Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant

Elvin Joel Estrada Garcia's picture



Friday, 30 March 2018

Microsoft recognizes the value of diversity in computing. The Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant aims to increase the pipeline of diverse talent receiving advanced degrees in computing-related fields by providing a research funding opportunity for doctoral students from groups underrepresented in computing (women, African-Americans/Blacks, Latinos, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, and/or people with disabilities).

Provisions of the award

  • The 2018 Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant recipients will receive funding up to 25,000 USD for academic year 2018–19 to help them complete research as part of their doctoral thesis work.
  • Microsoft will arrange and pay for travel and accommodations to grant recipients to attend a two-day Microsoft Research workshop in Redmond, Washington, in the autumn of 2018.
    • The workshop will provide grant recipients an opportunity to present their research, meet individually with Microsoft researchers in their research area and receive career coaching from Microsoft researchers.

Eligibility criteria

  • PhD students must be enrolled at a university in the United States or Canada and doing dissertation work that relates to computing topics in which Microsoft Research has expertise (click on Research Areas at the top of the page for a full list).
  • PhD students must be in their fourth year or beyond in a PhD program when they apply for this grant. The student must continue to be enrolled at the university in the autumn of 2018. Funding is for use only during their time in the PhD program; it cannot be used for support in a role past graduation, such as a postdoc or faculty position. The applicant will need to confirm their PhD program starting month and year, as well as their expected graduation month and year.
  • Payment of the grant, as described above, will be made directly to the grant recipient’s university and dispersed according to the university’s policies.
  • Applicants must attest that they self-identify with at least one group underrepresented in computing. This includes: women, African-American/Black, Latino, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and/or people with disabilities.

How to apply

The 2018 Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant application period closes on Friday, March 30, 2018, at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

  • PhD students must apply directly for the grant.
  • Applications must include:
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Thesis topic description (maximum two pages including references, font no smaller than 10-point)
    • Description of how the grant would be used, including a budget (maximum one page)
    • Month and year you entered the PhD Program and your expected graduation date
    • Self-identification of your gender, race/ethnicity, and disability status
    • Primary area of research (click on Research Areas at the top of the page for a full list)
    • Contact information for three references who are established researchers familiar with your research (at least one of which must be from your primary academic advisor/supervisor and only one letter can be from a current Microsoft employee). Microsoft will automatically provide instructions and request a reference letter from each of your three reference contacts separately as you submit your application. Those auto-generated emails will be sent from Microsoft CMT “”, which may end up in your spam folder. References will be asked to attach a letter to your application in our tool. Note that all three contacts must submit your reference letters by Monday, April 16, 2018, at 11:59 PM Pacific Time in order for your application to be considered. Due to the number of applications, we will not respond to questions asking if your references were submitted in time. You will receive an auto-generated confirmation each time one of your references submits a letter.
    • Three to six names and email addresses of Microsoft researchers, chosen for topical relevance, who you would agree to be paired with as a mentor. A list of researchers and research areas can be found on our people webpage. Do not contact the researchers for the purpose of listing them as a potential mentor. Do not list researchers with a Corporate Vice President or Managing Director title.
  • Funding can be requested to support items such as equipment, data, travel, tuition, and staff salary needed for research; the request is not limited to these examples.
  • Applications must be submitted via the online application tool in any of the following formats: Word document, text-only file, or PDF. Email or hard-copy applications will not be considered.
  • Applications submitted to Microsoft will not be returned. Microsoft cannot assume responsibility for the confidentiality of information in submitted applications. Therefore, applications should not contain information that is confidential, restricted, or sensitive.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Due to the volume of submissions, Microsoft Research cannot provide individual feedback on applications that do not receive grants.

Apply here



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