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Facebook hosts virtual 2020 Fellowship Summit

The Facebook Fellowship Program supports top PhD students from around the world in fields related to computer science and engineering. The program includes an invitation to the annual Fellowship Summit, which is an opportunity for Fellows to network with one another, present their work, meet Facebook researchers and recruiters, and more.

Due to COVID-19, the Fellowship Summit was fully virtual and spanned September 8 to September 18. “We’ve embraced this new challenge of planning virtual events, which has provided unique opportunities for the summit,” says Alisa Futriski, Program Coordinator for the Fellowship Program. “For example, because of increased scheduling flexibility and no travel restriction issues, we were able to bring together a particularly robust group of presenters from the Facebook Research community.”

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One of the presenters was Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer, who kicked off the virtual summit with a welcome video. Fellows also heard from research area experts and executives, such as VP of AI Jérôme Pesenti, Novi Head Economist Christian Catalini, Probability Research Scientist Mark Harman, Data for Good Public Policy Research Manager Kelsey Mulcahy, and many more.

“In previous years, Fellows have been given the opportunity to present their research in poster sessions during the summit,” says Sharon Ayalde, Fellowship Program Manager. “This year, in an effort to increase engagement virtually, we asked the Fellows to record presentations of their current research for the summit. These videos were available for all attendees and are now featured for anyone to browse on their Fellow profiles.”

The two-week event also included several Q&As with research-area-specific recruiters for Fellows interested in internships and full-time positions. To complement these Q&As, we organized a panel of several past Fellows who went on to work at Facebook as research interns, full-time researchers, or both: Mark Jeffrey (2017), Eden Litt (2014), Moses Namara (2020), Brandon Schlinker (2016), and Greg Steinbrecher (2017).

Applications for the 2021 Fellowship cohort opened on August 10 with a deadline of October 1, and winners are typically announced in the January after applications close. For more information, visit the Fellowship page.

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