PhD Scholarship Programme in EMEA

Region: Europe

What it is

Microsoft scholarships consist of an annual bursary up to a maximum of three years for PhD supervisors and students to do collaborative research projects with Microsoft Research Cambridge.

PhD supervisors from academic institutions in EMEA are invited to submit their proposals for collaborative research projects with Microsoft Research Cambridge. Applications are then peer reviewed and a number of projects selected for funding. PhD students are appointed to the selected projects and begin their research in the following academic year under the supervision of their academic supervisor, with co-supervision from a researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge.

The Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship Programme in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) was launched in 2004 and has so far supported more than 430 PhD students at 127 institutions.

Eligibility criteria

Applications must not be made by students but by PhD supervisors, who must have been nominated by Microsoft Research prior to the submission deadline. Only applications from institutions in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa will be considered.

For an application to be considered, the following key requirements apply:

  1. The institute agrees to the terms and conditions in the PhD Term Sheet and EPSRC Term Sheet where appropriate and there will be no negotiation once the selections have been made and communicated.
  2. Applicants must be nominated by a Microsoft supervisor to be eligible to submit an application.
  3. The proposed research must be closely related to our research themes at Microsoft Research in Cambridge:

Microsoft actively seeks to foster greater levels of diversity in our workforce and in our pipeline of future researchers. We are always looking for the best and brightest talent and celebrate individuality. We invite candidates to come as they are and do what they love.

Nomination process

University PhD Supervisors wishing to submit an application to the Programme will need to have been nominated by Microsoft Researcher.

Application process

Please note the application period has ended.

Faculty that have been formally nominated receive an invitation to submit their proposal. Applications must be submitted by academic institutions, such as from a PhD supervisor or departmental secretary as we do not accept applications from students directly.

Selection Criteria

    • A completed online application form that includes contact details of the main supervisor together with a named secondary supervisor who will be willing to take the project on if the main named supervisor leaves.
    • Funding requirements.
    • A project proposal of maximum six (6) A4 pages in 10-point font, including references. Accepted formats: plain text (.txt), .pdf, or Microsoft Office Word (.doc or .docx) only.
    • Evidence that the research supervisor would be suitable to supervise a PhD student for the proposed research project. This may include a short list of the supervisor’s recent and relevant publications. Please consider including the URLs of the publications to make it easier for reviewers to find them.
    • How research relates to the Microsoft Research Cambridge lab’s current research themes.
    • Evidence that the department or laboratory offers a suitable environment for research in the proposed area.
    • Basis for the research (motivations and brief state-of-the-art, including key references).
    • Hypothesis under investigation and main aims.
    • Research strategy with significant milestones if identified.
    • Methods of research (for example, main techniques, experiments, and trials).
    • Details of any collaboration with other departments/research bodies.
    • Expected outcomes (for example, software tools).
    • Description of the department that you work in (e.g. number of faculty and PhD students in the department).

Selection process

Applications are sent for comprehensive review to Microsoft internal reviewers only. Ranking depends on review feedback. Other factors, such as relevance to Microsoft research themes, are taken into account for the selection.

Decisions are made solely at the discretion of Microsoft Research and all decisions are final.

Join the conversation

PhD Scholars Facebook group (opens in new tab)

Contact us

Please direct any questions to your university department chair or contact Microsoft directly at: