At Google, we are committed to developing new technologies to help our users find, use, and create information. While we do significant in-house research and engineering, we also maintain strong ties with academic institutions worldwide pursuing innovative research in core areas relevant to our mission.

To apply, please fill out the Google Earth Engine Research Award application form. Applicants will be notified of decisions in April 2016.

What are Google Earth Engine Research Awards?

The Google Earth Engine Research Awards Program aims to identify and support world-class, permanent faculty pursuing cutting-edge research in the area of geospatial data analysis. A full list of previous recipients is available here.

Google Earth Engine Research Awards are one-year awards structured as unrestricted gifts to universities to support the work of world-class permanent faculty members at top universities around the world. Recipients are selected through a comprehensive internal review process and notified of their awards within 3 months of the initial submission. Faculty members can apply for up to 150,000 USD in eligible expenses, but awards typically range between 40,000 and 70,000 USD. Actual award amounts are frequently less than the full amount requested. Most awards are funded at the amount needed to support basic expenses for one graduate student for one year. Please see our FAQs for more details on eligibility and budgets.

Each funded project will be assigned a Google sponsor. The role of the sponsor is to support the project by discussing research directions, engaging with professors and students, and overseeing collaboration between the project team and Google. We encourage Earth Engine Research Awards recipients to visit Google to give talks related to their work and meet with relevant research groups here. Through the Earth Engine Research Awards program, we try to fund projects where collaboration with Google will be especially valuable to the research team.

To apply for an award, faculty members should use the following general guidelines for proposal submission. More details are available in our FAQ. Please read the information below, as well as our FAQs, carefully.

  • Permanent faculty members from universities worldwide are eligible to serve as Principal Investigators (PIs) or co-PIs on Earth Engine Research Awards proposals. Faculty members may submit one proposal per funding cycle as a PI or a co-PI unless they received an award the previous round. In that case we ask that PIs wait until the following round to apply for funding again, whether or not the projects are related. More details, including the definition of a PI and our eligibility criteria can be found in our FAQ.
  • This advice on drafting a strong proposal, written by a group of Google researchers and engineers involved in the review and selection process, is an excellent place to start as you prepare an application for the Earth Engine Research Awards program.
  • The application process on drafting a strong proposal, written by a group of Google researchers and engineers The application process for the Research Awards includes filling out an online form requesting basic information and sending a PDF proposal to Please note that Google cannot accept any proposal containing confidential or proprietary information.
  1. Proposal

    The main proposal section is comprised of 4 parts: An overview, a proposal body, a data policy, and a budget. The maximum length of the entire proposal section, including references, is 3 pages. In addition to the 3 page proposal, we require a CV from the primary PI and allow the inclusion of CV’s from CO-PIs. The maximum length for each CV is 2 pages. For PIs (and co-PIs) who have been funded by Google in the past, in addition to the 4 parts listed above, we also require a brief (1/2 page maximum) summary of the results of past projects funded by Google. This section does not count toward the three-page proposal limit.

    1. Overview
      • Proposal Title
      • Principal Investigator full name, contact information (postal address, email address, phone), affiliation (university, school, college and/or department)
      • [Optional] The name(s) of up to two Google contacts. Contacts are defined as people at Google who are familiar with your professional work.
      • [Optional] The name(s) of up to two potential Google sponsors. Potential sponsors are defined as people at Google with whom you have already discussed the specific proposal. Providing contacts and potential sponsors as part of the application is optional; Google will assign sponsors to each funded proposal. Please see our FAQs for details on Google contacts and potential sponsors.
    2. Proposal Body
      • Abstract
      • Research goals, including problem statement
      • Description of the work you’dl ike to do, as well as the expected outcomes and results
      • How this relates to prior work in the area (including your own, if relevant)
      • References, where applicable
      • Please carefully review the advice provided by some of our reviewers before crafting your proposal
    3. Data Policy
      • Google’s Earth Engine Research Awards program is designed to support work whose output will be made available to the public and to the research community. To that end, we ask that you provide us with a few sentences sharing what you intend to do with the output of your project (e.g. open sourcing code, making data sets public, etc). Please note that Earth Engine Research Awards are structured as unrestricted gifts, so there are no legal requirements once a project is selected for funding. This is simply a statement of your current intentions.
    4. Budget
      • The budget section should provide a breakdown in US dollars across major line items, such as student salary, student tuition, travel, and the cost of Android hardware where applicable. We prefer a short bulleted list of overall costs with basic explanations where needed. Please keep in mind that your budget counts towards the 3-page limit. Full-page budgets are not helpful to us.
      • Research Awards generally support basic expenses for one student for one year, so budgets are frequently reduced to this level of support. If two universities are involved, we may support one student at each school. Most awards are in the 40,000-70,000 USD range. The maximum amount a PI can request is 150,000 USD. Please see our FAQ for more details on eligible budget items.
      • If the your project will require on additional funding from another source (e.g. for specialized hardware), it may be helpful to note if you have already secured this funding.
      • Awards are structured as unrestricted gifts to universities, so Google has a strict policy against supporting overhead. Research Awards cover direct costs only. Indirect costs, administrative costs, and overhead are not considered eligible budget items.
    5. For Previously-funded PI’s only | Results from past projects
      • If you have received Google funding in the past (in any form or through any program), we’d like a brief description of the outcomes of the work. We are most interested in concrete output (publications, software artifacts, data sets, awards, press, etc) and collaborations with Google (visits, talks, involvement with the Google sponsor, student interactions, etc). We require this information from all past funding recipients, even if the current application is unrelated to the project we previously funded. If you faced setbacks that prevented you from carrying out the work you initially laid out, please take a moment to explain what happened and how things turned out.
  1. CV of the PI(s)
    1. The maximum length of a PI CV is two pages. Any submitted CV that is longer than 2 pages may be cut off at two pages before the proposal review process begins.
    2. We require a CV for at least the primary PI on the proposal. We will accept CVs from each of the PIs listed on the proposal (up to three are allowed). Each CV must be limited to two pages.