November 11, 2017

Hardware and Software Systems request for proposals


This Research Award is now closed

Facebook is pleased to invite university faculty to respond to this call for research proposals on hardware and software systems; a total of 5 awards are available. During this proposal cycle, Facebook is especially interested in soliciting proposals for research at the intersection of computer systems and machine learning, including, but not limited to:

  • Machine learning benchmarks (especially beyond computer vision)
  • Workload characterization tools and techniques for machine learning applications
  • Hardware architectures for efficient and scalable machine learning
  • Machine learning frameworks and compiler flows to facilitate efficiency, portability, and inter-operability
  • Techniques to facilitate machine learning on resource-constrained edge devices
  • System impact of distributed training including issues related to compute, networking, and storage
  • Approaches that apply machine learning for research in traditional hardware and software systems
  • System analysis and optimization of machine learning approaches beyond deep learning

To apply

Applicants should submit a maximum 2 page proposal detailing what contribution their research is expected to make, how the research domain will benefit from the work, and a budget overview of how the proposed funding will be used. Proposals are highly encouraged to focus funding on project personnel, especially PhD students. Proposals from small collaborative teams, particularly with PIs bridging areas of Systems and ML, are also encouraged. Funding will be in the $30,000 to $50,000 range per proposal, depending on the specific requirements.


Payment will be made to the proposer’s host university as an unrestricted gift.

Additional information

Applicants should clearly state any existing collaborations with Facebook researchers or engineers and whether their proposal has a named sponsor within Facebook.

One person from each funded team is expected to attend a Faculty Summit held in Facebook’s offices in 2018 to present and share their team’s work with both Facebook and other researchers, with travel paid by FB (separate from the award itself).

Successful awardees will be listed on the Facebook Research website and will be encouraged to openly publish any findings/insights from their work.

Timing, dates and proposal format

Applications are closed

Deadline: December 7, 2017, 5pm PST

Award Amount: Up to $50,000

Applications should include:

  • Names of the researcher(s) involved in the proposed work
  • Host academic research institution
  • Clear and concise statement of the research
  • Indication of any previous or current connections/collaborations with Facebook (in which case please name the any Facebook contacts)
  • A proposed budget

Award notification

Notifications will be sent by email to selected applicants.

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.