Facebook Fellowship Program Includes $42,000 Annual Stipend to Doctoral Students
Applications for this year’s Facebook Fellowship Program is now open.

The Facebook Fellowship Program aids promising doctoral students by providing two years of paid tuition fees, a $42,000 annual stipend, and a paid visit to Facebook headquarters.

In a quest to support promising PhD students, the program provides opportunities for conducting research in areas related to computer science and engineering. The fellowship also enables its participants to engage with Facebook researchers.

Application deadline: September 20, 2021, at 11:59 pm EST

Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash

Facebook Fellowship Program Details

The Facebook Fellowship Program is originally designed to encourage and support promising doctoral students who are engaged in innovative and relevant research in areas related to computer science and engineering at an accredited university.

Furthermore, the fellowship encourages people of diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply, especially those from traditionally underrepresented minority groups.

The Facebook Fellowship award include the following benefits:

  • Tuition and fees paid for up to four semesters
  • A $42,000 annual stipend to cover living and conference travel costs
  • A paid visit to the Facebook headquarters for the annual Fellowship Summit
  • Various opportunities to engage with Facebook researchers

Available Fellowships

AI System HW SW Co-Design

Applications from students doing research and developing high-performance software and hardware technologies for AI at the data center scale are welcome to apply. The program is particularly interested in work at the intersection of algorithms (including model compression & numerical optimization), benchmarking (including perf models, profiling, and debugging tools for accelerators & cluster architectures) as well as distributed systems (including distributed inference and training). Special attention will be given to the development of software stacks and frameworks addressing software and hardware co-design of quantized distributed inference and low precision distributed training.

Applied Statistics

Facebook would like to support students who are working on novel techniques in statistical modeling and inference. Areas of research include but are not limited to inference in high dimensions, causal inference, graphical models, multi-armed bandits, optimization, regression and classification, clustering and segmentation, graph partitioning, entity linkage, and data privacy. In addition, the fellowship is interested in research related to model auditing and safety, including label sanity and certainty, auditing model performance across segments, and detection and mitigation of unintended outcomes. Applications of interest include but are not limited to user modeling, detecting abuse and violations, experimentation, surveys, measurement of harms using models, and efficient sampling techniques.

AR/VR Computer Graphics

The Facebook Fellowship program would like to support doctoral students who are working on advancing state-of-the-art computer graphics and efficient real-time rendering for augmented and virtual reality. Topics of interest include but are not limited to ray tracing and ray casting hardware, physically-based shading, Split/distributed rendering, image and video compression, differentiable rendering, graphics applications of machine learning methods, geometry processing, and compression, perceptual rendering, high-quality avatars, global illumination, scene prefiltering, and rendering complexity reduction.

AR/VR Future Technologies

Facebook would like to support students whose research sits at the intersection of future technologies (augmented reality, virtual reality, video presence, etc.) and the role of those technologies in people’s daily life. This includes but is not limited to research on the integration of emerging technologies in individual wellness, the workplace, and social interactions more broadly. Successful applicants can come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, but the company is especially interested in seeing applications from those with backgrounds in the social sciences, HCI, communication, or public health.

AR/VR Human Computer Interaction

The fellowship program would like to support doctoral students in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) who have established research programs in intelligent user interfaces, adaptive interfaces, ubiquitous computing, sensing, haptics, input, and interaction design. Of particular interest (but not exclusively) are students who have applied their research towards solving challenging HCI problems in the domain of AR/VR.

AR/VR Human Understanding

The organization would like to support students in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) who have established research programs in intelligent user interfaces, adaptive interfaces, ubiquitous computing, sensing, haptics, input, and interaction design. Of particular interest (but not exclusively) are students who have applied their research towards solving challenging HCI problems in the domain of AR/VR.

AR/VR Perception, Cognition, and Action   

The program is looking for students who work to build a generalizable understanding of human behavior. Topics of interest include but are not limited to perception and psychophysics, motor control and learning, and attention and cognitive control. The program’s primary application of interest is AR /VR interaction, but we are particularly interested in supporting students whose work creates generalizable basic knowledge (e.g. models, generalized experimental results, or theoretical frameworks) that can be applied to their domains of interest rather than work that is specific to particular devices or interfaces.

AR/VR Photonics and Optics

Facebook is looking for students that are excited about developing technology in Photonics and Optics that can be applied to VR and AR visual systems. Topics of interest include functional planar optical elements, highly efficient light sources, optical and photonic imaging devices, unique optical materials and structures.

Audio Presence

The fellowship is seeking students who are working on technologies related to sound capture systems and virtual auditory displays, with applications towards next-generation telecommunications systems. Areas of research include but are not limited to microphone array processing, speech enhancement, and noise reduction, spatial signal encoding and compression, acoustic propagation simulation, HRTF personalization, and equalization. In addition, they are interested in research related to perceptual evaluation and optimization, and user experience research. Our goal is to enable natural communication and interaction with realistic acoustic perception in virtual contexts.

Augmented Reality Audio

Students working in speech and audio processing for human-human communication in challenging situations are the best fit for this position. Topics of interest include but are not limited to the perception of sounds by humans, speech enhancement, auditory scene analysis, acoustic event detection, audio-visual modeling, and sentiment analysis.

Blockchain and Cryptoeconomics

Facebook would like to support students working on novel techniques for building decentralized databases of programmable resources. Topics of interest include all areas related to high assurance, scalability, and security of the technology, in particular blockchain, smart contracts, financial technologies and payments, transactions, distributed systems, concurrency, and formal methods.

Computational Social Science

The fellowship program would like to support PhD students who are advancing research in the social sciences with computational approaches. Topics of interest include but are not limited to theoretic and practical models and analysis of online communities and interactions, diffusion of information and misinformation, causal inference in networks, dynamics of norms, trust and social capital, civic participation and empowerment, social processes after natural disasters and crises, social media- and other-based datasets for good, and equity in online spaces.

Database Systems

The company welcomes applications from students working on novel approaches to data systems architecture and usage, including, but not limited to, improving the efficiency and reliability of large scale data processing systems, improving the interaction between database software and the underlying hardware, exploring novel techniques around query processing and data indexing, formatting, partitioning, and movement, transaction processing, replication, as well as novel approaches to privacy and security in data management.

Distributed Systems

This program is a great fit for doctoral students working on a broad set of topics related to all kinds of distributed systems, including but not limited to fault tolerance, reliability, system management, scale, performance, efficiency, and security.

Economics and Computation

Students who are passionate about applied or theoretical work in the areas of game theory, optimization, operations management, and econometrics are welcome to apply for the opportunity. Example research topics of particular relevance include ad auction design, mechanism design for social good, applications of combinatorial and convex optimization at large scale, and the intersection of econometrics and machine learning, but Facebook encourages and welcomes applications from researchers doing work on other topics in the disciplines above.


The fellowship is looking for students who are active in the research and development of scalable, performant, reliable, efficient, and secure wired network infrastructure across data centers, the wide-area (IP and optical), and Internet peering. The networking technologies span the entire networking stack (L1-L7); range from chip/interface/system hardware design to distributed systems for control, data, and management planes; and cover the whole network lifecycle, from planning/design/analytics to provisioning/deployment/migration, to monitoring/troubleshooting/visualization. This also includes applications of related disciplines such as machine learning, optimization, and algorithmic theory, and formal verification to the networking domain.

Privacy and Data Use

Doctoral students who are working on understanding privacy and data use, specifically how to make data more transparent to users and give people more control of their data, are perfect for this program. The scope includes, but is not limited to, research on transparency in online behavioral advertising.

Programming Languages

Applications are welcome from students who are interested in the design and implementation of programming languages and related tools. Topics of interest include but are not limited to program synthesis, type systems, static analysis, optimizing compilation, runtimes, formal specification and verification, and high-level support for features such as concurrency, data privacy, control of side effects, and probabilistic and differentiable programming.

Security and Privacy

The Facebook Fellowship program is seeking students with established proficiency in the field and a passion for solving complex security challenges. Topics of interest include but are not limited to: systems, software, and network security; privacy; cryptography; malware; abuse detection and mitigation; authentication and authorization.

Eligibility of Doctoral Students

In order to secure a spot in the highly-esteemed Facebook Fellowship Program, interested parties must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must be full-time PhD students who are enrolled in an accredited university (in any country) by the start of the Fellowship (i.e., Fall 2021).
  • Students must be involved in ongoing research related to one or more relevant disciplines (see available fellowships above).
  • Students must remain enrolled full-time for the duration of the Fellowship to receive program benefits.
  • Students should not apply for Facebook Fellowships if they are actively being funded by Facebook through some other sponsorship or collaboration and/or if they are actively being supervised (or co-supervised) by a Facebook researcher. If in doubt, please email [email protected].

How to Apply for the Facebook Fellowship Program

All other pertinent information regarding the Facebook Fellowship Program could be found in the official flyer. You may also visit the official fellowship webpage to learn more about the specific fellowship program of your interest.

Please make sure to read through the instructions and eligibility criteria first before applying. Once you have made sure that you are qualified to apply, you may proceed to apply online.

Applications must include the following:

  • 500-word research summary that clearly identifies the area of focus, importance to the field, and applicability to Facebook of the anticipated research during the award.
  • Two letters of recommendation, including one from an academic advisor. You will be asked to provide your references’ contact information, and they will receive a corresponding form to submit their letters.

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