From time to time we invite academics to propose research in specific areas that align with our mission of building community and bringing the world closer together.
Invitations typically address specific research challenges that we have identified are important in our mission. These vary in nature and may solicit proposals from individual researchers addressing a well-defined problem or may require multiple university departments to collaborate with a diverse set of skills to solve a more complex multi-disciplinary challenge.
Calls for proposals align to specific areas of research. They offer insight to the academic community on topical research questions of interest to Facebook, where academic insight is key.
Specific details on timing and criteria will apply to each call.
Open Research Awards
January 13, 2020
Measuring Economic Impact in the Digital Economy request for proposals
With over two billion users and 140 million businesses, digital connections across Facebook apps and technologies—Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Oculus—have meaningful economic impacts on the millions of users and businesses all over the world. With this reach and level of daily engagement in the world’s economic activity, there is significant interest in identifying the value of this economic impact. Facebook invites academics to respond to this call for request for proposals (RFP) about measuring the value of economic impact in the digital economy.Learn More about Measuring Economic Impact in the Digital Economy request for proposals
January 9, 2020
Role of Applied Cryptography in a Privacy-Focused Advertising Ecosystem request for proposals
One of the areas we’re increasingly focused on at Facebook is how we can design our products and services in ways that preserve privacy while still making powerful statistical inferences from data. With advancements in cryptography and computation, we seek to enable equivalent (and unlock new) functionality while maintaining or enhancing technical guarantees of user-level privacy. Advancements in the field would facilitate collaborations between industry and academic partners without the risk of private data being learned by the other parties. They would also facilitate learning patterns and trends that can be used to benefit the broader population while still keeping information private for each consumer. Facebook is pleased to invite the academic community to submit research proposals that address these opportunities.Learn More about Role of Applied Cryptography in a Privacy-Focused Advertising Ecosystem request for proposals
December 10, 2019
Towards On-Device AI request for proposals
AI has the potential to transform almost everything around us. It can change the way humans interact with the world by making the objects around us “smart” — capable of constantly learning, adapting, and providing proactive assistance. The beginnings of this trend can already be seen in the new capabilities coming to Smartphones (speech assistant, camera night mode) as well as the new class of “smart” devices such as smart watches, smart thermostats, and so on. However, the current class of “smart” devices run much of the computation on the cloud (or a remote host) — costing them transmission power and response latency as well as causing potential privacy concerns. This limits their ability to provide a compelling user experience and realize the true potential of an “AI-everywhere” world. Facebook is pleased to invite university faculty to respond to this call for research proposals on enabling execution of artificial intelligence (AI) based capabilities within the constraints of edge devices.Learn More about Towards On-Device AI request for proposals
December 8, 2019
Ethics in AI Research Initiative for the Asia Pacific request for proposals
AI technological developments pose intricate and complex ethical questions that the industry alone cannot answer. Important research questions in the application of AI should be dealt with not only by the companies building and deploying the technology, but also by independent academic research institutions. The latter are best equipped to pursue interdisciplinary research that will benefit society. To help support the need for thoughtful and groundbreaking academic research in these areas, Facebook is supporting independent academic research work in the Asia Pacific in the field of AI ethics that takes into account different regional perspectives. This research initiative will also complement Facebook’s efforts that bolster independent research being done in these areas, like supporting the TUM Institute for Ethics in AI and similar initiatives being supported by Facebook in other countries and regions, such as India and Latin America.Learn More about Ethics in AI Research Initiative for the Asia Pacific request for proposals
Closed Research Awards
Privacy Preserving Technologies request for proposals
Facebook builds communication tools for people to engage with the people, activities, and businesses they love. Our family of apps helps people communicate in a variety of ways, ranging from direct person-to-person chat, group-based communication, enterprise collaboration, public engagement, commercial communication, and many others. Our tools are used daily by billions of people worldwide. Facebook is a leader in deploying privacy preserving technology, most notably for using default end-to-end encryption to safeguard communications in both WhatsApp and in Messenger ‘Secret Conversations’.
November 13, 2019
Content Governance request for proposals
There is a need for expanding a diverse and independent body of research and advocacy work across these disciplines, in support of content governance for digital platforms. Thus, we are requesting proposals for academic research or civil society advocacy in the areas of online speech, law and technology, digital constitutionalism, multi-stakeholderism, content moderation, content governance, journalism, applied ethics, free expression, digital rights, human rights, tech policy, and other related fields of study. Proposals do not have to be limited to the Oversight Board. They should, however, support a specific research problem or advocacy issue related to online content governance.
