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Rust Foundation Fellowship Program

The Rust Foundation Fellowship program exists to support and acknowledge active members of the Rust programming language community who generously contribute their time and expertise on a voluntary basis. These grants reward individuals who have helped make Rust what it is today and are key to its future success.

Rust Foundation Fellows are selected for their Rust experience and potential to enhance the community. Benefits include a monthly stipend during the Fellowship year, funding for career development, and access to mentorship opportunities.

The 2023 Fellowship Application is Now Closed. Please stay tuned for news of future Rust Foundation Fellowship application periods.

2023 Application Dates

Application window: Tuesday, June 13th- Friday, June 30th, 2023 (midnight PDT).
Fellow selections: Wednesday, July 6th, 2023.
Applicant notifications: Friday, July 7th, 2023.
Fellowship year begins: Monday, July 24, 2023

Fellowship Benefits


A monthly stipend of $1,000 USD per month for 12 months.

Travel Budget

An allowance of up to $2,000 to support travel to relevant Rust events.

Training Allowance

Up to $2,000 towards training and skills development.


Program Details

- Rust Foundation Fellowships support current Rust maintainers and skilled users with the potential to positively impact the Rust language community.

- Applicants in 2023 will have the opportunity to either select a self-directed or a mentored role for their Fellowship year.

- Fellowships are intended to support work RFFs are already carrying out. They are not intended to add more work to RFFs' plates.

- Mentored roles pair RFFs with an expert in the Rust community to help develop their skills and experience in a chosen focus area.

- Fellowships do not come with special Rust Project privilege - RFFs will not automatically become members of Project Teams or Working Groups.

- RFFs will not be required to set and meet specific milestones. At the end of the program, RFFs will be asked to write a blog detailing their experience for possible publication on our website.

- Each quarter, RFFs will be asked to share a brief, written update with the Rust Foundation team and participate in a check-in call.

- All RFFs will be required to adhere to the Rust Foundation’s Code of Conduct, which is an extension of the Rust Project Code of Conduct. Failure to adhere to the Code of Conduct may result in the Fellowship being terminated.

     Mentored Fellowship Details

Security Fellowship

The Security Fellow will have the opportunity to research and implement detection measures in Ecosystem Scanning, including identifying malicious code that can occur in crates, provenance detection, and code health scans (e.g. miri, audit). The Security Fellow will also have the opportunity to contribute to the Penetration Test of the Rust Project, which may involve assessing the security of various components, from the Project in general to specific projects or infrastructure components. This work could encompass penetration testing of systems and conducting code reviews for critical components like CI/CD, bors, rustwide, playground, and more.

Paired Mentor: Walter Pearce, Rust Foundation Security Engineer.

Crates.io Fellowship

The crates.io Fellow will have the opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of crates.io and focus on enhancing its search experience. The crates.io Fellow’s objective will be to explore possible improvements to the crate search experience, such as incorporating additional metrics for crates and leveraging them to prioritize search results. By working on these enhancements, the crates.io Fellow will contribute to optimizing the search functionality on crates.io, thus improving the overall user experience.

Paired Mentor: Tobias Bieniek, Rust Foundation Software Engineer.

Infrastructure Fellowship

The Infrastructure Fellow will be responsible for developing a comprehensive understanding of the underlying infrastructure supporting the Rust language. Specific tasks include updating the infrastructure monitoring setup and optimizing the CI (Continuous Integration) process for rust-lang to enhance its efficiency. By actively working on these aspects, the Infrastructure Fellow will play a vital role in ensuring a robust infrastructure and streamlined development workflow for the Rust language.

Paired Mentor: Jan David Nose, Rust Foundation Infrastructure Engineer.

Compiler Fellowship

The Compiler Fellow will develop a comprehensive understanding of the Rust compiler and develop the skills and experience needed to become an active contributor to the compiler work.

Paired Mentor: the Rust Compiler Team.

Who Can Join?

- The Rust Foundation Fellowships application is open to anyone who will be over the age of 18 at the time of the grant award.

- We welcome applications from prospective RFFs with different backgrounds from all over the world.

- Rust Foundation Fellows do not have to speak English, but they will need to be able to understand enough written English to be able to interact with members of the Project Teams, Rust Project Working Groups, and the Foundation.

- Rust Foundation staff, officers, and directors are not eligible to apply for any Rust Foundation grants.

- Employees of Rust Foundation Member organizations should email us at grants@rustfoundation.org prior to completing an application to verify that being granted a Fellowship would not represent a conflict of interest.

