Request for Proposals: Translation Support for African Languages


Meta AI’s No Language Left Behind (NLLB) project leverages cutting edge machine translation technology to translate written text in 200 languages. Our translation model supports 50+ African languages (2x of current language translation systems). The NLLB-200 model extends machine translation capabilities to previously uncovered low-resource languages, such as Kongo, Kinyarwanda, Swazi, and improves translation quality in those covered by other machine translation systems.

Meta AI is interested in partnering with organizations to demonstrate impactful real world applications of machine translation. To further our goal of building inclusive research communities, we are launching a call for proposals from two groups:

  1. Organizations who will be able to further their goals and missions by having text materials translated from English to two or more African languages or translated from 2 or more African languages to English.

  2. Researchers working at the intersection of linguistics, machine translation, and language technology, who would be interested in leveraging the dataset and tool to advance their research.

To foster further innovation and to deepen our work on machine translation, Meta AI invites organizations with initiatives focused on sustainability, food security, gender-based violence, education or other areas in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to submit proposals for funding and translation support. Additionally, are looking to partner with faculty, students, and independent researchers working in the space of language technology. We anticipate selecting up to 4 partner institutions and translating up to 500 pages of text and providing up to $200,000 in total grants to further their work. Respondents are invited to apply as individual organizations or in collaboration with another institution.

Researchers interested in learning how to use the model in support of these goals are also encouraged to apply. Grant payments will be made to the host institution per the Terms and Conditions set forth below. We strongly encourage organizations and researchers from diverse linguistic backgrounds and of diverse abilities to apply.

Application Dates

  • Launch date: July 6, 2022 6:30am PST

  • Deadline: Jul 23, 2022 12:59pm PST

  • Est. notification date: Aug 23, 2022


Proposals should include

  • A summary of the project (1-2 pages), in English:

    • Area of Interest

    • Description of the text to be translated

    • Explanation of what the translations will be used for

    • Anticipated impact of translated materials and project

    • Any relevant prior work

    • A timeline with milestones and expected outcomes (with 1 year)

  • A draft budget description (1 page) including an explanation of how funds would be spent, including any subcontractor arrangements.

  • Curriculum Vitae for all project participants.

  • Organization details; this will include tax information and administrative contact details

  • This proposal template may be used: Application Template

Budget and Payment

  • Award amount can vary but may be up to $80,000.

  • Payment: The award will be made to the PI’s host institution as an unrestricted gift. Overhead is limited to 5% for gifts.


  • Organizations must be an accredited academic institution or a non-governmental organization with recognized legal status in their respective country (equal to 501(c)(3) status under the United States Internal Revenue Code).

  • Meta cannot consider proposals submitted, prepared or to be carried out by individuals residing in, or affiliated with an academic institution located in, a country or territory subject to comprehensive U.S. trade sanctions.

  • Applicants must be the Principal Investigator (PI) on any resulting award. All funding will be directed to the PI’s institution.

  • Applicants may submit one proposal per solicitation (current) Applicants may submit individually or in teams, however, each applicant may only submit one proposal per solicitation.

  • Awards must comply with applicable U.S. and international laws, regulations and policies.

  • Meta will not provide access to any Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp data for awarded projects. Any data collected by research teams must comply with Meta’s terms and policies and the institution’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). Please be aware that Meta does not allow the automated scraping of public information from its platforms.

  • Government officials (excluding faculty and staff of public universities, to the extent they may be considered government officials), political figures, and politically affiliated businesses (all as determined by Meta in its sole discretion) are not eligible.

Terms and Conditions

Meta’s decisions will be final in all matters relating to this solicitation, including interpretation of these Terms and awards at any time. Awards will be subject to additional Terms and Conditions for awardees which will be communicated to recipients after selection. All items apply unless otherwise stated in each RFP. Please Read These Terms Carefully Before Proceeding.

  • By submitting this proposal, you are authorizing Meta to evaluate the proposal for a potential award, and you agree to the terms herein.

  • You agree that Meta will not be required to treat any part of the proposal as confidential or protected by copyright, and may use, edit, modify, copy, reproduce and distribute all or a portion of your proposal in any manner for the sole purposes of administering the website and evaluating the contents of the proposal.

  • You agree and acknowledge that personal data submitted with the proposal, including name, mailing address, phone number, and email address of you and other named researchers in the proposal may be collected, processed, stored and otherwise used by Meta for the purposes of administering the website and evaluating the contents of the proposal.

  • You acknowledge that neither party is obligated to enter into any business transaction as a result of the proposal submission, Meta is under no obligation to review or consider the proposal, and neither party acquires any intellectual property rights as a result of submitting the proposal.

  • Any feedback you provide to Meta in the proposal regarding its products or services will not be treated as confidential or protected by copyright, and Meta is free to use such feedback on an unrestricted basis with no compensation to you.

  • Applicants represent and warrant that they have authority to submit a proposal in connection with this RFP and grant the rights set forth herein on behalf of their organization.

To apply

Please submit proposal materials using this form.

Deadline for submissions are on Jul 23, 2022 12:59pm PST.