Facebook Fellowship Program
Supporting PhD students engaged in innovative research
The Facebook Fellowship is a global program designed to encourage and support promising doctoral students who are engaged in innovative and relevant research in areas related to computer science and engineering at an accredited university.
The program is open to students in any year of their PhD study. We also encourage people of diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply, especially those from traditionally under-represented minority groups. Applications are evaluated based on the strength of the student’s research statement, publication record, and recommendation letters.
Winners of the Fellowship are entitled to receive two years of paid tuition and fees, a $42,000 annual stipend to cover living and conference travel costs, a paid visit to Facebook headquarters for the annual Fellowship Summit, and various opportunities to engage with Facebook researchers.
Download flyer here.
Applications are now closed
Facebook Fellowship Program
Applications for the 2022 Fellowship cohort are now closed. Reference letters are due October 4, 2021.
Applications Open August 3, 2021, 9:00am PST
Applications Close September 20, 2021 11:59pm PST
Winners Announced End of January 2022
Fellows & Emerging ScholarsSee All
Reza Ghaiumy Anaraky
Privacy & Data Use - 2021
University of Virginia
AR/VR Future Technologies - 2021
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Machine Learning - 2021
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Database Systems - 2021
Andrés Ignacio Cristi Espinosa
Universidad de Chile
Economics & Computation - 2021
Natural Language Processing - 2021
The Facebook Fellowship Summit
As part of the program, current Fellows are invited to Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park for the annual Fellowship Summit. At the Summit, Fellows can engage with other winners, share their current research, speak with Facebook researchers and teams, and learn more about research at Facebook.
Facebook Fellowship Award Includes
- Tuition and fees paid for the academic year (up to two years/four semesters)
- A $42,000 annual stipend to cover living and conference travel costs
- Paid visit to Facebook headquarters for the annual Fellowship Summit (pending COVID-19 restrictions)
- Applicants must be full-time PhD students who are enrolled in an accredited university (in any country) by the start of the Fellowship (i.e., Fall 2022)
- Students must be involved in ongoing research related to one or more relevant disciplines (see available fellowships below)
- Students must remain enrolled full-time for the duration of the Fellowship to receive program benefits
- Students should not apply for Facebook Fellowships if they are actively being funded by Facebook through some other sponsorship or collaboration and/or if they are actively being supervised (or co-supervised) by a Facebook researcher. If in doubt, please email email@example.com.
Applications Must Include
- 500-word research summary that clearly identifies the area of focus, importance to the field, and applicability to Facebook of the anticipated research during the award (reference the available fellowships below)
- Two letters of recommendation, including one from an academic advisor. You will be asked to provide your references’ contact information, and they will receive a corresponding form to submit their letters.
Click on each of the available 2022 fellowships below to learn more about each research team's focus.
AI System HW SW Co-Design
We welcome applications from students doing research and developing high-performance software and hardware technologies for AI at datacenter scale. We are particularly interested in work at the intersection of algorithms (including model compression & numerical optimization), benchmarking (including perf models, profiling and debugging tools for accelerators & cluster architectures) as well as distributed systems (including distributed inference and training). Special attention will be given to development of software stacks and frameworks addressing software and hardware co-design of quantized distributed inference and low precision distributed training.
We would like to support students who are working on novel techniques in statistical modeling and inference. Areas of research include but are not limited to inference in high dimensions, causal inference, graphical models, multi-armed bandits, optimization, regression and classification, clustering and segmentation, graph partitioning, entity linkage and data privacy. In addition, we are interested in research related to model auditing and safety, including label sanity and certainty, auditing model performance across segments, and detection and mitigation of unintended outcomes. Applications of interest include but are not limited to user modeling, detecting abuse and violations, experimentation, surveys, measurement of harms using models and efficient sampling techniques.
AR/VR Computer Graphics
We would like to support students who are working on advancing the state-of-the-art in computer graphics and efficient real-time rendering for augmented and virtual reality. Topics of interest include but are not limited to ray tracing and ray casting hardware, physically based shading, Split/distributed rendering, image and video compression, differentiable rendering, graphics applications of machine learning methods, geometry processing and compression, perceptual rendering, high quality avatars, global illumination, scene prefiltering, and rendering complexity reduction.
AR/VR Future Technologies
We would like to support students whose research sits at the intersection of future technologies (augmented reality, virtual reality, video presence, etc.) and the role of those technologies in people’s daily life. This includes but is not limited to research on the integration of emerging technologies in individual wellness, the workplace, and social interactions more broadly. Successful applicants can come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, but we’re especially interested in seeing applications from those with backgrounds in the social sciences, HCI, communication, public health or with a special interest of topics around diversity & inclusion.
