The Facebook Fellowship Program and Emerging Scholar Awards are designed to encourage and support promising doctoral students who are engaged in innovative and relevant research in areas related to computer science and engineering.

The Emerging Scholar Award is open to first or second year PhD students,  It is specifically designed to support talented students from under-represented* minority groups in the technology sector, to encourage them to continue their PhD studies, pursue innovative research, and engage with the broader research community.

Winners of the Emerging Scholar Award are entitled to receive two years of tuition and fees paid, a stipend of $37,000 each year, and up to $5,000 in conference travel support.

Applications will be evaluated based on the strength of the student’s proposed research and their recommendation letters.

The Facebook Emerging Scholars 2018 application is now closed. 

Emerging Scholar Award Includes

  • Payment of tuition and fees for two academic years
  • $37,000 annual stipend
  • Up to $5,000 towards conference travel funds

Application Materials

  • Research Statement: 1-2 page research summary
  • Resume or CV with email, phone and mailing address, along with applicable coursework noted
  • Two letters of recommendation (Please provide reference email addresses): Advisor and one Professional reference (can be from academia or industry)

Research Areas

We are accepting applications from students with research related to one of the following areas:



We would like to support students who are working on non-incremental approaches to addressing interactive AI. Topics of interest include but are not limited to continual learning, meta-learning, bio-inspired AI, interaction-based learning, ideally pursued with techniques that differ from standard Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning.


Computational Social Science

We would like to support students who are working on advancing research in the social sciences with computational approaches. Topics of interest include but are not limited to algorithmic fairness and bias correction, norms and trust, political participation, information cascades and influence, graph partitioning and community discovery, location aware social networks and mobility, theoretic and practical models and analysis of social networks, computer-mediated communication in dyads and groups, social processes after natural disasters and crises, well-being, social support, and mental health support.


Computer Vision

We would like to support students who are working on advancing the state-of-the-art in computer vision. Topics of interest include but are not limited to image and video recognition (classification, detection, and segmentation), vision and language (visual question answering and visual dialog), visual reasoning (forward prediction, understanding physics, and understanding affordance), large-scale and weakly supervised learning, and understanding humans (pose estimation and action recognition).


Compute Storage and Efficiency

We would like to support students who are working on novel techniques for improving the efficiency of large scale systems such as databases, file systems, caching systems, pub/sub systems. This includes novel exploring techniques to shift computation, memory and storage with the goal of optimizing power consumption and/or cost.


Distributed Systems

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 would like to support students who are passionate about using mathematical and computational tools from the areas of game theory, optimization, operations management and econometrics. Topics of interest include but are not limited to theoretical and applied research that could help improve the design of mechanisms used to auction ads, optimize network infrastructure usage and processing power, improve processes such as procurement, hiring, and quality control, and understand the underlying processes, behaviors or incentives that align with real world observations.


Natural Language Processing

We would like to support students with topics of interest that include: machine translation, multilingual learning, representation learning, named entity recognition, text classification, semantic parsing, summarization, dialog systems.


Networking and Connectivity

We would like to support students active in the research and development of scalable, fast, reliable, and efficient systems across all areas of networking, including: different wired/wireless network domains such as data centers, backbones, peering, mobile core/backhaul, and access across many different parts of the spectrum (wifi to mmwave to optical); the whole stack, from chip/interface/system hardware design to low-level firmware to distributed systems; and the whole network lifecycle, from planning/design, to provisioning/deployment, to monitoring/troubleshooting/visualization, to control stacks.


Machine Learning

We would like to support students who are working on advancing the state-of-the-art in machine learning. Topics of interest include but are not limited to reinforcement learning, deep learning, causality, non-convex optimization, multi-task learning, curriculum learning, learning embeddings and metrics, speech recognition, cost-sensitive learning, and structured prediction.



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, cryptography, mobile malware, IoT security, authentication and authorization, and privacy.


Research outside the above: relevant work in areas that may not align with the research priorities highlighted above.


*For the purpose of the Emerging Scholar Award, “underrepresented minority group” is considered to include persons who identify as: Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native American or Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I apply?


    The 2018 application is now closed.

  • How is this program different from the Facebook Fellowship?


    The Emerging Scholar Award is provided for first and second year PhD students who are underrepresented minorities in the technology industry.

  • Are students studying outside of the United States eligible to apply?


    Yes. The award 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 currently enrolled in your first or second year of a PhD program to apply.

  • If I currently have research funding from somewhere else, am I still eligible to receive the Emerging Scholar Award?


    It depends. If you are selected to receive the Award, you may be asked to decline research funding or fellowships from another company. Usually funding from your university, or related to a teaching requirement is allowed.

  • Do I need to be logged in to Facebook to submit application materials?


    Yes. All applicants will need to use their Facebook account to apply.

  • Do persons providing letters of reference also need to be logged in to Facebook?


    No. When you fill out the application, you will be asked to input an email address for your references. Your references will receive and email with a link to submit their letter. Please ensure that the contact information you enter for your references is accurate.

  • How can I tell if my reference has submitted their letter of recommendation?


    Once you provide us with your reference contact email, they will be sent an email with a link to submit their letter. Once they have submitted, the application page will show a Received message below their name. You may resend the reminder email to your references from the application page if needed.

  • Can I go back and update my application? I need to make changes.


    Yes. The application will allow you to save or submit after entering information. You may go back and edit your application up to the due date.

  • What is the deadline for applications?


    All application materials, including two letters of recommendation, were due on October 31, 2017 at 5pm PST.

  • 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 award money be sent? The school or myself?


    Tuition will be paid directly to the school, the stipend will be sent directly to the fellow, unless otherwise specified.

  • If I have additional questions is there a place to ask them?


    Yes, you can email scholars@fb.com with any additional questions you may have. Please note, no extensions for deadlines will be given.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or inquiries please contact us at scholars@fb.com