Microsoft Research Scholarship Programme for PhD Students

Applications for Microsoft Research Scholarship Programme for PhD Students is underway this year.

Each year, PhD supervisors from academic institutions in EMEA are invited to submit their proposals for collaborative research projects with Microsoft Research Cambridge. Applications are then peer-reviewed and a number of projects selected for funding. PhD students are appointed to the selected projects and begin their research in the following academic year under the supervision of their academic supervisor, with co-supervision from a researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge.

The Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship Programme in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) was launched in 2004 and has so far supported more than 200 PhD students from more than 18 countries and 51 institutions.

Scholarship Offer

  • Each Microsoft scholarship consists of an annual bursary up to at most three years or at most four years for an EPSRC CASE award.
  • The monetary value of the award varies by country to show local differences in costs and overheads.
  • Payment is made directly to the institution.
  • The amount of the scholarship is the most amount Microsoft Research pays to the institution.
  • In addition, every Scholar receives a fixed hardware allowance and conference allowance.


Applications must not be made by students but by PhD supervisors, who must have been nominated by Microsoft Research prior to the submission deadline. If their project is selected, the supervisor has until 31 March 2020 to find the best possible student for the project; otherwise, the PhD Agreement will be terminated automatically. Only applications from institutions in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa will be considered.

For an application to be considered, the following key requirements apply:

  1. The institute agrees to the terms and conditions in the PhD Term Sheet and EPSRC Term Sheet where appropriate and there will be no negotiation once the selections have been made and communicated.
  2. Applicants must be nominated by a Microsoft supervisor by 1st September 2018 to be eligible to submit an application.
  3. The proposed research must be closely related to our research ambitions at Microsoft Research in Cambridge:
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Infrastructure for the Cloud
  • The Future of Work
  • Biological Computation

This year, we are particularly interested in proposals related to:

  • Machine Learning for Healthcare
  • Optics in the Cloud (networking, storage and compute)
  • Confidential Computation
  • Designing AI for Human Partnership

Microsoft actively seeks to foster greater levels of diversity in our workforce and in our pipeline of future researchers. We are always looking for the best and brightest talent and pride ourselves on our individuality.


Scholarship Application Timeline

Nominations received by: 1st September 2018
Online submission tool open: 17th September 2018
Application deadline: 8th October 2018
Notification of results: By early January 2019
For successful applicants:
PhD Agreements sent to Institutes via DocuSign by: End of February 2019
Signed PhD Agreements returned to MSR via Docusign by: 30th June 2019
PhD students to be appointed by: 31st March 2020

How to Apply

Login to Microsoft PhD scholarship portal to apply


Microsoft Research Scholarship Programme for PhD Students official page


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