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Collaborative Research (CORE) Program

Collaborative Research Program Invitation for ProposalsMicrosoft Research sponsors collaborative research (CORE) projects in Japan for local researchers to advance the state of the art in research, inspire technological innovation, and to establish Microsoft as a valuable research and technology partner for higher education. 

CORE proposal submission process

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The following are eligible to apply for this award:

  • Faculty or researchers from a Japanese University that awards degrees at the baccalaureate level or above by MEXT
  • PhD holders in related research areas who are currently working at a university or institute in Japan
  • Applicants who did not receive the CORE 11 award


  • An applicant may not submit more than one application.
  • Recipients of the CORE 11 award are not eligible for this award.

Proposal category

We accept two types of research proposals: collaborative research and blue-sky research.

  • Collaborative research: You can propose any research topics related to current Microsoft research areas. You are required to nominate one or two researchers in Microsoft Research as a collaborator on your project.
  • Blue-sky research: We welcome interdisciplinary research projects that combine computer science with other research areas, such as data-intensive scientific discovery, e-heritage, and urban computing. You may propose any research topic and are not required to nominate a Microsoft researcher as your collaborator but you are required to use Microsoft technologies. In particular, we are interested in proposals that use Microsoft Azure as your research platform, as well as research tools and datasets from Microsoft Research.

Research topics

The proposed research should relate to current Microsoft research areas listed on the following pages:

Microsoft researcher

In your proposal, state the Microsoft Research researcher with whom you propose to collaborate, as well as how the collaboration will occur (for example, meeting, workshop, short stay at the Microsoft Research Asia lab, or dispatch of interns).

Research grant 

The grant will be awarded as funding to the university or institute on behalf of the awardee for their selected research project. Unless otherwise arranged for outcomes, a memorandum of understanding clearly stating the following four points will apply. Please specify in the proposal a special arrangement for outcomes, if any. The receiving party of the funding must agree to the following requirements:

  • The award shall be used solely to support basic research in the areas of research defined under Research topics.
  • As soon as they are generated, all results derived from the research must be placed in the public domain, freely and without restrictions, and accordingly the university shall waive all proprietary right, title, and interest in and to such results.
  • This grant must be acknowledged in all publications, press releases, and other publicity that is connected with the research program detailed above.
  • The results must be presented to the IJARC Academic Advisory Committee and Microsoft Research at an annual CORE project review meeting, which tentatively takes place in 2017 at a date to be announced. The selected winners are also highly encouraged to attend the CORE review meeting of the prior year's projects, which will be held from May to June 2016.

Duration and size of project

  • Duration/starting date: Basically one year from April 1, 2016
    • Two-year project proposals are considered.
  • Funding amount:
    • Up to JPY 2,500,000 per project
    • Up to JPY 5,000,000 for two-year project proposals
  • Number of awards: Based on the quality of the proposals, approximately six to eight projects will be selected.

Proposal format

Proposals should be written in English with full details of the project. The proposal should be seven pages maximum, typed in 10 pt. font or larger, double-spaced, and in either Microsoft Word or PDF format. Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be automatically excluded from consideration.

Provide the following information about your proposed research:

  • Problem statement: What is the problem area addressed by the proposal and why is it important? What is the potential contribution to the field of the project if successful?
  • Expected outcomes: What tangible assets, if any, will be created or produced as a result of the proposed project?
  • Research schedule: When is the project to be completed? What milestones will be used to measure progress of the project and when will they be completed?
  • Collaboration plan: If any collaborative opportunity with Microsoft Research Asia researchers is desired, clearly state specific collaboration methods (for example, meeting, workshop, or short stay in lab). We highlighy encourage you to work with an intern during your project period. Internships are supported separately; you don't have to allocate your budget to your intern.
  • Budget planning: Provide a budget breakdown that describes how the award will be used, including hardware or software purchases, salaries, sponsoring conference, and other costs.
  • Use of Microsoft technologies: Describe the Microsoft tools and technologies (if any) to be used in this project. While the use of Microsoft technologies is not a condition of this invitation for proposals, any proposal relying exclusively on non-Microsoft technologies should provide a justification for why this must be the case. Particularly, we encourage the use of Microsoft Azure for the deployment of server applications. Use the Microsoft Azure pricing calculator to estimate the resources you need, and account for your results in your budget breakdown.
  • Related research: Provide a brief summary of the current state of the art in this field, including references, where appropriate.
  • Qualifications of principal investigator: Include a brief description of any relevant prior research, teaching, publication, or other professional experience. A detailed vita or list of publications is not required.

Submission of proposal

Submit your proposal and supply requested information through our online application tool by the application deadline of 15:00 (3:00 P.M.) Japan Standard Time, September 24, 2015.

Selection of awardees

  • First selection: The selection will be made by the Academic Advisory Committee and Microsoft Research. Results will be provided by email. The selected researchers are expected to attend the second selection interview as follows.
  • Second selection: Interviews will be held in a meeting room at the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel on November 17, 2015. The interview consists of a seven-minute PowerPoint presentation and eight minutes of questions and answers. The IJARC Academic Advisory Committee and Microsoft Research will interview the applicants and determine the finalists. The official announcement will be made in January 2016.

Personal information

Please read "Handling of personal information" in the online application tool.

Application deadline

The submission deadline is Thursday, September 24, 2015, 15:00 (3:00 P.M.) Japan Standard Time.


CORE proposal submissions


Workshops and conferences