Helping researchers use the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform to advance discovery
The Microsoft Azure for Research project facilitates and accelerates scholarly and scientific research by enabling researchers to use the power of Microsoft Azure to perform big data computations in the cloud.
Microsoft Azure for Research Award program
Microsoft Research is soliciting proposals for the use of Microsoft Azure in research. We welcome research proposals from any branch of scholarly activity. We review these proposals on the fifteenth of even-numbered months (April, June, August, and so forth). The response so far has been outstanding, as a review of current grantees and their projects attests.
In addition to these standing, bi-monthly requests for proposals, we will periodically announce additional special-opportunity 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.
Science VMs for Research
Our first special call requests proposals to build virtual machine (VM) images that can be shared with communities of users. While it is standard practice for scientific communities to share important open-source, domain-specific software tools, using these tools often involves complex installation procedures or the resolution of library conflicts. Cloud computing obviates such impediments by enabling communities to share a complete operating system image, pre-installed with all the tools needed by specialized groups of users. Thus, a newcomer to the group can install the image in the cloud and be doing productive work very quickly. Moreover, the community can keep the cloud-based VM image updated with the latest version of the software. These images will be hosted on Microsoft Opentech’s VMDepot so that they can be deployed and used by anyone with a Microsoft Azure account. Microsoft Research will provide free Microsoft Azure resources to support the development and testing of the VMs. The due date for proposals for this special call is April 15, 2014.
Climate Data Initiative
Our second special call requests proposals from scientists and decision-makers for solutions that support the White House Climate Data Initiative’s goals of preparedness for and resilience to climate change impacts. Twelve months of free Microsoft Azure cloud-computing resources—including up to 180,000 hours of cloud-computing time and 20 terabytes of cloud storage—will go to 40 awardees selected from proposals submitted by the due date of June 15, 2014.
To qualify for our awards program, applicants must be affiliated with an academic institution or non-profit research laboratory. In addition to individual investigator projects, we are interested in projects that will support access to services and data of value to a collaboration or community.
Your proposal should not exceed three pages in length. It should include resource requirement estimates (number of core, storage requirements, and so forth) for your project.
- Learn more and apply for a research award on the proposal submission site.
- Proposal titles for the special award program must begin with a key phrase for identification purposes.
- For Science VMS for Research (proposals due April 15, 2014), the phrase is “Science VM”.
- For the Climate Data Initiative (proposals due June 15, 2014), the phrase is “CDI”.
- For additional information, consult our Frequently Asked Questions or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bi-monthly request for proposals: April 15, 2014
Science VMs for Research: April 15, 2014
Climate Data Initiative: June 15, 2014
Results have been announced for the first two rounds of proposals ending on October 15, 2013, and December 15, 2013. Winning proposals will be awarded large allocations of Microsoft Azure storage and compute resources for a period of one year.
Access Microsoft Azure resources
In addition to the research awards, there are several other ways to access free Microsoft Azure resources. These include the 90-day free trial that is available on the Microsoft Azure Portal and the MSDN subscription. You may also be interested in using Microsoft Azure in your classes.
Microsoft Azure for Research training
Microsoft Research offers cloud training classes at various times worldwide to inform researchers how Microsoft Azure can accelerate your research.
- Learn more and view the current training schedule on the training information page.
Microsoft Azure in action
Eco-testing a building before it is even built
New civil engineering tools that take advantage of the power of cloud computing on Microsoft Azure have the potential to reduce the time and cost of energy-efficient building by allowing in-depth simulations of a building’s performance during the design phase. Read more…
Cloud computing unlocks drug discovery
Toxicity prediction presents a great challenge to scientists developing new drugs; the massive data analysis requirements require a costly computer infrastructure. But with Microsoft Azure, scientists can analyze big data affordably and quickly—in the cloud. Read more…
Fighting wildfires with data
|The University of the Aegean in Greece developed a new application—featuring Bing Maps, Microsoft Silverlight, and Microsoft Azure—to determine the daily wildfire risk in Lesvos during its dry season. With the help of a daily visualization of the environmental factors, the island’s fire management team uses the app to determine resource allocation for the day. Read more… |
A new tool for teaching climate change in the cloud
A professor explores the history of climate change in depth in his graduate-level Earth System Science class. To help students visualize events through the ages, he is using ChronoZoom, an open-source community project dedicated to visualizing the history of everything. ChronoZoom stores and processes data in the cloud (through Microsoft Azure). Read more...
Supercomputing on demand with Microsoft Azure
Learn how Microsoft Azure can simplify the management of large-scale computations and how, together with FaST-LMM—an algorithm developed by Microsoft Research—it drastically reduced processing times to find new associations between genomes and diseases. Read more...
|Excel for Research—Power BI and the Cloud – Webinar
|Environmental Science on the Cloud with Microsoft Azure – Webinar
|Virtual Machines for Research on Microsoft Azure - Webinar
|Accelerating Your Research with Microsoft Azure – Webinar
|Building an historical view of climate change in the cloud with ChronoZoom|
|Fire App Fights Wildfires with Data|
|FaST-LMM and Windows Azure Put Genetics Research on Faster Track|
Events and workshops
- Building cloud virtual machines for research
- Latest recipients of Windows Azure for Research Awards announced
- ChronoZoom offers new tools for history teachers
- Scale out your research with virtual machines: Windows Azure webinar
- A new tool for teaching climate change in the cloud
- Bringing the cloud to researchers around the world and online
- Windows Azure for Research gets sociable
- Windows Azure for Research Award winners
- eScience and Cloud Computing in Beijing
- Windows Azure for Research at UNICAMP
- New cloud computing training for researchers worldwide
- Windows Azure for Research
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