Award type: 
Award description: 

NEW for 2024: Google has revised its application cycle timeline. The competition will now take place during the winter term. Waterloo’s new annual institutional deadline for applicants is April 1.

Google PhD Fellowship students are a select group recognized by Google researchers and their institutions as some of the most promising young academics in the world. The Fellowships are awarded to students who represent the future of research in the following fields: Algorithms, Optimizations and Market; Computational Neuroscience; Human-Computer Interaction; Machine Learning; Machine Perception, Speech Technology and Computer Vision; Mobile Computing; Natural Language Processing (including Information Retrieval and Extraction); Privacy and Security; Programming Languages and Software Engineering; Quantum Computing; Structured Data and Database Management; Systems and Networking.

Value description: 
  • Up to 2 year Fellowship with a monetary award
  • Full tuition and fees (enrollment fees, health insurance, books) plus a stipend to be used for living expenses, travel and personal equipment
  • Google Research Mentor
Eligibility & selection criteria: 
  • Full-time graduate students pursuing a PhD
  • Must have completed all graduate coursework before the Fellowship begins
  • Students must remain enrolled full-time in the PhD program for the duration of the Fellowship or forfeit the award.
  • Google employees, and their spouses, children, and members of their household are not eligible.
  • Students that are already supported by a comparable industry award are not eligible. Government or non-profit organization funding is exempt.
  • Past awardees from Australia and New Zealand, East Asia, India and Southeast Asia PhD Fellowship programs are not eligible to apply again.
  • Applications are evaluated on the strength of the research proposal, research impact, student academic achievements, and leadership potential. Research proposals are evaluated for innovative concepts that are relevant to Google’s research areas, as well as aspects of robustness and potential impact to the field. Proposals should include the direction and any plans of where your work is going in addition to a comprehensive description of the research you are pursuing.
  • Essay responses are evaluated in addition to application materials to determine an overall recommendation.
  • A nominee's status as a member of a historically marginalized group is not considered in the selection of award recipients.
  • Research should align with Google AI Principles.
Open to any program
Canadian/Permanent resident, International/study permit student
Selection process: 
Application required
Application deadline: 
April 1
Additional instructions: 

Current Waterloo students who are interested in applying for the Google PhD Fellowship must submit their application directly to Waterloo. Applicants are not permitted to apply directly to Google. Waterloo will nominate up to four applicants annually.

The following components are required as part of a complete application:

Reference letters:

Applicants must select 2-3 referees that are familiar with their work (at least one referee must be their thesis advisor). Applicants must ask referees to upload their signed reference letters to the Computer Science Vault (for Referees) by April 1. 

Application package:

Applicants must upload the following documents in the following order as one PDF to the Computer Science Vault (for Applicants) by April 1:

  1. Student CV (with links to website and publications, if applicable)
  2. Condensed CV of student’s primary advisor (maximum 1 page)
  3. Research / dissertation proposal (maximum 3 pages excluding references; note that this max length changed from 8 to 3 pages effective 2024)
  4. Student essay response (350-word limit) to:
    • Describe the desired impact your research will make on the field and society, and why this is important to you. Include any personal, educational and/or professional experiences that have motivated your research interests.
  5. Student essay response (350-word limit) to:
    • Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
    • Note: A leadership role can mean more than just a title. It can mean being a mentor to others, acting as the person in charge of a specific task, or taking the lead role in organizing an event or project. Think about what you accomplished and what you learned from the experience. What were your responsibilities? Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church, in your community or an organization? And your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to school activities. For example, do you help out or take care of your family?
  6. Transcripts from current and previous post-secondary institutions
    • Waterloo transcript: Applicants must obtain a copy of their most recent Waterloo transcript. They may ask their department graduate co-ordinator to generate their unofficial UW transcript. If selected to be nominated by the University, GSPA will replace the unofficial UW transcript with an official one.
    • Non-Waterloo transcript: Applicants must obtain official electronic copies of their non-Waterloo transcripts (if applicable). They may ask their department graduate co-ordinator to pull the transcripts on-file which were submitted at the time of admission to UW. If UW has not been supplied with a specific institution’s transcript or the version on-file is not the final version, the student is responsible for ordering the most recent transcript themselves and including it with their application package.
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