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UC San Diego has been invited to submit all 14 nominations received in 2022 for the Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship

A maximum of four (4) 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 in the chart below.

Community of People(s) Underrepresented in Computing

WomanAfrican AmericanHispanicNative American
Active Duty Service MemberBlackLatinxAlaska Native
Veteran Service MemberDisabled PersonIndigenous PeoplesNative Hawaiian
LGBTQ+Blank Field for Future AdditionsPacific Islander

Future Department Nominations will still come to the Fellowship Coordinator via Google Nomination Form. Once confirmed the student is in "GOOD STANDING" and entering their 3rd Year of Ph.D. study the Fellowship Coordinator will then let the department know that the 4 Nominations have been approved. If any department nominates more than four eligible students the Fellowship Committee will then review the nominees for the departments that submitted more than four students.

Attention Ph.D. Fellows that will go on to compete with Microsoft cannot assume responsibility for the confidentiality of information submitted in the proposals. 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.

Nominations & Materials


Nomination Materials

Your curriculum vitae, thesis statement, and a one-page summary 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).

DocumentPage Limits
1Student CV with links to website and publications (if available)
2Thesis proposal or research statement (short and concise is recommended) including references.2 pages maximum Font no smaller than 10-point) – file name: thesis
 3Summary of the thesis proposal or research statement with the first paragraph describing the desired impact your research will have in the field and society, and why it is important to you (including references).  1-page maximum font no smaller than 10-point – file name Summary

Eligibility Criteria 

  • 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.
  • Ph.D. students must be nominated by their university. Their nomination must be submitted by someone designated by the department chair’s office to ensure the number of nominations per department is not exceeded.
  • Students must be enrolled at a university in Canada or the United States.
  • Students must be in the third year of their Ph.D. program in the fall semester or a quarter of 2022. 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.

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. See the list of general areas of research below:

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
Race & TechnologyRace and technology are closely intertwined, shaping identities, human interaction, cultural production, and local and global power relations. We are interested in understanding the consequences and implications of technology’s relationship with race/ethnicity, how it shapes everyday life, and the ways that we can build more equitable and inclusive technological futures. 
Health & Life SciencesThe application of advanced computational methods to health and life sciences data has opened a new frontier in bioscience. We’re interested in exploring how these ML and AI-based methods can unlock new insights in areas related to clinical medicine, drug discovery, and fundamental biology, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for everyone. 
Economics & Computational Social SciencesEconomics and Computational Social Science is the place where Economics and other social science like Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Communication, and Education meet computational ideas and methods. Computation can connect with these fields in many ways from the theoretical (using formal concepts from computer science to shed light on problems) to the applied (using computers to do things on a scale or with a level of control that is otherwise not possible). 
Sociotechnical SystemsSociotechnical systems researchers are working towards building conceptual tools for understanding how societies shape and are shaped by technologies, so they can make more informed strategic choices at all stages of product cycles. Areas of focus within this space include sociotechnical systems, building sociotechnical systems through community engagement, challenges of scale, and trustworthy data. 
Mixed RealityResearch in augmented reality, virtual reality, and the “metaverse” offer us visions of how we may work, play and communicate in the future. We are exploring the blending of the virtual and the real world to leverage the best aspects of both while supporting the diversity of entry points and modalities of our customers. 
Data PlatformsResearch in this area focuses on all aspects of large-scale cloud and edge data platforms and services including resource management, storage, caching, query processing, query optimization, security, and privacy. Examples of projects that we are pursuing include reducing the total cost of ownership of systems using techniques such as auto-tuning, query optimization and processing, approximate query processing, applying machine learning to improve system components, and exploiting modern hardware trends to push the envelope of performance, reliability, and cost. 
Security, Privacy, & CryptographySecurity, privacy, and cryptography research focus on building trust in the hardware, software, networks, and services that billions of people use every day for communication, commerce, and storage. 
Systems & NetworkingOur systems and networking teams are inventing new technologies for next-generation infrastructures and platforms for sensors, devices, edge, and the cloud. We are focused on basic and applied research in all areas related to networked systems, mobile computing, sensing, and the Internet of Things. Researchers build proof-of-concept systems, engage with academia, publish scientific papers, release software for the research community, and transfer cutting-edge technologies to Microsoft’s product groups. 
Human-Computer InteractionAs computing becomes more ubiquitous and a new form of computing also appears, challenges to how humans interact with computers and devices keep growing. This field looks into new systems, devices, and paradigms that enable everyone to participate in the new lives that technology opens. We are interested in all forms of Augmented Devices, from Human-AI to accessibility, to everything in between.

Award and Funding Details 

Award and Funding Details 

  • Tuition and fees will be covered for two academic years (2023–24 and 2024–25).
  • A USD 42,000 stipend will be provided to help with living expenses while in school for two academic years (2023-24 and 2024-25). 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.
  • 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 Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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.
  • The recipient must remain an active, full-time student in a Ph.D. 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


Nominations for the Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship closes on June 1st, 2022. UC San Diego will notify the selected nominees. The nominees can begin collecting the details listed under the Proposal requirements. Nominated Ph.D. students will receive an invitation email by June 10th, 2022 to submit their proposal.

Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

Please submit nominations via this Google Form:

If you have any questions please send an email to which will create a support ticket.



  • May 9 | Call for nominations opens
  • June 1 | UCSD nominations closes
  • June 6 | UCSD Submits selected nominees
  • June 10 | Eligible applicants invited to submit proposals (First round of selections)
  • July 8 | Submission portal for proposals closes
  • August 19 | Selected candidates are notified of their fellowship offer by email (Congrats you have been Selected; NOTIFY the Fellowship Coordinator Immediately for the next steps)
  • September 28 | Fellowship recipients are announced publicly

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