November 5, 2019
Distributed Systems Research request for proposals
At Facebook, we are performing forward-looking research into the area of distributed systems, applying key techniques from the field at Facebook’s scale and sharing our designs, implementations, insights, and data with the community. To understand the future challenges that have yet to emerge, it is important that Facebook builds a strong collaboration pipeline with key experts in academia. Therefore, Facebook is pleased to invite faculty and graduate students to respond to this year’s call for research proposals pertaining to distributed systems.
October 28, 2019
Systems for Machine Learning request for proposals
Machine learning (ML) methods have been widely applied to a large variety of day-to-day services hosted by Facebook. These services include personal recommendation, content understanding (language translation, vision, and speech), integrity, and more. To sustain traditional computing at scale for ever-growing machine learning workloads in our data centers, we continue to call for impactful solutions in the areas of developer toolkits, compilers/code generation, system architecture, memory technologies, and ML accelerator support. In addition, emerging issues around compute trustworthiness and data privacy have become forthcoming challenges and require interdisciplinary innovation between system engineers and privacy/security scientists.
September 20, 2019
Verdant Place request for information
Verdant Place is a co-creation hub for breakthrough technologies, market solutions, and ecosystem partners, related to meeting sustainable development goals (SDGs) using green information and communications technologies (ICT). To launch Verdant Place, Facebook Connectivity is soliciting White Paper Proposals in the area of the relationships between connectivity and sustainability.
August 22, 2019
Facebook Request for Proposals for Research to Improve Ad Experiences
To foster further innovation in the digital advertising space and to deepen our collaboration with the academic community, Facebook is pleased to invite the academic community to respond to this call for research proposals on ad experiences. We are interested in supporting research to help us deepen our understanding of people’s ad experiences on Facebook and Instagram.
July 30, 2019
Ethics in AI Research Awards – India
AI technological developments pose intricate and complex ethical questions that the industry alone cannot answer. Important research questions in the application of AI should be dealt with not only by companies building and deploying the technology, but also—and mainly—by independent academic research institutions. The latter are best equipped to pursue interdisciplinary research that will benefit society. To help support the need for thoughtful and groundbreaking academic research in these areas, Facebook is supporting independent academic research work, in India, in the field of AI Ethics that takes into account different regional perspectives
June 17, 2019
PyRobot: Democratizing Robotics request for proposals
To promote the first use of the library and faster adaptation, we are pleased to accept proposals focused on using PyRobot with the recently introduced low-cost hardware LoCoBot. The proposals should focus on how the applicants plan to use PyRobot and demonstrate new tasks, help the robotics research community by implementing benchmark algorithms.
June 14, 2019
Economic Opportunity and Digital Platforms request for proposals
The emergence of new digital marketplaces has revolutionized commerce, transportation, and information dissemination. Digital platforms have made it easier to start a business, find a job, market a new product, or connect your business to customers. In addition to creating new avenues for economic opportunity and growth, these platforms have also created a new set of economic challenges. These include the potential to exacerbate existing inequalities in access to opportunity, particularly for those who lack digital skills.
June 12, 2019
Content Policy Research on Social Media Platforms request for proposals (phase 2)
To help develop a rigorously investigated body of research around these evolving issues and improve our content policies, Facebook requests research proposals designed to examine online content and ways to reduce harmful content. This includes, but is not limited to, research that will help us develop better content policies and assess possible interventions, including experimental and observational studies, along with qualitative and analytic work to understand the mechanisms by which online rhetoric has the potential to influence offline events.
June 10, 2019
Facebook Testing and Verification request for proposals 2019
To recognize and further re-enforce this trend Facebook launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) in 2018. The call, for research in Software Testing and Verification, received 141 submission and deployed approximately $250k in awards. The quality of submissions was very high, thereby encouraging and allowing us to extend the finding available for this year's RFP.
May 29, 2019
The Online Safety Benchmark request for proposals
The reduction of fake and misleading content on Facebook is mostly driven by the state-of-the-art text and visual recognition systems, including Machine Translation, Automatic Speech and Character Recognition, and Image and Text Categorization. However, we still need major improvements in AI systems to further improve online safety. What is currently lacking is a well-defined set of tasks around online safety, together with appropriate benchmarks to quantify performance. The goal of the RFP is to challenge the community to address these challenges together, and to solicit new tasks.
