Google Faculty Research Awards

Google’s mission: Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

At Google, we are committed to developing new technologies to help our users find and use 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. As part of that vision, the Google Research Awards program aims to identify and support world-class, full-time faculty pursuing research in areas of mutual interest. For a full list of past Research Awards recipients, please click here.

Our next submission deadline is April 15, 2015. We will post the link to the application form by April 3, 2015. Please carefully review all the instructions below, including our FAQs and proposal advice before applying.

What are Google Research Awards?

Google Research Awards are one-year awards structured as unrestricted gifts to universities to support the work of world-class full-time faculty members at top universities around the world. Faculty members can apply for Research Awards by submitting a proposal to one of our two 2015 funding rounds. Our 2015 deadlines are April 15 and October 15. Recipients are selected through a comprehensive internal review process and notified of their awards within 4 months of the initial submission. Faculty members can apply for up to 150,000 USD in eligible expenses, but 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.

The intent of the Google Research Awards is to support cutting-edge research in Computer Science, Engineering, and related fields. We ask applicants to categorize their proposals into one of the following broad research areas of interest to Google:

  • Computational neuroscience
  • Economics and market algorithms
  • Geo/maps
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Information retrieval, extraction, and organization (including semantic graphs)
  • Machine learning and data mining
  • Machine perception
  • Machine translation
  • Mobile
  • Natural language processing
  • Networking
  • Online education at scale
  • Physical interactions with devices
  • Policy and standards
  • Privacy
  • Robotics
  • Security
  • Social networks
  • Software engineering and programming languages
  • Speech
  • Structured data and database management
  • Systems (hardware and software)

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 Research Awards recipients to visit Google to give talks related to their work and meet with relevant research groups here. Through the Research Awards program, we try to fund projects where collaboration with Google will be especially valuable to the research team.

Applying for Google Research Awards

To apply for a Google research award, faculty members should use the following general guidelines for proposal submission. More details are available in our FAQs. We made significant updates to our policies and requirements in 2012. Please read the information below, as well as our FAQs, carefully.

  • Full-time faculty members from universities worldwide are eligible to serve as Principal Investigators (PIs) or co-PIs on 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 FAQs.
  • 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 Research Awards program.
  • The application process for the Research Awards includes filling out an online form requesting basic information and uploading a PDF proposal via the form. As part of the online form, you will be asked to select a topic area from among the 22 areas listed above. Please select carefully, as this will determine which of our review committees will review your proposal. We may, at our discretion, move proposals between areas. 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 CVs 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 (PI) 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 appliction 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 a problem statement
        • Description of the work you'd like 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 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 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 FAQs 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 PIs 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.
    2. 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.

Google Cloud Credits

In addition to the standard Faculty Research Award, to further support their proposed research projects, selected PIs are also eligible to separately apply for USD $10,000 in Google Cloud credits. Credits can be redeemed on Google's Cloud Platform.
  • PIs need to apply using a separate Google Cloud credits application form.
    • Credits are only redeemable for products on Google's Cloud Platform. Unused award credits will expire 24 months after acceptance of the Google Cloud credits award.
    • The Google Cloud credit limit is USD $10,000 per selected project.
    • Google Cloud credits are only available in eligible locales.
    • Use of Google Cloud credits is subject to the TOS of Google Cloud Platform Products.
  • If you applied for both Google Cloud credits and a Faculty Research Award, you may receive one or both.
  • You will notified of your eligibility to apply for cloud credits when we send Faculty Research Award notification emails in February and August for Winter and Summer rounds, respectively.

FAQs

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for more details on the program, as well as clarifications on eligibility, proposal format, timelines, and logistics.