Grants Program

DTL is a collaborative effort between universities, businesses and institutions to support research in tools, data, and methodologies for shedding light on the use of personal data by online services, and to empower users to be in control of their personal data online. In order to support research in these areas, DTL will award research grants to academic institutions worldwide.



Call for Proposals 2017

The Data Transparency Lab is a collaborative effort between universities, businesses and institutions to support research in tools, data, and methodologies for shedding light on the use of personal data by online services, and to empower users to be in control of their personal data online. DTL will award in 2017 up to 6 research grants as well as up to 3 postdoc positions to support the work of applicants from academic institutions worldwide.

Grant Awards


The grants come in the form of a lump sum of up to 50K Euro that will be awarded to successful applicants for pursuing research that will lead to the development of transparency software tools for end users, interest groups, regulation authorities, and governments. The following list of topics provides several examples of tools that we are looking to support. In this third year of the program we are particularly interested in tools for detecting algorithmic bias and discrimination as well as in tools for exposing location and other IoT related privacy threats.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

Research Areas

  • Detection and analysis of algorithmic bias and discrimination, personal filter-bubbles, societal polarization, etc.
  • Detection and analysis of fake news and other manipulation techniques through social and other media.
  • Detection and analysis of large scale censorship/filtering efforts.
  • Detection and analysis of anti-competitive practices in online platforms.
  • Detection and analysis of large scale (commercial or governmental) surveillance/monitoring efforts.
  • Detection and analysis of geoblocking in e-commerce, content distribution services, etc.
  • Detection and analysis of tracking, including advanced finger-printing methods.
  • Detection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) leakage.
  • Detection and analysis of online behavioral targeting on advertising, search, recommendation, etc.
  • Detection and analysis of location tracking.
  • Detection and analysis of cross device/platform tracking.
  • Reverse engineering online pricing (e-commerce, spot/surge pricing for cloud, transportation, accommodation and other services).
  • Transparency of physical location where personal data are stored as well as of network paths crossed during transfers.
  • Transparency challenges around new crypto-currencies and blockchain technologies.
  • Explainable Artificial Intelligence.
  • HCI challenges in demonstrating transparency/privacy/algorithmic bias concepts to user.


Successful applicants are expected to present their results in the annual DTL Conference, make their software available online (the latest 12 months after receiving the grant), and acknowledge the funding source. Reporting obligations will be minimal and successful applicants will be eligible to apply for additional follow up funding to further curate their tool. Proposals will be selected based on their novelty and their commitment to develop and deploy tools. Proposals that propose a research project without implementation of a prototype/tool won’t be considered (the postdoc program -see below- should then be considered). Proposals already funded by other sources won’t be considered.


Research Committee Chairs

In alphabetical order

Name Affiliation
Claude Castelluccia INRIA (France)
Nikolaos Laoutaris Telefonica Research (Spain)

Research Committee Members

Name Affiliation
Jose Luis Agundez AT&T (USA)
Nataliia Bielova INRIA (France)
Joe Calandrino Federal Trade Commission (USA)
David Choffnes Northeastern University (USA)
Yves-Alexandre De Montjoye Imperial College London (UK)
Phillipa Gill University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA)
Oana Goga Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (Germany)
Saikat Guha Microsoft Research (India)
Krishna Gummadi Max-Planck Institute for Software Systems (Germany)
Antonio Guzman Telefónica (Spain)
Hamed Haddadi Queen Mary University of London (UK)
Marit Hansen Unabhängiges Landeszentrum für Datenschutz Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)
Jaap-Henk Hoepman Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands)
Demosthenes Ikonomou European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (EU)
Balachander Krishnamurthy AT&T Labs Research (USA)
Nick Nikiforakis Stony Brook University (USA)
Nuria Oliver Vodafone (Spain)
Javier Parra Arnau Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain)
Sylvain Peyronnet Qwant (France)
Josep Maria Pujol Cliqz (Germany)
Salvatore Ruggieri Università di Pisa (Italy)
Vincent Toubiana Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL)
Christo Wilson Northeastern University (USA)
Joss Wright Oxford Internet Institute (UK)

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: May 10th
  • Notification of acceptance: June 15th
  • Contract signing: July-Sept 2017

The application process must include:

  • A main description of up to 3 pages (9pt font) explaining succinctly the main idea, its relevance to DTL, what will be produced and the main innovation with respect to current state of the art in the area.
  • CV of Principal Investigator and main student (2 pages each).

Documents should be submitted as a single PDF file along with the information of the applicants at the submission site of DTL at: https://dtlresearch.tid.es/dtl2017/



Postdoc Positions (NEW!)

In addition to the standard DTL Call for Projects, INRIA, Queen Mary University of London, and other academic affiliates of DTL will fund up to 3 grants to work on one of the DTL topics (see above for non-exhaustive list).

The nature of the expected work is to contribute to the research of data and/or algorithmic transparency. Although the development of an experimental prototype would be appreciated, it is not a requirement for this position.

Candidates must have defended their Phd thesis in Computer Science (or related topics) at the beginning of the contract of employment. The application must include:

  • A main description, of up to 3 pages (9pt font), of the research statement and its relevance to DTL.
  • The candidate’s CV, a list of the candidate’s publications as well as the two most significant publications provided in full.
  • The names of 2 references.



Documents should be submitted as a single PDF file along with the information of the applicants at the submission site of DTL at: https://dtlresearch.tid.es/dtl2017/