.

Our past fellowships are good examples of work we believe is important, and of how those projects have evolved into self-sustaining projects in their own right. Applicants should familiarize themselves with previous fellowship projects (at the bottom of this page) and read our Medium’s series of articles where past fellows describe, in their own words, what their fellowships entailed.

Priority Areas

This year we aim to support fellowships that respond to and meet the needs of the following priorities. We feel these topics are increasingly relevant to the current changes brought by COVID. Applicants are asked to address at least one of the below, describing how their project responds to the concerns of the topic.

—Foregrounds accessibility on the internet as a core necessity for building online communities
—What new tools, approaches, and understandings do we need to ensure that everyone can access content online?

—Supports translations, educational materials, and documentation in different languages
—What are news ways to think about working across languages, borders, cultural contexts?

Continuing Support
—Maintains and sustains projects that have already been initiated by past fellows (which you can learn about below and here and/or members of the open-source community
—How can we continue the work of previous projects, communities, environments, and knowledge systems?

AI Ethics and Open Source
—Advocates for ethical and inclusive approaches to new machine-learning and AI tools in the form of creative, artistic, and/or critical projects
—How do we forefront accessibility, diversity, and inclusion in the process of machine learning?


Processing Foundation Fellows are expected to commit 100 hours to proposed projects, over the course of June 1, 2021 to August 31, 2021. (Please note that the number of hours for Teaching Fellows is different; see below.)

The 100 hours of the fellowship must take place during this timeline. How the 100 hours are completed is flexible and decided upon between the mentor and the fellow. For example, if a fellow wants to work 100 hours over 2.5 weeks in July, that is fine. Or, if they want to log a few hours per week throughout the entire fellowship period, that is also fine.

Agreement of schedules and milestone dates is to be decided upon between the fellow and their mentor (and advisors, if applicable) by Friday, June 4, 2021.


Mentors are assigned to each fellow from within the Processing Foundation’s community.

If a specific mentor is desired, please indicate this in the application.

Regular bi-weekly virtual meetings with a mentor throughout the fellowship are required.


We follow the community guidelines of p5.js for our code of conduct.

At the start of the fellowship, an introductory meeting with all 2021 fellows will take place virtually. The meeting is an opportunity for this year’s cohort to meet each other and learn about each other’s work. Attendance is required.

Fellows are encouraged to build community with their cohort throughout the fellowship period, in group chats like Signal, Slack, or Discord, as well as zoom meetups. Additionally, 2-3 Fellowship Program Alumni will be invited to deliver online talks and workshops with this year’s cohort. Attendance to these Alumni talks is strongly encouraged but not required, as they are meant to create connections and support knowledge-sharing within the fellowship community.

Along with mentorship, the Foundation staff will work to provide fellows with connections to other community members who might be able to support the fellow with specific needs in the roles of advisors and consultants; we will also look for organizations and spaces that might be able to host the fellow for future events and collaborations.

Project Documentation

Progress updates, via social media, blogs, etc., are required to be posted after each bi-weekly progress meeting with the fellow’s mentor.

Fellowship projects are featured on the Processing Foundation’s website, with a fellow’s bio, images, and a link to the project. These materials must be provided by the start of the fellowship.

Final online documentation of fellowship projects is required. Documentation can take many forms—a GitHub repository, a series of video tutorials, a website, etc.—and we are open to what fits best for the work.

Medium Wrap-Up Post

At the culmination of the fellowship, the fellow must produce a written account (approximately 750 words) of their work for the Processing Foundation Medium. The fellow will work directly with the Director of Advocacy, either to be interviewed, or to write an article in their own words. The fellow must be available for the editorial process, which will occur at the end of August 2021, with publication in September-November 2021. Because the article must include 3-5 high-quality images (photos, screenshots, videos, gifs, etc.) that represent the fellowship project, the fellow should produce visual documentation throughout their work period.

Project Legacy

Fellowship projects must be open source.

Project legacy is an important component of fellowships. We encourage applicants to think about how projects may support future sustainability or archiving of the work. This includes, but is not limited to: code commenting and reusability, documentation, prioritized @todo lists / roadmaps (if there’s more to do after your fellowship is completed), laying out infrastructure that enables others to carry on, summary of discoveries for research focused projects, etc.


The stipend for the 2021 Fellowship is $3,000 USD, calculated at $30 per hour for 100 total hours. Payment of the stipend will be made in 50% installments: $1,500 USD paid at the start of your fellowship, and the remaining $1,500 USD upon its completion.

A fellow must complete the requirements of the fellowship for the stipend to be paid in full.

Note that the 2021 Teaching Fellows are asked to commit 32 hours of work, for a stipend of $1000 USD.

2021 Teaching Fellowships

This year we will support Teaching Fellows to develop teaching materials, which can range from a syllabus to reading lists, video tutorials to lesson plans. These materials will be published on the Processing Foundation Medium and Education Portal. Applicants to the Teaching Fellowships must select one of the core priorities above, and explain how the topic(s) will be incorporated into their project.

The Teaching Fellows will be expected to commit 25 hours of work over the course of June 1, 2021 to August 31, 2021. This time will be used for generating ideas, researching existing materials, and creating materials. There is an additional commitment of 7 hours to be fulfilled over the course of the school year, during which time the materials will be finalized, presented, and the fellow is interviewed for the Medium publication.

Please note that Teaching Fellowships, at 32 hours, are fewer hours than regular fellowships, which are 100 hours. Teaching Fellows will work with mentors, as well as be advised by Education Community Director, Saber Khan. Teaching Fellows will be paid the same rate as the other fellows, $30/hour, for a total stipend of $1000 USD.

Contact Info

For questions, contact

Fellowships 2020

ml5.js Fellows: Achim Koh, Emily Martinez, Bomani Oseni McClendon, Andreas Refsgaard; 2020 Fellows: Aren Davey, Abdellah Iraamane, Michael O’Connell, George Profenza, Kalila Shapiro, and Inhwa Yeom & Seonghyeon Kim

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Fellowships 2019

Stalgia Grigg and Evelyn Masso (p5.js Fellows); Layla Quinones and Emily Fields (Teaching Fellows); Prince Steven Annor; Manaswini Das, Nancy Chauhan, and Shaharyar Shamshi; Doeke Wartena; Matilda Wysocki; and Qianqian Ye.

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Fellowships 2018

Vijith Assar, George Boateng, Mathura Govindarajan and Luis Morales-Navarro, Saber Khan, Jose Orea (Teaching Fellow), Courtney Morgan (Teaching Fellow), Kenneth Lim, Ari Melenciano, Kaitlyn M. O’Bryan, Kate Lockwood, and Thomas J. Reinartz Jr., Kirit Tanna

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Fellowships 2017

Cassie Tarakajian, Andrew Nicolaou, DIY Girls, Gottfried Haider, Niklas Peters, Saskia Freeke, Susan Evans

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Fellowships 2016

Allison Parrish, Claire Kearney-Volpe, The Digital Citizens Lab, Jessica Klein and Atul Varma, Tega Brain and Luisa Pereira

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Fellowships 2013

Wilm Thoben, Lauren McCarthy, Greg Borenstein

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The Processing Foundation Fellowship Program is made possible by generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts.