Microsoft Azure for Research - Cloud Computing Resource International Grants 2017

Publish Date: Aug 09, 2016

Deadline: Dec 15, 2016

About the program 

Cloud computing lets you spend more time on your research, providing all the computing you need, exactly when you need it

Whether it’s a computer with more memory, a cluster with thousands of cores, a big data platform, an internet of things solution, or open-source machine learning at scale, you can achieve more using the cloud. Microsoft Azure for Research awards offer large allocations of cloud computing for your research project, and already supports hundreds of researchers worldwide across all domains.

Apply online (See in the "Further official information" link below this announcement.)

Special request for proposals: Internet of Things

The Azure for Research program is offering cloud computing resource grants to researchers and scientists who continue to explore emerging challenges, basic research, and new applications related to the ubiquitous devices and networking that comprise the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Azure for me was perfect. I could scale my compute capability with my current computational needs. What is also great is that as we didn’t have to outlay any capital investment in a particular architecture I could also change up the physical makeup of my cluster as required. I can set up a whole new cluster with just a few lines of script code. You are of course also admin on your cluster which gave me ultimate flexibility to instantly install and update whatever tools and software I needed, or just wanted to test out.”
—Simon O’Hanlon, Imperial College London


Microsoft Azure can help you do your research better, bigger, and faster. Our awards program provides access to significant amounts of cloud computing resources for a year, so you can easily experiment and scale up your project quickly to achieve more. Submitting a short proposal is easy, and you will receive a decision within four weeks. This is an ongoing program, with proposals evaluated every two months.

General requests for proposals

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.

Special requests for proposals

In addition to our general requests for proposals, we are also interested in proposals with a focus in the following areas:

  • Internet of Things
  • Public Health
  • Data Science
  • Climate Data Initiative

Submit your proposal

We welcome applications from Faculty, researchers, and graduate students affiliated with an academic institution or non-profit research laboratory.

Step 1: Ensure that your proposal meets the following requirements:

  • Length: Does not exceed three pages in length
  • Language: Must be written in English
  • Include: The research problem you are working on and why it is important.
    How you will use Microsoft Azure and resource requirement estimates (e.g., number of core, storage requirements) for your project
  • Title: Proposal titles must begin with the corresponding key phrase for identification purposes
    “Internet of Things”
    “Public Health”
    “Data Science”

Step 2: Go to the online submission tool.

Step 3: Submit by the deadline. Proposals are considered in even-numbered months (February, April, June, August, October, and December).

Award program eligibility

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 projects that exemplify valued data to a collaboration or community.

Access Azure resources

In addition to the research awards, there are several other ways to access free Microsoft Azure resources. These include a free 30-day trial available on the Microsoft Azure portal. Students can get free access to Azure through our Dreamspark program.

Contact us

If you have any questions about our program, please contact

If you are using Microsoft Azure for a cloud-based research project and would like to share your story, we would love to tell the world.  So please let us know if you’re presenting at a conference, publishing a paper, or want to let the community know what great work you are doing. 


Azure for Research hands-on labs

The hands-on labs are intended to familiarize researchers and data scientists with the services Azure offers to aid them in their research, especially with regard to high-performance computing, big-data analysis, and analyzing data streaming from Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.

Hands-on Labs

Our hands-on labs are detailed walk-throughs, and you can download the material and work through it yourself. The labs are available under an open license. Feel free to re-use this material for your own courses, and please let us know if you are using it.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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