Show me the Money | The Handy Guide to Diversity and Tech Scholarships and Grants

Recently, Microsoft has had a bumper load of announcements around scholarships and grants for women in tech, women venture capitalists (VCs) and those who are differently abled. Here’s a handy guide to various awards, scholarships and grants if you’re looking for your next big boost in tech. 


1) Microsoft Research Ada Lovelace Fellowship (apply here)

The Microsoft Research Ada Lovelace Fellowship aims to increase the pipeline of diverse talent receiving advanced degrees in computing-related fields by providing a research funding opportunity for doctoral students from groups underrepresented in computing (women, African-Americans/Blacks, Latinos, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, people with disabilities and/or LGBTQ).


What: A three-year fellowship for PhD students at North American universities who are members of groups underrepresented in computing and pursuing research aligned to the research topics carried out by Microsoft Research.



  • Tuition and fees are covered for three academic years (2019–20, 2020–21, and 2021–22).

  • A $42,000 USD stipend is provided to help with living expenses and conference travel while in school for three academic years (2019–20, 2020–21, and 2021–22).

  • An invitation to interview for one salaried internship in 2019 with leading Microsoft researchers working on cutting-edge projects related to the recipient’s field of study.

  • An invitation to the PhD Summit: a two-day workshop in the fall at our Redmond lab where fellows will meet with Microsoft researchers and other top students to share their research.

Note: Fellowships are awarded to recipients for three consecutive academic years only and are not available for extension.


How to apply: Applicants must be in their second year of PhD studies and nominated by the department chair in their field of study. Applications will be accepted through 11:59 PM Pacific Time on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, Ada Lovelace Day.


2) Microsoft Women in Computing Award (apply here)

The Windows Insider Women in Computing Award offers selected applicants the opportunity to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration and Microsoft Headquarters for a week of career mentoring, networking, and inspiring discussion.


What: Grace Hopper Celebration Pass + one week program at Microsoft HQ in Redmond, WA


Eligibility: Registered Windows Insiders can apply for the Windows Insider Women in Computing Award.

  • To be eligible for the award, join the Windows Insider Program.

  • The award is open to all women currently in the process of completing a university computer science or related degree program. Entrants must be currently enrolled in an accredited degree-granting institution to qualify for the award (first year college students through post-doc students are eligible).

  • Students who have accepted employment offers (2018-2019) at Microsoft are ineligible.

  • International students arriving from outside of the U.S. will be responsible for securing their own travel visas.

  • Award recipients MUST be available to attend both conference activities in Houston, TX between Wednesday, September 26th and Friday, September 28th and post-conference activities in Redmond, WA, dates to be determined.

How to applySubmit a short video and brief written statement about your journey pursuing computer science and your vision for the future here. Application closes on August 22, 2018. 


M12 Female Founders Competition.JPGM12 Female Founders Competition

3) M12 Microsoft’s Venture Fund – Female Founders’ Competition (apply here)

Top applicants from across North America, Europe and Israel will compete in a live pitch competition*, with 2 winners selected from the global entrants. This competition is held in partnership with EQT Ventures and SVB Financial Group. 



  • To help high-potential female founders developing enterprise technology solutions gain access to capital.

  • Submissions will be accepted from across North America, Europe and Israel.

  • The 2 winning startups will each receive a $2,000,000 USD investment, with a total prize pool valued at $4,651,500 USD.

How are the applications judged?
A group of judges from M12 and the partner VC firms in each region will each vote on the top 10 entries in each region based on the following criteria:

  • Problem addressed

  • Market size and growth potential

  • Differentiated/disruptive solution

  • Performance and traction with customers

  • Ability of founding team to execute

How to apply: Submit your application here.


AI for Accessibility promo.JPGAI for Accessibility: a $25 million dollar fund that harnesses the power of AI to amplify human capability for the more than one billion people around the world with a disability.

4) Microsoft AI for Accessibility Grant (apply here)

AI for Accessibility aims to accelerate the development of accessible and intelligent AI solutions that build on recent advancements in Microsoft Cognitive Services to help developers create intelligent apps that see, hear, speak, understand and better interpret people’s needs. This grant program is a call to action for developers, NGO’s, academics, researchers and inventors to bring their ideas to the next level.

Focus Areas of AI for Accessibility.JPGHave an amazing AI-based project to help boost accessibility in these focus areas? Apply for the AI for Accessiblity grant!

How to apply: Submit your application here


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