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IETF and OIS Programmes


The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and smooth operation of the Internet.

Organized in 1986, the IETF produces open standards (published as RFCs*, or Request for Comments*).  These RFCs are the cornerstone of a vibrant Internet.  It is through Open Internet Standards that the Internet has become the largest internetwork in the world, allowing for unprecedented use by people around the globe.

The IETF is comprised of volunteers, engineers who act as individuals to develop and refine protocols that are useful across the spectrum of organisations, manufacturers and vendors, who utilise the Internet and support the work of the IETF.

ISOC Internet Leadership

The Internet Society supports a multitude of programmes that support individuals that are interested in the work of the IETF and contribute to the open development of the Internet and related policies.  These programmes include:

Fellowship to the IETF

Since its inception in 2006, the Internet Society has awarded approximately 130 fellowships from more than 40 countries. 

The ISOC Fellowship to the IETF is available to technology professionals, advanced IT students, and other qualified individuals from developing and emerging economies. First-time Fellows to the IETF attend an IETF meeting are paired with an experienced mentor and expected to be able to make a positive contribution to IETF work.

The ISOC Fellowship to the IETF helps to increase the diversity and global awareness of the IETF’s vital work. At the same time, the Fellows participate in the development of open Internet standards and best practices and make valuable connections with global peers with similar interest and are available to first-time and returning Fellows.

The ISOC Fellowship to the IETF is a competitive application process.  Candidates interested in being awarded the Fellowship submit an application.  These applications go through two separate evaluation committees prior to final selection.

To find out more about the ISOC Fellowship to the IETF, please click here.

Returning Fellowship to the IETF Programme

Attending an IETF meeting for the first time provides valuable benefits and opportunities, including meeting people who have contributed to Working Group (WG) mailing lists, learning how the IETF works, and deciding how to participate in the future. Experiencing an IETF in person generally increases an individual’s ability to participate in and contribute to IETF work in the future.

With so many benefits provided in a first time fellowship to the IETF, The Internet Society believes that a chance to attend another meeting, as a Returning Fellow, will over time help build communities in emerging and developing economies by providing easier access to the IETF standards development process and increase the visibility of the IETF in those countries.

To find out more about the Returning Fellowship to the IETF Programme, please click here.

Regulators to the IETF

The Internet Society has launched a programme for Regulators to attend IETF meetings, meet the IETF community, and to become familiar with the principles that guide the IETF work.   This extension of the Internet Society Fellowship to the IETF programme is designed to create an environment where policymakers and IETF engineers can interact.

To find out more about the Regulatoars to the IETF Programme, please click here.

Remote Engagement Hub

Among the invited regulators and selected engineers supported to past IETF meetings, there has been some additional demand relative to how many people the Internet Society can reach through this effort at its current capacity.  Current scaling challenges include obtaining visas, travel costs, finding mentors, and overall management of the programme to ensure maximum benefit for all participants. To meet the increased demand and the breadth of individuals whom we can reach, the Internet Society's 2013 plans include hosting auxiliary meetings – Internet Society Global Engagement Hubs – to coincide with IETF meetings. 

As suggested by the hubs’ name, engagement and participation – not just listening- are the primary focus of the proceedings.

To find out more about the Remote Engagement Hubs, please click here.

How to Get Involved

Become a Mentor

Mentors play an important role in helping the Fellow understand how the IETF works and how he or she can participate and contribute. The guidance of a mentor can enhance the experience of the individual selected for the Fellowship programme and help them focus on their particular areas of interest.

To find out more about becoming a mentor for the ISOC Fellowship to the IETF programme, please click here.

Become a Programme Sponsor

The Internet Society is extending an opportunity for organisations to become sponsors of this important programme. As a sponsor your organisation can realise significant value, including:

  • Demonstrating your commitment to technical capacity building in less developed regions.
  • Showing your support for extending participation in the IETF to developing countries.
  • Creating an opportunity to build contacts with technologists and potential regional leaders who are highly knowledgeable about conditions in developing countries.

To download a brochure on these ISOC Sponsored IETF and OIS programmes, please download the PDF here.

To find out more about how to become a programme sponsor, please click here.

* Users of RFCs should be aware that while all Internet Standards-related documents are published as RFCs, not all RFCs are Internet Standards-related documents (RFC5741, Section 2).