AR/VR Human Computer Interaction
We would like to support PhD students in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) who have established research programs in intelligent user interfaces, adaptive interfaces, ubiquitous computing, sensing, haptics, input and interaction design. Of particular interest (but not exclusively) are students who have applied their research towards solving challenging HCI problems in the domain of AR/VR.
AR/VR Human Understanding
We would like to support students who are working on advancing the state-of-the-art in human understanding for AR/VR. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, tracking and modelling humans and objects, action and gesture recognition, non-rigid fusion and reconstruction (e.g. NeRF), image synthesis (e.g. GAN), segmentation, differentiable rendering, novel text input techniques, novel sensors / sensor fusion (e.g. EMG, accelerometer, ...) and efficient ML techniques to run these methods on AR/VR devices.
AR/VR Perception, Cognition, and Action
We would like to support students who work to build a generalizable understanding of human behavior. Topics of interest include but are not limited to perception and psychophysics, motor control and learning, and attention and cognitive control. Our primary application of interest is AR /VR interaction, but we are particularly interested in supporting students whose work creates generalizable basic knowledge (e.g. models, generalized experimental results, or theoretical frameworks) that can be applied to our domains of interest rather than work that is specific to particular devices or interfaces.
AR/VR Photonics and Optics
We would like to support students that are excited about developing technology in Photonics and Optics that can be applied to VR and AR visual systems. Topics of interest include functional planar optical elements, highly efficient light sources, optical and photonic imaging devices, unique optical materials and structures.
We would like to support students who are working on technologies related to sound capture systems and virtual auditory displays, with applications towards next-generation telecommunications systems. Areas of research include but are not limited to microphone array processing, speech enhancement and noise reduction, spatial signal encoding and compression, acoustic propagation simulation, HRTF personalization, and equalization. In addition, we are interested in research related to perceptual evaluation and optimization, and user experience research. Our goal is to enable natural communication and interaction with realistic acoustic perception in virtual contexts.
Augmented Reality Audio
We would like to support students working in speech and audio processing for human-human communication in challenging situations. Topics of interest include but are not limited to perception of sounds by humans, speech enhancement, auditory scene analysis, acoustic event detection, audio-visual modeling and sentiment analysis.
Blockchain and Cryptoeconomics
We would like to support students working on novel techniques for building decentralized databases of programmable resources. Topics of interest include all areas related to high assurance, scalability and security of the technology, in particular blockchain, smart contracts, financial technologies and payments, transactions, distributed systems, concurrency and formal methods.
Computational Social Science
We would like to support students who are advancing research in the social sciences with computational approaches. Topics of interest include but are not limited to theoretic and practical models and analysis of online communities and interactions, diffusion of information and misinformation, causal inference in networks, dynamics of norms, trust and social capital, civic participation and empowerment, social processes after natural disasters and crises, social media- and other-based datasets for good, and equity in online spaces.
We welcome applications from students working on novel approaches to data systems architecture and usage, including, but not limited to, improving the efficiency and reliability of large scale data processing systems, improving the interaction between database software and the underlying hardware, exploring novel techniques around query processing and data indexing, formatting, partitioning, and movement, transaction processing, replication, as well as novel approaches to privacy and security in data management.
We would like to support students working on a broad set of topics related to all kinds of distributed systems, including but not limited to fault tolerance, reliability, system management, scale, performance, efficiency, and security.
Economics and Computation
We support students who are passionate about applied or theoretical work in the areas of game theory, optimization, operations management and econometrics. Example research topics of particular relevance include ad auction design, mechanism design for social good, applications of combinatorial and convex optimization at large scale, and the intersection of econometrics and machine learning, but we encourage and welcome applications from researchers doing work on other topics in the disciplines above.
Human Computer Interaction - Social Media, People, & Society
We would like to support PhD students in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and social computing who have established research programs in understanding the impact of social media on people and society, focused on key social or informational outcomes. Topics of interest include but are not limited to civic engagement/polarization, social support/health, and authoritative information/misinformation. Methods may cover qualitative (e.g., ethnographic, interview, etc.) or quantitative (e.g., survey, experiments, computational, etc.) approaches. A focus on populations outside of Western markets or with vulnerable/marginalized groups is encouraged.
