March 24, 2020

2020 Networking request for proposals


In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we understand that universities may experience some challenges regarding support for grant programs now and in the coming months. We will continue to work closely with research teams and universities on this. For any additional questions, please contact

Currently for this RFP, we are still planning to invite award recipients to a Facebook faculty summit in August, which will be co-located with SIGCOMM 2020 in New York City. We will work diligently to keep you informed if there is any updates.

Networking is fundamental to the large-scale, distributed systems that power the family of Facebook applications that are used by billions of people. At Facebook, we focus on making innovative and scalable networking technology by rethinking traditional approaches and designs and collaborating with research and open source communities to develop an ecosystem of open hardware and software.

Over the years, we have developed and shared the details of numerous networking systems such as FBOSS, Robotron, Edge Fabric, Data Center Fabric, Express Backbone, Open/R, Proxygen, Katran, and many more. To foster further innovation in networking and to deepen our collaboration with academia, Facebook is pleased to invite faculty and graduate students to respond to this call for research proposals pertaining to the topics below. We anticipate awarding a total of three-six awards, each in the $50,000 range. Payment will be made to the proposer’s host university as an unrestricted gift.

Networking systems research has a wide range of topics. Each year, we focus on specific topics that can benefit the research community and Facebook, where topics may change from year to year. This year, we are asking for proposals in these two categories:

  • Host Networking: Innovation of host networking stack, such as NIC architectures, rate limiting, multi-tenant applications, low-latency/high-performance applications, and congestion control.
  • Transport Security: Scaling encryption for very large quantities of data, formal verification of TLS, transparent encryption, and enforcement of encryption policies.

The proposals will be evaluated by our engineer team members working on related topics based on novelty, feasibility, and applicability to Facebook’s production networks.

Proposals should include

  • A summary of the project (1-2 pages) explaining the area of focus, a description of techniques, any relevant prior work, how the broader research community will benefit from the work, and a timeline with milestones and expected outcomes.
  • A draft budget (1 page) including an approximate cost of the award and explanation of how funds would be spent.
  • Curriculum Vitae for all project participants.
  • Organization details including tax information and administrative contact details.
  • Keyword: Select the primary research area “Hosting Networking” or “Transport Security” that is more relevant for your proposal. This will assist in the appropriate assignment of reviewers.


  • Awards must comply with applicable U.S. and international laws, regulations, and policies.
  • Applicants must be a current full-time faculty at an accredited academic institution that awards research degrees to PhD students.
  • Applicants must be the Principal Investigator on any resulting award.
  • Applicants may submit individually or in teams. However, each applicant may only submit one proposal per solicitation.
  • Applicants and all individuals involved in the preparation of the proposal or use of any resulting award must reside in the Territory.

“Territory” is defined as any area, country, state, territory, or province where applicable laws do not prohibit applying for or receiving a grant in this RFP and excludes China, Cuba, Crimea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Myanmar/Burma, Syria, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Belarus and any other area or country designated by the applicable agency that designates trade sanctions. Government officials, political figures, and businesses politically affiliated (all as determined by Facebook in its sole discretion) are not eligible to apply for the grant.

Timing and dates

  • Applications are now open. Deadline to apply is Monday, April 20th at 5:00 p.m. AOE.
  • Notifications will be sent by email to applicants by July 2020.

Additional Information

  • Award recipients will be listed on the Facebook Research website and will also be invited to an annual faculty summit in August, co-located with SIGCOMM’20 in New York City. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss their findings/insights with Facebook researchers.

For additional questions related to this RFP, please email

Additional Terms and Conditions

Facebook’s decisions will be final in all matters relating to this solicitation, including interpretation of these Terms and awards at any time. Awards will be subject to additional Terms and Conditions for awardees which will be communicated to recipients after selection. All items apply unless otherwise stated above. Please Read These Terms Carefully Before Proceeding.


  • By submitting a proposal, you are authorizing Facebook to evaluate the proposal for a potential award, and you agree to the terms herein.
  • You agree that Facebook will not be required to treat any part of the proposal as confidential or protected by copyright, and may use, edit, modify, copy, reproduce, and distribute all or a portion of your proposal in any manner for the sole purposes of administering the website and evaluating the contents of the proposal.
  • You agree and acknowledge that personal data submitted with the proposal, including name, mailing address, phone number, and email address of you and other named researchers in the proposal may be collected, processed, stored and otherwise used by Facebook for the purposes of administering the website and evaluating the contents of the proposal.
  • You acknowledge that neither party is obligated to enter into any business transaction as a result of the proposal submission, Facebook is under no obligation to review or consider the proposal, and neither party acquires any intellectual property rights as a result of submitting the proposal.
  • Any feedback you provide to Facebook in the proposal regarding its products or services will not be treated as confidential or protected by copyright, and Facebook is free to use such feedback on an unrestricted basis with no compensation to you.
  • Applicants represent and warrant that they have authority to submit a proposal in connection with this RFP and grant the rights set forth herein on behalf of their organization.


See this page for full Terms and Conditions.




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