Amazon Research Awards


What types of proposals does ARA fund?

The Amazon Research Awards (ARA) program funds academic research and related contributions to open-source projects by top academic researchers around the world. ARA aims to fund projects leading toward a PhD degree or conducted as a part of post-doctoral work. Check our Call for Proposals page for a list of focus areas supported this year.

Who is eligible to apply?

Full-time faculty members of institutions in North America and Europe granting PhD degrees in the fields related to Machine Learning are eligible to apply as Principal Investigators (PI). Awarded funds will support 1-2 graduate student or post-doc researchers conducting the research under the guidance of this PI.

What is the structure of an ARA award? Can it be extended?

Awards are structured as one-year unrestricted gifts to academic institutions and can include up to $80,000 in funding and up to $20,000 in AWS Promotional Credits[1]. Though the funding is not extendable, applicants can submit new proposals for subsequent calls.

Is it possible to have multiple faculty members on a single proposal?

We prefer that proposals be submitted by a single faculty member, who will also supervise the student or post-doc who is to be funded by the award. Other members of the research team can and should be mentioned in the proposal.

Is it possible for one faculty member to be on multiple grants?

We prefer that any individual faculty member submit at most two proposals.

Do recipients have access to Amazon data?

Recipients will have access to Amazon datasets that are already public, such as the Amazon Bin Image Dataset, but not to non-public data.

Does Amazon retain any intellectual property and licensing on the material developed during the time period that a student is funded?

ARA funding is distributed as unrestricted gifts to universities. As such, the funding does not result in any transfer or license of any intellectual property rights.

Does Amazon accept any legal obligation with respect to submitted proposals?

We are happy to review non-confidential project proposals. As such, project proposals shall not contain any confidential information (please do not include any information in your proposal that you or others consider confidential). Amazon does not accept any legal obligation (whether of confidentiality, compensation, return or otherwise) with respect to any proposals. Amazon reserves the right to implement similar ideas in the future without restriction or obligation.

What budget expenses will Amazon consider for the award?

A proposed budget not exceeding $80,000 is generally expected to support one PhD student (or a post-doctoral researcher) for one year. The budget should include a list of expected costs specified in USD, and should not include overhead costs. The final award amount will be determined by the awards panel.

Additionally, proposals may include a request for up to $20,000 of AWS Promotional Credits[2].

Proposals should include the requested amount, a short justification, and a list of AWS Public Datasets (if any) to be used in the proposed research. The final amount of free AWS Promotional Credits will be determined by the awards panel.

Who will evaluate the proposals and when will I know the outcome of the review?

Project proposals are reviewed by an internal awards panel and the results are communicated approximately three months after the submission deadline. We will communicate the decision to the primary Principal Investigator listed on each proposal, and will make an announcement on the ARA website. We expect the primary Principle Investigator to notify the rest of their team about funding decisions.

What happens after the ARA recipients are announced?

Each project will be assigned an Amazon research contact. The university researchers are encouraged to maintain regular communication with their Amazon contact to discuss ongoing research and project progress. We also encourage publishing the outcome of the project and committing any related code to open-source code repositories.