October 12, 2018

Instagram research awards for Social Technologies


This Research Award is now closed

Instagram requests academic and/or non-profit organizations research proposals in areas that align with Instagram’s mission of bringing you closer to the people and things you love.

This year, Instagram will grant awards of up to $50K USD per awardee to fund projects of up to one year in duration. This RFP challenge is open to applicants worldwide. This includes 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.

Researchers can submit proposals for any domain related to the topics below. We describe some examples for each topic, but we will gladly consider proposals related to these topics that are not specified as examples.

  • The effects of social technologies on interpersonal relationships and communities. Some examples: How does online behavior build or shape relationships (among friends, communities of shared interests) – both online and offline – and how does this relate to personal well-being?
  • The role of social media in supporting personal development and social ties at different life stages. Some examples: How might we identify opportunities for greater cross-cultural and cross-generational interactions, support healthy social and emotional development in teens, and/or reduce the isolation of seniors?
  • Emerging trends in social commerce. Some examples: How are social media platforms changing the nature of entrepreneurship, collaborative production, and peer-to-peer commerce?
  • Social media trends in your market/country/city. Some examples: How do consumer expectations around social media differ, particularly around safety, security and privacy? How are micro entrepreneurs leveraging social media in these regions?
  • Promoting healthy conversation and behaviors in online communities. Some examples: How can online communities encourage healthy, civil, and empathetic discussion? What constitutes a healthy, civil, and empathetic discussion? What empowers online community members to help encourage and maintain a healthy community?

Payment will be made to the proposer’s host university as an unrestricted gift (see FAQ for more details). With this, overhead is typically limited to 5-8%.

To apply

We ask applicants to submit a 1-2 page proposal. Proposals should include:

  • A summary of the project (1-2 pages) explaining the area of focus, a description of techniques, any relevant prior work, and a timeline with milestones and expected outcomes
  • Clear and concise statement of the scientific contribution and routes to eventual deployment
  • A draft budget description (1 page) including an approximate cost of the award and explanation of how funds would be spent
  • Names of the researcher(s) involved in the proposed work with their CV/resume or links to Google Scholar pages
  • Indication of any previous or current connections/collaborations with Facebook (in which case please name the Facebook contacts)


  • Applicants must be current full-time faculty at an accredited academic institution or organization that awards research degrees to PhD students.
  • Organizations must be a nonprofit or non-governmental organization with recognized legal status in their respective country (equal to 501(c)(3) status under the United States Internal Revenue Code).
  • Applicants must be the Principal Investigator on any resulting award.
  • Applicants may submit one proposal per solicitation.

Timing and dates

  • Applications are now closed.
  • Notifications will be sent by email to selected applicants sometime in December 2018.

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.