- While we cannot consider applications from those who are paid to work on Rust full-time, we welcome applications from part-time paid Rust contributors.

All RFF applicants must ensure that they are able to receive financial transfers from the USA. Details of the restrictions of such transactions can be found here.


How long does the program last?

12 months.

Does it matter which country I live in or what my citizenship status is?

No, but you have to be able to legally receive funds from the USA to be a Fellow.

I am 17, can I apply to be a Rust Foundation Fellow?

In order to accommodate and abide by different countries’ child labor laws, we are not able to consider applications from people under the age of 18.

I am not currently a member of a Rust Project Team or Working Group, can I apply?


I don’t have any experience with Rust, can I apply?

We are only able to consider applications from individuals who possess some Rust experience

How much time will I have to spend working on Rust for my Fellowship?

While RFFs are expected to dedicate an average of 20 hours per month on program work we acknowledge the time demands on Rust community members. As such, we are flexible in allowing RFFs to map out their own working patterns and encourage RFFs to prioritize work-life balance.

I can’t commit to dedicating 20 hours of time to Rust every month, is that going to be a problem?

While we expect Fellows to spend an average of 20 hours per month on the program, we understand that schedules vary over the course of a year and the program will accommodate this reality as needed.

If I become a Fellow do I have to increase the number of hours I spend working on Rust?

No. If you are already spending 20 or more hours a month working on the Rust project, then no additional hours will be necessary. We encourage Fellows to limit the additional amount of time they spend working on the project to help achieve a healthy work-life balance.

I am interested in building the Rust community, not writing code, can I apply?

Yes, although you will be required to have some experience contributing to the Rust community and be able to communicate a clear idea of how your work would benefit the Rust ecosystem.

I am currently paid to work on the Rust Project, can I apply?

We are only able to consider applications from part-time Rust Project contributors or unpaid contributors.

Do I have to speak English to be a Rust Foundation Fellow?

Spoken English is not a requirement of the program, but Fellows will need a reasonable understanding of written English in order to be able to interact with members of the Project Teams and Working Groups.

How does the travel stipend work?

Fellows will be asked to inform the Rust Foundation of the Rust-focused event they want to attend during their Fellowship year. Our team will review this information with the Fellow and, once confirmed, will provide the funds necessary to cover attendance. The travel budget (limited to $2,000 USD per Fellow) is intended to provide economy travel, accommodation and subsistence, plus the cost of event admission.

How does the training stipend work?

The Rust Foundation team will work with each Fellow to understand the type of training support that would be valuable to them. We require training to be relevant to the Fellowship position. Examples of training categories we support: project planning, organizational management, leadership, document writing, and effective communication.

How will I report my work as a RFF?

Fellows will be required to write a brief report each quarter, and participate in a catch-up call with a member of the Rust Foundation staff team. At the end of the Fellowship year, RFFs will write a brief blog post about their experience for publication on the Rust Foundation website.

If I become a Fellow, will any information about me be published publicly?

We will publish a brief biography of you on the Rust Foundation website, along with any public social media/other relevant links that you are willing to share. If you would rather we use your online alias in place of your legal name, please let us know. While our preference is to publish a picture of you, we will also accept an avatar as an alternative.

How will I get paid as a Fellow?

RFFs are typically paid via direct bank transfers.

Who will own the work that I produce as a Fellow?

You will own the IP of any work that you create as a Fellow. However, we will require you to release your work as a RFF under an open source license so it can benefit the community as a whole.

Can I drop out of the Fellowship before the year is up if I am not enjoying it?

Yes, however we will do everything we can to find ways to make the program more enjoyable for you! Our goal is for all Fellows to feel comfortable telling the Rust Foundation team if they have issues or concerns related to the program so we can work together to find a solution.

How will my work be monitored during the program?

The Rust Foundation trusts our Fellows to honestly report how they have been supporting the Rust Project.

Can you help me understand the tax implications of receiving a Fellowship grant?

Individual Fellows are responsible for ensuring that they are complying with any tax laws that apply to the receipt of this funding in their country/jurisdiction of residence. The Rust Foundation cannot provide advice on the personal tax arrangements or obligations of individual fellows.

I have a question that hasn’t been answered here. How can I get in touch for more information?

Please email grants@rustfoundation.org and we will do our best to help.

More Information

Eligibility and exclusion criteria can be found here. | General FAQs about the grants program can be found here. | Our privacy & data-handling policy can be found here.

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If your organization is interested in supporting the future of Rust’s talent and innovation through the Community Grants Program, please email us at grants@rustfoundation.org. Donations in any amount are greatly appreciated.