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Award opportunities: Microsoft Azure for Research

Azure awards for your research

Microsoft Azure for Research

Microsoft Research is offering free access to cloud computing resources for research projects across the world. For the opportunity to receive substantial Microsoft Azure resources, simply apply for one of our Azure for Research awards. We welcome proposals from researchers in any discipline, and are looking for projects that can take advantage of the cloud to help accelerate their work. Microsoft Azure provides an open, flexible, global platform that supports multiple programming languages, tools, and frameworks including: Linux, Python, Java, Hadoop, and the Microsoft .NET Framework. It offers easy-to-use capabilities for using Hadoop and Spark (HDInsight), Azure Machine Learning (supporting your own Python and R code, as well as Jupyter notebooks), IoT Hub, and stream analytics platforms. We are especially interested in research proposals that utilize multiple Azure services (ie. Web Apps, Mobile Apps, Data Analytics, Cortana Analytics Services, HPC, etc) as part of their investigation or solution.

Submit your proposal

Proposals are considered every two months in a calendar year, in even-numbered months (February, April, June, August, October, and December).

Azure Machine Learning Award

We offer special awards and support for researchers to use Microsoft Azure Machine Learning to make it easier to build, test, and deploy machine learning for research projects. Microsoft Azure Machine Learning is an open platform that allows researchers to use Python and R code without needing to be a machine learning expert. It also includes state-of-the-art algorithms from Microsoft that researchers can use out of the box. Once a trained model is in place, researchers can immediately deploy this as a web API to use from other applications.

Data Science Award

Microsoft Research is excited to offer researchers the opportunity to apply for cloud computing resources to support their data intensive research projects. We recognize that the current landscape of cloud-based research makes heavy use of data that can take advantage of Azure services and tools to efficiently drive insights from data. Specifically, we seek proposals for projects that use, but are not limited to, Azure Analytics services such as Machine Learning, Stream Analytics, Data factory, Event hubs, Notification hubs, and HDInsight based services. Projects can be in any research discipline, as long as they clearly articulate the data that the proposed research relies on, and the Azure-based analytics services that will be used. 

Special calls for proposals

In addition to these standing, bi-monthly requests for proposals, we will periodically announce additional special-opportunity requests for proposals (RFPs) on specific cloud-based research topics. These topics will include community research data services, streaming instrument data to the cloud, machine learning in the cloud, large-scale image analysis, environmental science, astronomy, genomics, and urban science. These calls will be announced in our blog postings and described here.

Ebola Research Award
This RFP is closed

According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2014 Ebola epidemic is now affecting multiple countries in West Africa. One imported case from Liberia and associated locally acquired cases in healthcare workers have been reported in the United States (see Ebola Crisis). The President of the United States has stated that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and the humanitarian crisis there is a top national security priority for the United States (see Fact Sheet: U.S. Response to Ebola).

Microsoft Research is soliciting cloud computing proposals for projects that are working towards developing a better understanding of the spread and cure of the Ebola virus and its associated factors. Qualifying proposals will be awarded allocations of Microsoft Azure compute and storage resources.

Climate Data Initiative

  • Climate Data Award
    The special Climate Data Award program provides scientists and decision-makers with access to Microsoft Azure cloud computing resources to support the White House Climate Data Initiative’s goals of preparedness for resilience to climate change impacts.

    This project is in response to the White House Climate Action Plan. This plan is an outcome of the June 25, 2013, announcement by President Obama of his comprehensive plans to reduce carbon pollution and move our economy toward American-made clean energy and slowing the effects of climate change

  • Innovation Challenge for Food Resilience
    This RFP is closed
    Read our blog posting about the award winners for this challenge.

    Sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Microsoft, the Innovation Challenge for Food Resilience invites the public and private sectors to address questions pertinent to the impact of climate change on the US food supply. The Innovation Challenge invites entrants to develop and publish new applications and tools that can analyze multiple sources of information about the nation’s food supply, including key USDA datasets that are now hosted on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-computing platform.

    In addition, through the Microsoft Azure for Research program, Microsoft is granting hours of cloud computing time and terabytes of cloud storage to be used to aid university researchers and students who wish to take part in the challenge.