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Microsoft Research Blog

The Microsoft Research blog provides in-depth views and perspectives from our researchers, scientists and engineers, plus information about noteworthy events and conferences, scholarships, and fellowships designed for academic and scientific communities.

Nominations wanted: Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship Program 2018

September 5, 2017 | By Sandy Blyth, Global Managing Director, MSR Outreach

At Microsoft Research, we are on the lookout for exceptional students to apply for our two-year PhD fellowship program. Our fellowships are for students in computer science, electrical engineering and mathematics, as well as interdisciplinary studies intersecting with those domains such as computational biology, social sciences and economics. We encourage department heads at universities in the United States and Canada to start preparing applications now to nominate outstanding fellows for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Nominated PhD students must be in their second or third year of studies. Our award committee is particularly interested in students who are working on theses related to Systems & Networking or AI, emphasizing the disciplines of machine learning, computer vision and robotics.

This coveted fellowship provides 100 percent of tuition and fees for two consecutive academic years and provides an annual stipend of $28,000 plus $4,000 annually for professional conferences and seminars. All of our fellows are also offered the opportunity to intern with leading Microsoft researchers who are working on cutting-edge projects related to their fields of study.

The Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship Program has supported 122 fellows since the program was established in 2008. Many of our past fellows continue to work with us at Microsoft; others have gone on to perform pioneering research elsewhere within the technology industry or accept faculty appointments at leading universities. A sampling of past fellows includes:

  • Eric Chung, Carnegie Mellon University, 2009-2010. Now a core member of Project Catapult that is deploying Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) in Microsoft datacenters worldwide to accelerate efforts in networking, security, cloud services and artificial intelligence.
  • Rashmi Vinayak, University of California, Berkeley, 2013-2014. Now an assistant professor in the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University where her research interests lie in computer and networked systems with a focus on big data systems.
  • Yoav Artzi, University of Washington, 2014-2015. Now an assistant professor in the computer science department at Cornell University where his research interests lie at the intersection of natural language processing and machine learning.

Applicants to the PhD Fellowship Program must be nominated by the chair of the computer science, electrical engineering or mathematics department at their university. We’ll accept up to three applicants per eligible department, per university, for a maximum of nine applications per university. Applications will be accepted between October 2 and October 16, 2017. Finalists will be invited to Microsoft for in-person interviews. We’ll announce the fellowship awards in January 2018.

Learn more about the Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship Program