Meta Research

The Meta Research PhD Fellowship program is open to students in any year of their PhD study. We encourage people of diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply, especially those from traditionally under-represented minority groups. Applications are evaluated based on the strength of the student’s research statement, research impact, and recommendation letters.

Winners of the Fellowship will receive two years of paid tuition and fees, a $42,000 annual stipend to cover living and conference travel costs, a paid visit to Meta headquarters for the annual Fellowship Summit (pending COVID office restrictions event may be virtually held), and various opportunities to engage with Meta researchers.

Before you fill out an application, please review the applicable research area fellowship descriptions. We will only be awarding Fellowships in these specific areas. If your research does not directly align with any of these descriptions, we invite you to check back next award cycle for future research alignment.

Please also be sure to review the Meta Fellowship FAQ before submitting your application. 


  1. Please read and fill out the application form carefully and thoroughly. 
  2. Please select the appropriate and relevant research area fellowship that is most aligned to your research. 
  3. Once you have finished filling out the application please 'mark as complete.' 
  4. Request two letters of recommendation. One of these letters should be from your advisor. Once you submit both of your recommender's email addresses in the recommendation request form, 'mark as complete'
  5. Click 'Submit' on your application once all tasks are marked as complete. 


  1. Once you input your recommender's email address, the system will trigger an email to their inbox directly. You will be informed when they have submitted your letter.
  2. You will receive a confirmation email when your application has been submitted.
  3. You will receive two an additional confirmation emails when each of your references have submitted your letters of recommendation.   
  4. You will receive a final email notification once your entire application including letters of recommendation has been submitted.
  5. Applicants will be notified of award decisions in late January. 

Note: If you do not receive two letters of recommendation by October 6th, your application will not move forward to be reviewed.




Application Opens 

August 3rd

Application Closes 

September 20th 

Reference Letters Due 

October 6th 

Review Process Opens

October 11th 

Winners notified

January 18th

Blog Announcement of Winners 

Week of Jan 31st

Applicable Research Areas 

AR/VR Battery Research - We are interested in students working on novel battery geometries and cell architectures such as flexible and stretchable batteries. We are also interested in supporting diagnostic methods for analyzing battery degradation such as plating, internal shorts, and for detecting manufacturing defects. Manufacturing-related topics for consumer electronics batteries, like pre-lithiation methods for silicon anodes, are relevant. Battery management systems, including but not limited to protection, gauging, charging for small capacity batteries, are also areas of interest. Other areas of interest include algorithms to improve battery performance and minimize battery degradation and fundamental work on understanding limits of Li-metal batteries, solid-state batteries, and silicon anodes. Proposals for topics not listed here, but pertaining to batteries and battery technologies with a focus on consumer electronics, are also welcome.

AR/VR Wireless - We would like to support students working in innovative Antenna, RF and Wireless Communication technologies for the future AR/VR. Topics of interest include but are not limited to Transparent Antennas, Small antennas, Millimeter-wave Antennas, Metamaterials and Metasurfaces, Millimeter-Wave Integrated Circuits and Systems, RF Coexistence, Wireless Energy, Wireless Sensing, MIMO, 5G and Beyond, Wireless Architecture, Wireless Standards and Policy. Students who are self motivated with strong research and publication records are recommended to apply. 

Technology Policy Research - We would like to support PhD students working in the area of technology policy research. We welcome applicants who think critically about the theory and practice of policies that shape the long term impact of technology on society. In particular, we encourage applications that seek to identify and explicate the ways that governments, technology developers, and the academy can contribute to the creation and advancement of technologies in the interest of democracy.  In addition, research into the principles, norms, institutions, regulations underpinning an open Internet is also encouraged.  Examples include privacy enhancing technologies, studies of the impact of technology on particular segments of society, or even the role of standards-setting bodies.  This is an interdisciplinary field and we welcome candidates from disciplines that include but are not limited to the social sciences, science and technology studies, history and the humanities.

Human Computer Interaction - Social Media, People, & Society - We would like to support PhD students in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), social computing, social sciences or related fields who have established research programs in understanding the impact of social media on people and society, focused on key social or informational outcomes. Topics of interest include but are not limited to well-being, fairness and equity, civic engagement,  and health. Methods may cover qualitative (e.g., ethnographic, interview, etc.) or quantitative (e.g., survey, experiments, computational, etc.) approaches. A focus on populations outside of Western markets or with vulnerable/marginalized groups is encouraged.

AR/VR Human Computer Interaction - We would like to support PhD 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. Through this fellowship, we are hoping to support and grow diverse talent amongst top HCI PhD candidates.

