March 30, 2018

Speech and Audio Technology for Voice Interaction and Video Understanding


This Research Award is now closed

Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. We create spoken language technology to make it faster and simpler for people to build community and connect with others around the world. We invest in video content understanding to make it simpler for people to discover the content that matters to them.

We are pleased to announce a 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.

Applicants from the academic community should submit a two-page proposal outlining their intended research, a budget overview, and an estimated timeline.

Awards will range from $20,000 to $50,000 USD per proposal for projects up to one year in duration beginning August 2018. Successful proposals will demonstrate innovative and compelling research that has the potential to significantly advance the state of the art. Award amounts will be determined at the discretion of the evaluation committee. Participants need to be prepared to show milestone completion and present results at the halfway mark (February 2019). Up to 5 projects will be awarded.

Representatives from each awarded project will be invited to a workshop with other participants in October 2018, and are expected to attend an evaluation meeting in February 2019. Opportunities for a second round of funding will be determined at the February meeting. Travel costs to attend these meetings to Menlo Park, CA, USA should be included in the proposed budget. Award recipients will be listed on the Facebook Research website and will be encouraged to openly publish any findings from their work as well as make any code available as open source.

Research Topics

Research topics should be relevant to the areas of human-computer interaction, human-human interaction, and video content understanding, including, but not limited to:

  • Speech recognition
  • Speech synthesis
  • Multilingual and/or low resource modeling
  • Spoken language understanding
  • Dialog systems
  • Acoustic event detection and auditory scene analysis
  • Audio-visual modeling for speech recognition or video understanding
  • Sentiment analysis

Application Process

Proposals must be submitted via the form below. Please prepare the following documents as PDF files and upload with the form:

  1. A summary of the project (1-2 pages) explaining the area of focus, importance to the field, a description of the techniques, any relevant prior work, and a timeline with quarterly milestones and expected outcomes.
  2. A draft budget description (1 page) including an approximate cost of the award and explanation of how funds would be spent- including travel costs to Menlo Park, CA if applicable
  3. Curriculum Vitae for all project personnel.

Timing & Dates

  • Applications are now closed.
  • Notification process: Award decisions will be announced by email in mid June, 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.