Microsoft Investigator Fellowship

Microsoft Investigator Fellowship


Provisions of the 2019 award

$100,000 awarded annually for two years starting in Fall of 2019

Eligibility Criteria


  • Full-time faculty member at a degree-granting college or university in the United States.
  • Hold a PhD or equivalent (DSc etc.)
  • Currently conducting research, advising graduate students, and teaching in a classroom
  • Currently using or planning to use Microsoft Azure in research and/or teaching. Please indicate in your statement examples of what type of research and cloud computing workloads planned to be used in your research/teaching.


  • If awarded, the recipient must remain an active, full-time faculty member during two consecutive academic years of the award or forfeit the award.
  • Microsoft will have discretion as to how any remaining funds will be used if the faculty member is no longer qualified to receive funding.


Submissions for the first cohort accepted through August 16, 2019 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.
Recipients announced by September 9, 2019.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Microsoft looking for in candidates for the Microsoft Investigator Fellowship?

When reviewing the submissions, we will evaluate the proposed future research and teaching impact using Azure. This will include consideration of how Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform will be leveraged in size, scope, or unique ways for both research and/or teaching.

Will intellectual property be an issue if I am awarded a fellowship?

The Microsoft Investigator Fellowship is not subject to any intellectual property (IP) restrictions.

Can I simultaneously receive fellowships from other companies?

Yes. The candidates must disclose during their submission if they are receiving cash or cloud credits from another company.

Are these fellowships open to non-computer science or non-data science faculty?

Yes. While a great deal of cloud computing research and teaching is conducted in traditional computer science departments or the broader data science field, this program is open to all higher education departments.

What are the other benefits of this fellowship?

The incoming Fall 2019 Microsoft Investigator cohort will be invited to attend multiple events during the two-year term. The goal is to enable the members of the cohort to make connections with other faculty from leading universities and Microsoft and participate in the greater academic community. Members of the cohort will also be offered various training and certification opportunities.

Is this a cash award or cloud computing credits?

The award is a cash stipend distributed through the university, which then disperses funds according to its guidelines. It will be provided as an unrestricted gift with no terms and restrictions applied to it. There is no restriction regarding direct/indirect costs.

Microsoft Research Blog

New Microsoft fellowship program empowers faculty research through Azure cloud computing

Microsoft is expanding its support for academic researchers through the new Microsoft Investigator Fellowship. This fellowship is designed to empower researchers of all disciplines who plan to make an impact with research and teaching using the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform…

August 1, 2019 | By Jamie Harper, Vice-President, US Education