AR/VR Human Understanding - We would like to support students who are working on advancing the state-of-the-art in human understanding for AR/VR. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, tracking and modelling humans and objects, action and gesture recognition, non-rigid fusion and reconstruction (e.g. NeRF), image synthesis (e.g. GAN), segmentation, differentiable rendering, novel text input techniques, novel sensors / sensor fusion (e.g. EMG, accelerometer, ...) and efficient ML techniques to run these methods on AR/VR devices.

AI System HW SW Co-Design - We welcome applications from students doing research and developing high-performance software and hardware technologies for AI at datacenter scale. We are 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 development of software stacks and frameworks addressing software and hardware co-design of quantized distributed inference and low precision distributed training.

AR/VR Computer Graphics - We would like to support students who are working on advancing the state-of-the-art in 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, neural rendering, neural-based 3D asset, split/distributed rendering, image and video compression, geometry processing and compression, differentiable/inverse rendering, perceptual rendering, high quality avatars, global illumination, scene prefiltering, and rendering complexity reduction.

Database Systems - We welcome 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 - We would like to support 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.

Privacy and Data Practices - We would like to support students who are working to understand people's digital privacy experiences across social media and messaging (e.g., privacy concerns, privacy needs, privacy feature use). The ultimate impact of these research topics should be aimed at improving people's privacy experiences through improved data practices, transparency, privacy education, and/or privacy controls (e.g., shaping privacy feature designs across open and encrypted networks as well as advertising products). Please note that students who are studying technical privacy solutions (e.g., differential privacy) should apply to the "Security and Privacy" fellowship vs. this one. 

Networking - We would like to support students active in the research and development of scalable, performant, reliable, efficient and secure wired network infrastructure across AI/Machine Learning applications, 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.

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.

Augmented Reality Audio - We would like to support students working in speech and audio processing for human-human communication in challenging situations. Topics of interest include but are not limited to perception of sounds by humans, speech enhancement, auditory scene analysis, acoustic event detection, audio-visual modeling and sentiment analysis.

Audio Presence - We would like to support students who are working on technologies related to sound capture and rendering systems, including virtual audio, with applications towards next-generation communications systems. Areas of research include but are not limited to microphone array processing, speech enhancement and noise reduction, spatial audio, including signal encoding, compression and decoding, acoustic propagation simulation, HRTF personalization and equalization, and auditory perception. In addition, we 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.

Applied Statistics - We would like to support students who are advancing research in statistics and modeling. Areas of research include but are not limited to theoretic and practical models for bias and variance estimation and correction in models and datasets, uncertainty quantification, graph and structure representation learning, accurate and efficient labeled data collection, network science, active learning, multi-armed bandits, regression and classification, clustering and segmentation, entity linkage and data privacy. Applications of interest include but are not limited to: user modeling; detecting, measuring and fighting abuse and violations; experimentation; surveys; monetization.

Computational Social Science - We would like to support students who are advancing research in the social sciences with computational approaches. Topics of interest include models and analysis of online communities and interactions, information diffusion, algorithmic amplification, social capital, social vulnerability, migration, social issues beliefs and attitudes, civic participation, equity in online spaces, economic opportunity and mobility, and social science in the metaverse. A student’s research may study online platforms and technologies directly, or it may leverage novel datasets and methods to study the topics of interest. A focus on populations outside of Western markets or with underserved/marginalized groups is encouraged.

Economics and Computation - We support students who are passionate about applied or theoretical work in the areas of game theory, optimization, operations management and econometrics. Example research topics of particular relevance include ad auction design, two-sided mechanism design, mechanism design for social good, applications of combinatorial and convex optimization at large scale, and the intersection of econometrics and machine learning. We also encourage and welcome applications from researchers doing work on other topics in the disciplines above broadly relevant to economic and resource-allocation problems in the context of digital technologies.

Security and Privacy - We would like to support students with established proficiency in the field and passion about maximizing utility while addressing consumer needs via privacy-enhancing technologies. Topics of interest include but are not limited to: k trigger.  Students may showcase research proposals that leverage an assortment of technologies such as federated learning, federated analytics, differential privacy, trusted execution enclaves, multi-party computation, homomorphic encryption, and more.

AR/VR Future Technologies - We 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 we’re especially interested in seeing applications from those with backgrounds in the social sciences, HCI, communication, public health or with a special interest of topics around diversity & inclusion.

AR/VR Photonics and Optics - We aim to connect with innovative students who can work from the fundamental principles of optical physics, computational optimization,  and material science to achieve major breakthroughs.  This includes the fields of source development, nano-optics, optical system design, novel optical materials and processes, diffractive optics, metasurfaces, and machine learning algorithm development.