• August 16, 2019
    Applications Open
  • October 21, 2019, 05:00pm PST
    Applications Close

Facebook AI Research (FAIR) is calling for applications to advance research at the intersection of artificial intelligence and cognitive science. For this round, FAIR is accepting candidate applications for the following categories of collaboration:

  1. PhD student appointments at FAIR
  2. Visiting researcher positions at FAIR

An overview and related guidelines for each of these collaboration options can be found in the sections below. FAIR seeks to facilitate collaborations and inter-disciplinary research on topics including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Vision (recognition, learning, understanding)
  • Language (acquisition, comprehension, communication)
  • Core knowledge for learning machines
  • Curiosity, exploration, and learning
  • Intuitive physics
  • Social Intelligence

Background and Topical Focus

In May of this year, FAIR hosted a two-day workshop to identify the core scientific challenges involved in bridging the study of human and machine intelligence. This event generated broad agreement among participants that cross-functional work between disciplines could generate new insights into how human cognition and development informs AI research and vice versa. FAIR now aims to build on the momentum of our event and support partnerships and independent research. For more information about our program, please reference Human & Machine Intelligence.  

We welcome candidates across the themes listed above. Applicants are similarly encouraged from candidates exploring how new technologies, including augmented reality, simulation environments, or robotics, might advance the study of intuitive physics, social intelligence, vision, and language, among others. Successful candidates will demonstrate innovative and compelling research that has the potential to advance scientific understanding, resulting in academic publications, reports, models, analyses, proofs of concept, software/hardware prototypes, etc. All research will be supported in accordance with academic standards, with open publication and open-source data and code release expected.

Applicants must demonstrate the following: 

  • A clear research question that highlights how cognitive science may benefit AI and vice versa
  • Strong motivation, robust research design, well-defined methods, and contribution to current literature
  • Strong partnerships within the research team or a plan to share results with inter-disciplinary research communities

Application Guidelines

PhD student residencies at FAIR

FAIR seeks applications for student residencies at Facebook, aiming to support and encourage collaboration between FAIR researchers, emerging cognitive scientists, and development psychologists. Participants in our May workshop who are supervising promising doctoral students engaged in relevant research may nominate them for a short-term appointment at FAIR. 

Participating students will gain access to Facebook’s rich research environment and cutting-edge tools, and will be assigned a FAIR research mentor for weekly advisory support. At the onset of their appointment, students in residence at Facebook will present their work during FAIR’s seminar series, cultivating research partnerships or access to data or tools that might advance their work. The location for student appointments can be at Facebook’s offices in Menlo Park, New York City, or Paris, working in collaboration with FAIR’s scientific committee for this initiative: Jitendra Malik, Brenden Lake, Marco Baroni, Emmanuel Dupoux, and Jean-Rémi King. 

Timeline: Student appointments will vary in length with determinations made based on project requirements, and university and Facebook policies. In the immediate term, promising student appointment opportunities could be scheduled in Spring semester 2020 or Summer 2020. 

Funding for student appointments: Specific funding levels will vary based on the nature of the appointment, but participating students will receive payment during their time at Facebook and other resources. 

Visiting researcher positions at FAIR

We welcome the faculty researchers to propose visiting scholar appointments at Facebook, directly collaborating with FAIR research teams to advance ongoing work. Prospective visiting researchers should use their time at Facebook to advance a specific project that could benefit from interdisciplinary engagement and fresh perspectives. Visiting researchers will be given time to advance their individual research, but also access to FAIR’s rich research environment and tools.  

Timeline: Visiting researchers can join Facebook for sabbaticals or summer terms, based in Menlo Park, Paris, or New York. 

Funding for visiting researchers: Specific funding levels will vary based on the nature of the appointment, but visiting researchers will hold a short-term employee status at Facebook with other benefits assigned on a case-by-case basis. 

Proposal Evaluation Process 

All applications will be evaluated to ensure their alignment with the goals of this call. A review panel will be assembled within FAIR under the leadership of the Human & Machine Intelligence scientific committee. Proposals will be evaluated on their research statement, the likely impact of the collaboration, and qualifications of the applicant(s).  

Timing and Dates

  • Applications are now closed.
  • Notification process: We anticipate notifying successful applicants in November 2019. 


  • Applicants must be a current full-time faculty or students at an accredited academic institution that awards research degrees to PhD students.
  • Applicants may submit one proposal per solicitation, though they may submit one application proposing multiple points of collaboration per the instructions above 
  • Awards must comply with applicable U.S. and international laws, regulations, and policies.
  • Proposals include all information per the Candidate Submission Form sent to you.

More Information 

Human and Machine Intelligence
Facebook Research