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 up to 16 projects will be 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.       

Microsoft scholarships consist of an annual bursary up to a maximum of three years for PhD supervisors and students to do collaborative research projects with Microsoft Research Cambridge.

Offered Annually? Yes

Eligible Countries: Countries in Europe Africa Middle East

Type: PhD, Research

Eligibility Criteria: 

Applications must not be made by students but by PhD supervisors, who must have been in dialogue with the prospective Microsoft supervisor and jointly collaborated on the proposal prior to the submission deadline. If their project is selected, the supervisor has until 31 March 2019 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 .
  2. The applicant must be in dialogue with the prospective Microsoft supervisor prior to the submission deadline and jointly drafting the proposal.
  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, Microsoft is 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

Number of Awards: Not specified

Value of Award: The monetary value of the award varies by country to reflect local differences in costs and overheads. Payment is made directly to the institution. The amount of the scholarship is the maximum amount Microsoft Research pays to the institution. In addition, every Scholar receives a fixed hardware allowance and conference allowance.

Duration of Program: Maximum of 3 years


  • Notification of results: Stage 1 ~ By the end of October 2017

Stage 2 ~ By the end of January 2018

  • PhD Agreements sent to Institutes by: 16th February 2018
  • Signed PhD Agreements returned to MSR via Docusign by: 30th June 2018
  • PhD students to be appointed by: 31st March 2019

Method of Application: 

Please submit your application via this link

Visit the Program Webpage for Details

Scholarship Application Deadline: 12th October 2017

Award Providers: Microsoft

Important Notes: 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.