The 2021 Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship for Canada & United States
The Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship for Canada & USA is a global program that identifies and empowers the next generation of exceptional computing research talent. Microsoft recognizes the value of diversity in computing and aims to increase the pipeline of talent receiving advanced degrees in computing-related fields to build a stronger and inclusive computing-related research community. We currently offer Ph.D. fellowships in Asia-Pacific, Canada, and the United States, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), and Latin America.
Over the last two decades, the Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship program has supported over 700 fellows around the world, many of whom have gone on to work at Microsoft. Others have gone on to perform pioneering research elsewhere within the technology industry or accept faculty appointments at leading universities.
The details of the fellowship program vary by region. Please see your region tab for details and instructions, as well as the FAQ for answers to common questions.
- “Canada & United States“
- Europe, Middle East & Africa
- Latin America
We are always looking for the best and brightest talent and celebrate individuality. We invite and encourage candidates to come as they are and do what they love.
Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship for Canada & USA
For the purposes of this fellowship, nominees must attend a university in Canada or the United States.
- Nominations from the university closed at 12:00 PM (Noon) Pacific Daylight Time
- Qualified nominees will receive an invitation email by July 9, 2021, to submit their proposal
- Proposals and letters of recommendation will be accepted through August 6, 2021
- Recipients will be announced by mid-October 2021
Provisions of the Award
- Tuition and fees will be covered for two academic years (2022–23 and 2023–24).
- A $42,000 USD stipend will be provided to help with living expenses while in school for two academic years (2022-23 and 2023-24). The stipend is not expected to cover all living expenses; it can be used for expenses including, but not limited to, childcare, conference fees and travel, research equipment, meals, rent, etc.
- Opportunities will be provided to build relationships with research teams at Microsoft and receive mentorship.
Eligibility Criteria For Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship for Canada & USA
- Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Fellows should support this mission and embrace opportunities to foster diverse and inclusive cultures within their communities.
- PhD students must be nominated by their university. Their nomination must be submitted by someone designated by the department chair’s office in order to ensure the number of nominations per department is not exceeded.
- Students must be enrolled at a university in Canada or the United States.
- Proposed research must be closely related to the general areas of research carried out by Microsoft Research lab members or those within an applied research group in other parts of Microsoft as noted in the Our research menu in the top navigation of this site and listed below. Explore our website to learn more about these areas of research.
- Artificial intelligence
- Audio & acoustics
- Computer vision
- Data platforms and analytics
- Ecology & environment
- Graphics & multimedia
- Hardware & devices
- Human-computer interaction
- Human language technologies
- Medical, health & genomics
- Programming languages & software engineering
- Quantum computing
- Search & information retrieval
- Security, privacy & cryptography
- Social sciences
- Systems & networking
- Technology for emerging markets
- Students must be in the third year of their PhD program in the fall semester or quarter of 2021. The department chair’s office at the nominating university will need to attest that the student will be considered a third-year Ph.D. student at that time having taken into account transfers, approved leaves of absence, etc.
- A maximum of four nominations per department will be accepted; if two or three students are nominated, then at least one nominee should help us increase the opportunities for students who identify as part of a community that is underrepresented in the field of computing, and if four are nominated, then at least two nominees should help us increase the opportunities for students who identify as part of a community that is underrepresented in the field of computing. This includes those who self-identify as a woman, African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQI+, active or veteran service member, and/or person with a disability.
- The recipient must remain an active, full-time student in a PhD program during the two consecutive academic years of the award or forfeit the award. Fellowships are not available for extension. If you require time away for family or medical leave, this will be accommodated. If you are unsure if a particular need for time away will affect the award, you can contact Microsoft Research Fellowships at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Payment of the award, as described above, will be made directly to the university and dispersed according to the university’s policies. Microsoft will have discretion as to how any remaining funds will be used if the student is no longer qualified to receive funding (e.g. if the student unenrolls from the program, graduates, or transfers to a different university).
- Funding is for use only during the recipient’s time in the PhD program; it cannot be used for support in a role past graduation, such as a postdoc or faculty position. Those interested in receiving this fellowship will need to confirm their Ph.D. program starting month and year, as well as their expected graduation month and year.
- A recipient of the Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship subject to disciplinary proceedings for inappropriate behavior, including but not limited to discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), or plagiarism will forfeit their funding.
- A recipient of the Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship may not receive another fellowship from another technology company during the same academic period. Fellows accepting multiple fellowships may become ineligible to receive continued funding from Microsoft. Microsoft will at its sole discretion consider a joint fellowship with a government or non-profit organization.
Nominations For Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship for Canada & USA
Universities should inform their students once they have submitted their nominations so the nominees can begin collecting the details listed under the Proposal requirements below. Nominated Ph.D. students will receive an invitation email by July 9, 2021, to submit their proposals.
The below outlines the information necessary if you are submitting a nomination on behalf of the department chair’s office at your university.
- A maximum of four nominations per department will be accepted;
- if two or three students are nominated,
- then at least one nominee should help us increase the opportunities for students who identify as part of a community that is underrepresented in the field of computing,
- and if four are nominated, then at least two nominees should help us increase the opportunities for students who identify as part of a community that is underrepresented in the field of computing. This includes those who self-identify as a woman,
- African American,
- Native American,
- Alaska Native,
- Native Hawaiian,
- Pacific Islander,
- Indigenous Peoples,
- or veteran service member, and/or person with a disability.
Nominations must include:
- Your name, email, and job title as the person submitting the nomination on behalf of the department chair’s office at your university
- Attest that the process used to determine which student(s) to nominate from your department for this fellowship was fair and non-discriminatory
- Nominee’s name, email, country, university, and department
- Primary and secondary areas of research (from those noted in the Our research menu in the top navigation of this site)
- Attest that as of the fall semester or quarter of 2021, the university considers the nominee will be a third-year Ph.D. student (having taken into account transfers, approved leaves of absence, etc.)
- Indicate as to whether or not the nominee you are putting forth self-identifies as underrepresented in the field of computing (as detailed above)
- For questions regarding nominations, contact Microsoft Research Fellowships at email@example.com.