May 6, 2019
Instagram Request for Proposals for Well-being and Safety Research
In 2019, Instagram requests research proposals to help us better understand experiences on Instagram that foster or harm the well-being and safety of our communities and societies. This includes, but is not limited to, research that will help us understand problematic issues facing our communities, develop better content policies, assess possible interventions to protect our communities, or identify the mechanisms (e.g., social support, social comparison) through which Instagram usage directly impacts well-being.
May 5, 2019
Networking Systems request for proposals
Networking is fundamental to today's large scale distributed systems that power the family of Facebook applications that are used by billions of people. At Facebook, we focus on making networking technology more flexible and scalable by rethinking traditional approaches and designs, and collaborating with research and open source communities to develop an ecosystem of open hardware and software.
April 23, 2019
Computationally Efficient Natural Language Processing request for proposals
Facebook is pleased to accept research proposals focused on making NLP models more efficient both at training and testing time. We hope this work will enable production applications of such models at scale and potentially make them directly runnable on mobile devices without losing the quality of models run on servers.
April 5, 2019
Neural Machine Translation for Low Resource Languages request for proposals
Facebook is pleased to invite the academic community to respond to this call for research proposals on low-resource machine translation (MT). Applicants for the research awards will be expected to contribute to the field of low-resource MT through innovative approaches to obtain strongly performing models under low-resource training conditions.
April 5, 2019
Robust Deep Learning for Natural Language Processing request for proposals
While neural networks have achieved the state-of-the-art results on various natural language processing (NLP) tasks, their robustness to changes in the input distribution and their ability to transfer to related tasks are one of the biggest open challenges. We invite the academic community to propose novel and robust methods to address these challenges.
April 5, 2019
Computer Vision for Global Challenges request for proposals
Facebook is calling for proposals for pilot and early-stage research that extends computer vision technologies in developing countries. We specifically seek projects that address the technical challenges impeding computer vision in these contexts, including data and hardware limitations and better integration of new information sources, such as high-resolution satellite imagery.
February 25, 2019
Probability and Programming request for proposals
To foster further innovation in topics at the intersection of programming languages and machine learning, and to deepen our collaboration with academia, Facebook is pleased to invite faculty and graduate students to respond to this call for research proposals.
January 17, 2019
WhatsApp research awards for Social Science and Misinformation
WhatsApp cares about the safety of our users and is seeking to inform our understanding of the safety problems people encounter on WhatsApp as well how to address it proactively and reactively. For this first phase of our program, WhatsApp is commissioning a competitive set of awards to researchers interested in exploring issues that are related to misinformation on WhatsApp.
July 3, 2018
Mechanism Design for Social Good request for proposals
The widespread usage of mobile devices and social networks opens unique opportunities to design new mechanisms on top of those networks—mechanisms that lead to meaningful connections which otherwise would not have occurred. Facebook is pleased to support the MD4SG agenda by offering $150K in research grants in this area.
June 18, 2018
Global Literacy and Accessibility Challenge request for proposals
Facebook is pleased to invite the academic community to respond to this call for research proposals to better understand and address global literacy and accessibility issues. Grant awardees will be expected to contribute to the field of literacy and accessibility through qualitative or quantitative research.
April 16, 2018
Speech and Audio Technology for Voice Interaction and Video Understanding
Facebook is pleased to invite the academic community to respond to this call for research proposals for speech & audio technology that advances the state-of-the-art in human-computer interaction, human-human interaction, and video content understanding.
March 30, 2018
Low Resource Neural Machine Translation request for proposals
Facebook is pleased to invite the academic community to respond to this call for research proposals on low-resource Neural Machine Translation. Applicants for the grants will be expected to contribute to the field of low-resource NMT through research into novel, strongly performing models under low-resource training conditions and/or comparable corpora mining techniques for low-resource language pairs.
March 2, 2018
Secure the Internet Grants request for proposals
Facebook is pleased to invite submissions for Secure the Internet Grant proposals from university researchers and faculty, non-profit organizations, and NGOs for applied research proposals to improve the security, privacy, and safety of internet users.
January 23, 2018
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you typically limit the salary of the PI in the gift?+
Should the proposal be double- or single-spaced? Is there any required/expected font?+
What is the award cycle or when does the funding year begin and end?+
Can award funds be used to cover a researcher's summer salary while conducting research?+
Can you please explain the budget breakdown in more detail?+
We are working as co-PIs and are at the same institution. Is it possible to list both of our names as PI for an RFP proposal?+