Microsoft Research EMEA PhD Award 2020/2021 (up to $15,000 USD)

Microsoft Research EMEA PhD Award 2020/2021 (up to $15,000 USD)

Deadline: April 1, 2020

Applications are invited for the Microsoft Research EMEA PhD Award 2020. Microsoft actively seeks to foster greater levels of diversity in their workforce and in their pipeline of future researchers. They are always looking for the best and brightest talent and celebrate individuality. They invite candidates to come as they are and do what they love.

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Students should support this mission and embrace opportunities to foster diverse and inclusive cultures within their communities.


  • Award recipients will receive $15,000 USD for academic year 2020–21 to help them complete research as part of their doctoral thesis work.
  • Microsoft will arrange and pay for travel and accommodations for award recipients to attend the PhD Summit. The two-day workshop is held at one of the Microsoft Research labs in the fall. It will provide award recipients an opportunity to present their research, meet with Microsoft researchers in their research area and receive career coaching.
  • Award recipients will be offered an internship at Microsoft Research’s Cambridge lab.


  • PhD students must be enrolled at a university in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) and their research must be closely related to the research themes at Microsoft Research Cambridge:
    • All Data AI
    • Cloud Infrastructure
    • Confidential Computing
    • Future of Work
    • Game Intelligence
    • Healthcare Intelligence
    • Biological Computation
  • PhD students must be in their third year or beyond in a PhD program to qualify for this award. Funding is for use only during their 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 award will need to confirm their PhD program starting month and year, as well as their expected graduation month and year.
  • Payment of the award, as described above, will be made directly to the award recipient’s university and dispersed according to the university’s policies.
  • PhD students submitting a proposal should be able to communicate about their research (both in writing and verbally) in English.
  • Microsoft Research EMEA PhD Award recipients subject to disciplinary proceedings for inappropriate behavior, including but not limited to discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), or plagiarism will forfeit their funding.


Applicants must individually submit the following information:

  • Reference Letter form (student requests reference letters before April 1, 2020): Provide contact information for two references (third one being optional) who are established researchers familiar with your research (at least one of which must be from your primary academic advisor/supervisor). They highly encourage you to reach out to your references and submit the reference letter form long before your proposal deadline. Microsoft will automatically provide instructions and request a reference letter from each of your reference contacts separately as you submit your application.
  • Proposal form (student submits by April 1, 2020):
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Thesis proposal or research statement (short and concise is recommended—no more than two pages including references with font no smaller than 10-point)
    • Abstract of the above thesis proposal or research statement (no more than 2,000 words)
    • Description of how the award would be used, including a budget (maximum one page)
    • Month and year you entered the PhD program and your expected graduation date
    • Primary area of research
    • Proposals must be submitted in English via the online application tool in any of the following formats: Word document, text-only file, or PDF. Email or hard-copy proposals will not be considered.
    • Proposals submitted to Microsoft will not be returned. Microsoft cannot assume responsibility for the confidentiality of information in submitted grant proposals. Therefore, proposals should not contain information that is confidential, restricted, or sensitive.
    • Incomplete proposals will not be considered.
    • Due to the volume of submissions, Microsoft Research cannot provide feedback individual feedback on proposals that do not receive the award.

For more information, visit Microsoft Research EMEA PhD Award.