Helping researchers and research communities use the Windows Azure cloud to advance discovery
The Windows Azure for Research project facilitates and accelerates scholarly and scientific research by enabling researchers to use the power of Windows Azure to perform big data computations in the cloud.
Windows Azure for Research Award Program
Microsoft Research is soliciting proposals for the use of Windows Azure in research. We welcome research proposals from any branch of scholarly activity. To qualify, 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. Winning proposals will be awarded large allocations of Windows Azure storage and compute resources for a period of one year.
We will periodically announce additional special-opportunity RFPs on specific cloud 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.
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.
Proposals will be evaluated and awards announced six times a year. The first deadline for proposals was October 15, 2013, and results have been announced. The next deadline is December 15, 2013, and on the fifteenth of every other month after that.
- Learn more and apply for a research award on the proposal submission site.
- For additional information consult our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or send email to email@example.com.
In addition to the research awards, there are several other ways to access free Windows Azure resources. These include the 90-day free trial that is available on the Windows Azure Portal and the MSDN subscription. You may also be interested in using Windows Azure in your classes.
Windows Azure for Research training
Microsoft Research offers cloud training classes at various times worldwide to inform researchers how Windows Azure can accelerate your research.
- Learn more and view the current training schedule on the training information page.
Windows Azure in action
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. Read more...
Eco-testing a building before it is even built
New civil engineering tools that take advantage of the power of cloud computing on Windows 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 Windows 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 Windows 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… |
Supercomputing on demand with Windows Azure
Learn how Windows 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...
New tools for science on Windows Azure
|The Cloud for Science Project begins with genomics|
The Cloud for Science project, launched in July of 2012, explores prototypes for community supported data collections and services. The initial projects focus on genomics and social sciences. Microsoft Research Connections and the Microsoft European Advanced Technology Lab are collaborating with the research teams of Professor Paul Watson at the University of Newcastle and Professor Ignacio Blanquer from the University Politécnica Valencia to build genomic data collections and top community research analysis tools hosted on Windows Azure. The project results will be available as services in the Windows Azure Marketplace.
|IPython Notebook on Windows Azure|
As part of an effort to support the scientific community, the Windows Azure team supports the interactive IPython Notebook on Windows Azure.
About the Cloud Research Engagement Project 2010–2013
Basic research in most academic disciplines is undergoing a fundamental shift from the three traditional paradigms of theory, experiment, and computation to a new fourth paradigm of data-driven discovery. Few researchers have access and the required knowledge to use and operate the high-end computer and data resources they need to handle massive data analysis challenges; as a result, the majority of scholars must scale back their work to the capabilities of their desktop.
The Microsoft Cloud Research Engagement Project began in 2010 with a vision for how science was changing and the role that cloud computing would play. The project began with two basic questions.
- What scientific applications work well in the Windows Azure cloud?
- Can the science funding agencies view cloud computing as an alternative to purchasing and maintaining research computing clusters?
We approached these questions by building partnerships with interested research funding agencies including the US National Science Foundation, the European Commission Framework 7 program, the Japan the National Informatics Institute, the Taiwan National Science Council, the Chinese Academy of Science, and various national labs in Europe and Australia. More than 90 grants have been awarded in this program.
The Microsoft Research Cloud Research Engagement team supports researchers in the field who use Windows Azure to facilitate the storage and analysis of today’s ever-growing data stores. Our activities include:
- Hosting reference data sets in Windows Azure, selected based on research value and interest
- Providing common services and tools in Windows Azure as coherent solution accelerators for researchers to use to carry out their research projects
- Tony Hey, Dennis Gannon, and Jim Pinkelman, The Future of Data-Intensive Science, in IEEE Computer, vol. 45, no. 5, pp. 81-82, IEEE Computer Society, 2012
- Daniel Reed, Dennis Gannon, and James Larus, Imagining the Future: Thoughts on Computing, in IEEE Computer, vol. 45, no. 1, IEEE Computer Society, January 2012
- Roger Barga, Dennis Gannon, and Daniel Reed, The Client and the Cloud: Democratizing Research Computing, in IEEE Internet Computing, IEEE Computer Society, 2011
- Jaliya Ekanayake, Jared Jackson, Wei Lu, Roger Barga, and Atilla Soner Balkir, A Scalable Communication Runtime for Clouds, in Proceedings IEEE Cloud 2011, The 4th International Conference on Cloud Computing, IEEE Computer Society, 4 July 2011
- Ankur Dave, Roger Barga, Wei Lu, and Jared Jackson, CloudClustering: Toward an iterative data processing pattern on the cloud, in Proceedings of IEEE DataCloud 2011, IEEE, 16 June 2011
- Roger Barga, Bill Howe, David Beck, Stuart Bowers, William Dobyns, Winston Haynes, Roger Higdon, Chris Howard, Christian Roth, Elizabeth Stewart, Dean Welch, and Eugene Kolker, Bioinformatics and Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery in the Beginning of the 21st Century, in OMICS A Journal of Integrative Biology, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., 2011
- Keith Crochow, Bill Howe, Mark Stoermer, Roger Barga, and Ed Lazowska, Client + Cloud: Evaluating Seamless Architectures for Visual Data Analytics in the Ocean Sciences, in Proceedings of 22nd international conference on scientific and statistical database management., Springer Verlag, 28 June 2010
- Eran Chinthaka Withana, Beth Plale, Roger Barga, and Nelson Araujo, Versioning for Workflow Evolution, in Proceedings of The Third International Workshop on Data Intensive Distributed Computing, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., 21 June 2010
- Wei Lu, Jared Jackson, and Roger Barga, AzureBlast: A Case Study of Developing Science Applications on the Cloud, in Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Scientific Cloud Computing (Science Cloud 2010), Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., 21 June 2010
Free webinar series
- Virtual Machines for Research on Windows Azure
4 December 2013
- Environmental Science on the Cloud with Windows Azure
17 December 2013
Events and workshops
- 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
Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org