Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant Program

Dissertation Grant

Region: North America

How to submit your grant proposal

Proposals and letters of recommendation for the 2021 Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant were accepted through Monday, March 22, 2021 at 12:00 PM (Noon) Pacific Daylight Time. The below outlines the information necessary to submit your proposal in our submission portal.

You will be asked to answer the below questions in a form:

  • Your name, email, country, university, and department
  • Primary and secondary research areas (click on the Our research at the top of the page for a full list)
  • Working title of your dissertation
  • Month and year you entered the PhD program and expected graduation date (you must be in your fourth year or beyond of the PhD program as of March 22, 2021, the proposal deadline)
  • Attestation that you are a doctoral student who is underrepresented in the field of computing which include those who self-identify as a woman, African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, LGBTQI+, and/or person with a disability
  • Total amount of funding requested up to $25,000 USD
  • Three to six names of researchers at Microsoft identified as someone with topical expertise who may be asked to evaluate your grant proposal. You can identify researchers by selecting your primary research area from the Our research tab at the top of the page. Then provide keywords related to your research to filter. Do not contact the researchers for the purpose of listing them as a potential reviewer. Do not list researchers with a title like Corporate Vice President or Director.
  • One to three conferences you are most likely to attend
  • Self-assessment of the Statement of Good Standing: “I declare I have never been disciplined for inappropriate behavior, including, but not limited to discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), or plagiarism. If I am selected to receive funding under Microsoft’s Grant program, during my funding time period, I agree to inform Microsoft should I be subjected to disciplinary proceedings for inappropriate behavior, including but not limited to discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), or plagiarism which would result in forfeiture of funding under Microsoft’s Grant program.”
  • URL to your professional website (optional, but strongly recommended; you are encouraged to make certain it is up-to-date)
  • Where and when you held any internships (optional, does not impact your ability to receive a grant)

You will be asked to upload 3 documents:

Your curriculum vitae, thesis topic description, and one-page description of how the grant would be used will be uploaded separately. Accepted formats are docx, doc, and pdf. Email or hard-copy submissions will not be considered. Name the individual files using the convention indicated below. Include your first name and last name as part of your file name each separated by an underscore (e.g., Jane_Smith_cv.docx).

  • Curriculum vitae – file name: cv
  • Thesis topic description (maximum two pages including references, font no smaller than 10-point) – file name: thesis
  • Description of how the grant would be used, including a budget (maximum one page) – file name: budget
      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

You will be asked to request 3 letters of recommendation via the submission portal:

  • Add the contact information (name, affiliation, email) and send the email request through the submission portal to your three recommenders as soon as possible so they have ample time to provide a letter. Their deadline is the same as your proposal deadline on Monday, March 22, 2021 at 12:00 PM (Noon) Pacific Daylight Time. They should be established researchers familiar with your research (at least one letter must be from your primary academic advisor/supervisor and only one letter can be from a current Microsoft employee). Once you send the request through the submission portal, they will receive a private link to upload a letter of recommendation for you. Please note that you and your recommenders may need to check your junk folders in order to find emails from our portal. As reference, here is a list of the various system email addresses you can add to allowed emails.

Proposals submitted to Microsoft will not be returned. Microsoft cannot assume responsibility for the confidentiality of information submitted in the proposal. Therefore, proposals should not contain information that is confidential, restricted, or sensitive. Microsoft reserves the right to make public the information on those proposals that receive awards, except those portions containing budgetary or personally identifiable information.

Incomplete proposals will not be considered.

Due to the volume of submissions, Microsoft Research cannot provide individual feedback on proposals.