We would like to support students active in the research and development of scalable, performant, reliable, efficient and secure wired network infrastructure across data centers, the wide area (IP and optical), and Internet peering. The networking technologies span the entire networking stack (L1-L7); range from chip/interface/system hardware design to distributed systems for control, data, and management planes; and cover the whole network lifecycle, from planning/design/analytics, to provisioning/deployment/migration, to monitoring/troubleshooting/visualization. This also includes applications of related disciplines such as machine learning, optimization and algorithmic theory, and formal verification to the networking domain.
Privacy and Data Use
We would like to support students who are working on understanding privacy and data use, specifically how to make data more transparent to users and give people more control of their data. This includes, but is not limited to, research on transparency in online behavioral advertising.
Applications are welcome from students who are interested in the design and implementation of programming languages and related tools. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: program synthesis, type systems, static analysis, optimizing compilation, runtimes, formal specification and verification, and high-level support for features such as concurrency, data privacy, control of side effects, and probabilistic and differentiable programming.
Security and Privacy
We would like to support students with established proficiency in the field and passion about solving complex security challenges. Topics of interest include but are not limited to: systems, software, and network security; privacy; cryptography; malware; abuse detection and mitigation; authentication and authorization.
Technology Policy Research
We would like to support PhD students working in the area of technology policy research. We welcome applicants who think critically about the theory and practice of policies that shape the long term impact of technology on society. This is an interdisciplinary field and we welcome candidates from disciplines that include but are not limited to the social sciences, science and technology studies, history and the humanities.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply?
Apply at the link at the top of this page. Be sure to review eligibility criteria and application requirements.
Are students studying outside of the United States eligible to apply?
Yes. The fellowship is open to students at all universities both in the United States and in other countries.
Do I need to be a PhD student to be eligible to apply?
Yes. You must be enrolled in a PhD program full-time to apply for a Facebook Fellowship.
When does the Facebook Fellowship award start?
The award funds are delivered during the Fall term of the awarded year(s) and conclude at the end of the Spring term. Stipend payment(s) are sent once a tuition invoice is received for the respective Fall term each year. Travel funds must be completed by the end of the school year (typically the Spring term).
If I currently have funding from somewhere else, am I still eligible to receive the Facebook Fellowship?
If you are selected to receive the award, you may be asked to decline funding (i.e. research projects, fellowships, internships, contractor work, employment) from another company or industry competitor. Usually funding from your university, Facebook internship, or related to a teaching requirement is allowed. Mandatory military employment or Facebook contractor positions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Do I need to provide my recommendation letters with my application?
You will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of your two references. They will receive an email prompting them to upload their recommendation letters. If your application is a finalist, we may contact your references for confirmation.
What is the deadline for applications?
All application materials are due at the application close date. Your references will have additional time to submit their letters of recommendation.
If I only have 1 year left of school, can I still apply?
Yes, you may still apply. You will just receive the tuition and stipend while you are in school.
Do both letters of recommendation need to come from a Professor?
One letter needs to come from your PhD advisor, the other may come from another professor or an industry contact.
Where will the fellowship money be sent? The school or myself?
Tuition money will be paid directly to the school, the stipend will be sent directly to the fellow, unless otherwise specified. Stipends are taxable based on local law. Starting for 2020 Fellow winners, tuition and stipend/travel funds cannot be combined and paid to the university.
Does the 500 word limit for the research summary include references to papers mentioned, or can references go on an additional page?
References may be included with your CV/resume as a single uploaded file.
I am a Facebook AI Resident student, do I qualify for a Facebook Fellowship?
No, Facebook AI Resident students are ineligible for a Facebook Fellowship.
Will I be taxed on my Fellowship stipend award?
Yes. Your stipend award is taxable and based on local tax laws (where you are a resident). You will be asked to submit necessary tax information once accepting your award. Your tuition is sent directly to your university and is not considered personal income. Starting with 2020 winners, the $5,000 travel award will be bundled with the $37,000 stipend (which is taxable). The total stipend will be $42,000.
Am I eligible if I'm currently being supervised (or co-supervised) by a Facebook researcher?
Students should not apply for Facebook Fellowships if they are actively being funded by Facebook through some other sponsorship or collaboration and/or if they are actively being supervised (or co-supervised) by a Facebook researcher. If in doubt, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens if my university has a fixed income requirement for all PhD researchers?
In the event that your institution has a fixed income requirement such that all PhD researchers must be paid equally, we will contribute any required tuition fees and a Facebook stipend directly to the school.
When are reference letters due?
Reference letters for the 2022 application cycle are due October 4, 2021.