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Image: Kritika Trehan

The CYRILLA Collaborative is a global initiative that seeks to map and analyse the evolution and impacts of legal frameworks on digital environments, particularly in the global South.

CYRILLA, which stands for Cyberrights Research Initiative and Localised Legal Almanac, also aims to organise and make accessible digital rights-related jurisprudence so that a wide range of actors can more readily and confidently access legal trends as they shape and impact digitally networked spaces, highlighting threats to human rights and opportunities for policy and legal reform.

As part of this initiative, APC has been developing research and analysis on key laws and jurisprudence in Asia, which include an analysis of important policies and case law related to digital rights, with a particular focus on freedom of expression online.

Scope and eligibility

APC will award one subgrant for a research project that focuses on the criminalisation of online expression in Sri Lanka. This research will be in continuation of APC’s previous study on this issue, titled Unshackling Expression: A study on laws criminalising expression online in Asia, which to date has covered nine countries across South and Southeast Asia.

The project selected for the subgrant will follow the research methodology developed by APC for country-level research in Sri Lanka, and will cover trends related to freedom of expression online, operationalisation and implementation of laws and policies related to freedom of expression online, and analysis of case laws covering the criminalisation of expression online in the country. The research will include the use of the CYRILLA database.

Eligibility for the grant is limited to non-profit non-governmental organisations or independent researchers who can demonstrate a tangible understanding of the country in focus and active engagement on issues related to freedom of expression. Therefore, we invite lawyers, researchers, digital rights organisations, human rights organisations, civil society organisations and advocacy groups to submit proposals.

The proposals for the research grant will be evaluated by a committee set up by APC following these selection criteria:

  • The extent to which the proposal relates to the call.

  • The extent to which activities and outputs in the proposal are clearly defined.

  • The extent to which the proposal is feasible given the budget and time frame.

  • The extent to which the budget breakdown proposed is reasonable and efficient.

  • The extent to which the organisation or individual has the necessary and suitable experience to undertake the implementation of the grant.

Key dates

Deadline for submission of proposals: 15 June 2023

Proposal selection announcement: 30 June

Subgrant implementation period: July to December 2023

How to apply

Applicants should submit the following documents in English and in Microsoft Word format:

  1. A cover letter detailing the background and relevant experience of the applicant, and their interest in the research programme outlined above.

  2. A proposal covering the following elements:

  • Evidence of previous relevant experience

  • Intended project theme/topic and its scope

  • Project overview, describing how the proposed research fits the key requirements outlined above

  • Methodology, structure and timeline (high-level work plan)

  • Key risks and proposed mitigation strategies

  • Proposed budget of up to USD 3,000.

All submissions should be sent to, with a copy to, by 15 June 2023. For further enquiries, please email