Google App Engine Research Awards

Google App Engine Research Awards - Request for Proposal

Please note: The application deadline for this program has passed. No additional calls are planned at this time.

App Engine Research Awards Program

At Google we are committed to supporting academic research. This new awards program provides access to the Google App Engine infrastructure to academic researchers to explore innovative research ideas in their field. Our intent is to sustain the researcher’s passion for knowledge discovery and to make a contribution to the scientific community at large.

About Google App Engine

Google App Engine lets you run web applications on Google's infrastructure. App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow. With App Engine, there are no servers to maintain: You just upload your application, and it's ready to serve your users.

Google App Engine can be used to build mobile or social applications, traditional web browser-based applications, standalone web services, or for offline batch processing (such as App Engine MapReduce for large datasets).

Award Information

Google will support up to 15 projects by providing an award of App Engine credits in the amount of $60,000 for each project. The award start date is flexible, but the awarded App Engine credits must be used within 12 consecutive months, with a cap of $10,000 in App Engine credits per month. Awarded App Engine credits can only be used for the proposed research project. The awardee is responsible for any usage costs that exceed the monthly cap of the awarded amount. Unused credits will expire at the end of 12 months.

This call for proposals is open to research projects in a variety of fields such as earth sciences, mathematics, physics, biology, computational linguistics, education, social sciences, finance and more.

App Engine Research Awards are unrestricted gifts and Google does not retain any intellectual property from the research. At the completion of the project we prefer that the research data and applications(s) are open sourced and made freely available to the academic community.


App Engine Research Awards are open to all full-time faculty at an accredited academic institution in the initial launch countries. In its first year, we are launching this program in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. Both the country of the academic institution and the location where the research will be conducted must be in an initial launch country. Successful applicants will be required to agree to the App Engine Terms of Service.

The goal of the program is to support research projects that promise significant impact in their field, that have the potential to drastically improve the state of the art in their domain, and projects that are likely to benefit all of society. Ideal projects will require a scalable web application development and deployment platform in order to be successful. All submitted projects must run on Google App Engine.

Below are examples of App Engine uses we would be interested in funding. Please note that these are only suggestions and are not intended to limit other creative applications:

A project example by researchers at Caltech: Detecting Earthquakes and other Rare Events from Community-based Sensors, 2011 (Google did not fund this research).

Merit Review Criteria

All proposals are evaluated on these merit review criteria: intellectual excellence, innovation and societal impact. We are looking for projects that show strong potential for advancement of knowledge and transformative concepts in their domain. We believe that research should benefit society and its result be shared broadly to enhance scientific and technological advancement.

The selection of App Engine Research Award recipients is based solely on the criteria set forth in this document.

Review Process

Proposals are reviewed and selected by an internal review panel. Subject matter experts and chief researchers at Google are asked to write a thorough recommendation either on the support or rejection of each proposal. For more details on the process, please see these FAQs.

Award Extensions

After one year, up to five projects may qualify for one award renewal for an additional $60,000 for 12 months. Renewal decisions will be at the sole discretion of Google and will be based on community interest, number of page views (or users), and overall project progress and potential impact.

Technical Specifications

Google App Engine enables users to build and host web apps on the same computing infrastructure that powers Google applications. Beyond fast development and deployment, App Engine offers simple administration, with no need to worry about hardware, patches or backups. The Google App Engine services include: automated scalability, full text search, Google Cloud SQL, Python, Memcache, and App Engine MapReduce. Your application can run in one of three runtime environments: the Go, Java or Python environment. Details can be found on this Google Code website.

How to Apply

Please follow this 2-step application process:

  1. Fill out and submit this form
  2. Email the following items to (Please enter your full name in the subject line of your email)

If You Are Selected

Successful applications must confirm compliance with institution awards and ethics requirements. Successful applicants will be required to submit certain tax documentation (an IRS Form W-9 for US recipients and a similar certification for non-US award recipients).


The application deadline, May 11, 2012 has passed.  No further rounds are planned at this time.

For questions, please contact