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Microsoft Research Graduate Women’s Scholarships is a research grant for PhD students at universities in the United States and Canada, who are underrepresented in the field of computing and pursuing research aligned to the research areas carried out by researchers at Microsoft.
Microsoft recognizes the value of diversity in computing. The Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant aims to increase the pipeline of diverse talent receiving advanced degrees in computing-related fields by providing a research funding opportunity for doctoral students who are underrepresented in the field of computing.
This includes those who self-identify as a woman, African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and person with a disability.
Doctoral students enrolled in their fourth year or beyond of PhD studies
- Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Grant recipients should support this mission and embrace opportunities to foster diverse and inclusive cultures within their communities.
- PhD students must be enrolled at a university in the United States or Canada.
- Proposed research must be closely related to the general research areas carried out by researchers at Microsoft as noted in the Our research tab above.
- Students must be in their fourth year or beyond of a PhD program as of March 22, 2021, the proposal deadline. Students must have started their PhD in September 2017 or earlier to be considered in their fourth year of the program having taken into account transfers, approved leaves of absence, etc.
- PhD students submitting a proposal for this grant must self-identify as a woman, African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and/or person with a disability.
- PhD students must continue to be enrolled at the university in the fall of 2021 or forfeit the award. Grants 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 us at Microsoft Research Grants ([email protected]).
- 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 grant will need to confirm their PhD program starting month and year, as well as their expected graduation month and year.
- A recipient of the Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant subject to disciplinary proceedings for inappropriate behavior, including but not limited to discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), or plagiarism will forfeit their funding.
- The 2021 Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant recipients will receive funding up to $25,000 USD for academic year 2021-22 to help them complete research as part of their doctoral thesis work.
- An invitation to the PhD Summit: a two-day workshop in the fall hosted by Microsoft Research where grant recipients will meet with Microsoft researchers and other top students to share their research. We hope to offer both a virtual and in-person participation option; we will continue to monitor local and national health and safety guidance and may hold a completely virtual event if advisable.
You will be asked to answer the below questions in a form:
- Your name, email, country, university, and department
- Primary and secondary research areas (click on the Our research at the top of the page for a full list)
- Working title of your dissertation
- Month and year you entered the PhD program and expected graduation date (you must be in your fourth year or beyond of the PhD program as of March 22, 2021, the proposal deadline)
- Attestation that you are a doctoral student who is underrepresented in the field of computing which include those who self-identify as a woman, African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, LGBTQI+, and/or person with a disability
- Total amount of funding requested up to $25,000 USD
- Three to six names of researchers at Microsoft identified as someone with topical expertise who may be asked to evaluate your grant proposal. You can identify researchers by selecting your primary research area from the Our research tab at the top of the page. Then provide keywords related to your research to filter. Do not contact the researchers for the purpose of listing them as a potential reviewer. Do not list researchers with a title like Corporate Vice President or Director.
- One to three conferences you are most likely to attend
- Self-assessment of the Statement of Good Standing: “I declare I have never been disciplined for inappropriate behavior, including, but not limited to discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), or plagiarism. If I am selected to receive funding under Microsoft’s Grant program, during my funding time period, I agree to inform Microsoft should I be subjected to disciplinary proceedings for inappropriate behavior, including but not limited to discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), or plagiarism which would result in forfeiture of funding under Microsoft’s Grant program.”
- URL to your professional website (optional, but strongly recommended; you are encouraged to make certain it is up-to-date)
- Where and when you held any internships (optional, does not impact your ability to receive a grant)
Your curriculum vitae, thesis topic description, and one-page description of how the grant would be used will be uploaded separately. Accepted formats are docx, doc, and pdf. Email or hard-copy submissions will not be considered. Name the individual files using the convention indicated below. Include your first name and last name as part of your file name each separated by an underscore (e.g., Jane_Smith_cv.docx).
- Curriculum vitae – file name: cv
- Thesis topic description (maximum two pages including references, font no smaller than 10-point) – file name: thesis
- Description of how the grant would be used, including a budget (maximum one page) – file name: budget
You will be asked to request 3 letters of recommendation via the submission portal:
- Add the contact information (name, affiliation, email) and send the email request through the submission portal to your three recommenders as soon as possible so they have ample time to provide a letter. Their deadline is the same as your proposal deadline on Monday, March 22, 2021 at 12:00 PM (Noon) Pacific Daylight Time. They should be established researchers familiar with your research (at least one letter must be from your primary academic advisor/supervisor and only one letter can be from a current Microsoft employee). Once you send the request through the submission portal, they will receive a private link to upload a letter of recommendation for you. Please note that you and your recommenders may need to check your junk folders in order to find emails from our portal. As reference, here is a list of the various system email addresses you can add to allowed emails.
Proposals submitted to Microsoft will not be returned. Microsoft cannot assume responsibility for the confidentiality of information submitted in the proposal. Therefore, proposals should not contain information that is confidential, restricted, or sensitive. Microsoft reserves the right to make public the information on those proposals that receive awards, except those portions containing budgetary or personally identifiable information.
Incomplete proposals will not be considered.
Due to the volume of submissions, Microsoft Research cannot provide individual feedback on proposals.