Apply for Microsoft Research PhD Scholarships

Deadline: 25 September 2015
Open to: PhD supervisors from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa 
Scholarship: varies by country and region


The Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship Programme in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) was launched in 2004 and has so far supported more than 200 PhD students from more than 18 countries and 51 institutions.

Each year, PhD supervisors from academic institutions in EMEA are invited to submit their proposals for collaborative research projects with Microsoft Research Cambridge. Applications are then peer reviewed and approximately 20 projects are selected for funding. PhD students are appointed to the selected projects and begin their research in the following academic year under the supervision of their academic supervisor, with co-supervision from a researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge.


Only PhD supervisors  from institutions in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa will be considered. If their project is selected, the supervisor has deadline until 31 March 2017 to find the best possible student for the project; otherwise, the PhD Agreement will be terminated automatically.

For an application to be considered, the following key requirements apply:

  1. The institute agrees to the terms and conditions in the MRL Term Sheet;
  2. The applicant must be in dialogue with the prospective Microsoft supervisor prior to the submission deadline and jointly drafting the proposal;
  3. The proposed research must be closely related to the following research topics carried out at Microsoft Research in Cambridge:


Each Microsoft scholarship consists of an annual bursary up to a maximum of three years. The monetary value of the award varies by country to reflect local differences in costs and overheads. Payment is made directly to the institution. The amount of the scholarship is the maximum amount Microsoft Research pays to the institution. In addition, every Scholar receives a fixed hardware allowance and conference allowance.

During the course of their PhD, Scholars are invited to Microsoft Research in Cambridge for a PhD Summer School. Some of the Scholars may also be offered—at the sole discretion of Microsoft Research—an internship in one of the Microsoft Research laboratories.


Applications must be submitted by academic institutions, such as from a PhD supervisor or departmental secretary. They do not accept applications from students directly. Applications must be complete, submitted online, and received by 25 September 2015. Proposals received after this deadline will not be considered.

  • Applications should contain the following:
    • A completed online application form that includes contact details of the main supervisor together with a named secondary supervisor who will be willing to take the project on if the main named supervisor leaves;
    • Names of possible reviewers—ideally, one of the suggested reviewers should be from Microsoft Research. If no suitable Microsoft researcher can be identified, it may mean that the proposed research project is too far from our areas of interest;
    • A project proposal of maximum six (6) A4 pages in 10-point font, including references.
      Accepted formats: plain text (.txt), .pdf, or Microsoft Office Word (.doc or .docx) only;
  • The research project proposal should address the following points:
    • Evidence that the research supervisor would be suitable to supervise a PhD student for the proposed research project.
      This may include a short list of the supervisor’s recent and relevant publications. Please consider including the URLs of the publications to make it easier for reviewers to find them;
    • Evidence that the department or laboratory offers a suitable environment for research in the proposed area;
    • Basis for the research (motivations and brief state-of-the-art, including key references);
    • Hypothesis under investigation and main aims;
    • Research strategy with significant milestones if identified;
    • Methods of research (for example, main techniques, experiments, and trials);
    • Details of any collaboration with other departments/research bodies;
    • Expected outcomes (for example, software tools).

If you have questions, send e-mail at [email protected].

For more information please visit the official website.

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