Applications closed

2021 Networking request for proposals: Internet and web services


Facebook is one of the biggest internet content providers in the world. Every day, billions of people connect with each other through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and many other Facebook products. Facebook’s success is built upon the internet and web services, which already has been one of the most critical infrastructures in the modern world.

To foster further innovation in internet and web services, and to deepen our collaboration with academia, Facebook is pleased to invite faculty to respond to this call for research proposals. We anticipate awarding up to six winners, each in the $50,000 range. Payment will be made to the proposer’s host university as an unrestricted gift.

Award Recipients

Purdue University

Sonia Fahmy

University of Edinburgh

Michio Honda

University of Michigan

Harsha V. Madhyastha

KU Leuven

Robin Marx

Università di Pisa

Enzo Mingozzi

Princeton University

Ravi Netravali

Applications Are Currently CLosed

Application Timeline

Launch Date

April 13, 2021


May 24, 2021

Winners Announced

August 2021

Areas of Interest

Networking research has a wide range of topics. Each year, we focus on specific topics that can benefit the research community and Facebook, and topics may change from year to year. This year, we are soliciting proposals focusing on internet and web services. The example topics include the following:

  • Internet transport protocols (e.g., QUIC, HTTP/3)
  • Content delivery techniques (e.g., load balancing, telemetry)
  • Distributed caching
  • Edge computing services


Proposals should include

  • A summary of the project (1-2 pages), in English, explaining the area of focus, a description of techniques, any relevant prior work, and a timeline with milestones and expected outcomes
  • A draft budget description (1 page) including an approximate cost of the award and explanation of how funds would be spent
  • Curriculum Vitae for all project participants
  • Organization details; this will include tax information and administrative contact details


  • Proposals must comply with applicable U.S. and international laws, regulations, and policies.
  • Applicants must be current full-time faculty at an accredited academic institution that awards research degrees to PhD students.
  • Applicants must be the Principal Investigator on any resulting award.
  • Facebook cannot consider proposals submitted, prepared, or to be carried out by individuals residing in or affiliated with an academic institution located in a country or territory subject to comprehensive U.S. trade sanctions.
  • Government officials (excluding faculty and staff of public universities, to the extent they may be considered government officials), political figures, and politically affiliated businesses (all as determined by Facebook in its sole discretion) are not eligible.

Additional Information

  • Award recipients will be listed on the Facebook Research website and will also be invited to a Networking & Communications Faculty Summit to discuss their findings and insights.
  • We encourage the winners to openly publish any findings or insights from their work.
  • In addition, PIs and Co-PIs on the winning proposals will be automatically granted access to CrowdTangle, a public insights tool from Facebook that makes it easy to follow, analyze, and report on what’s happening with public content on social media. Learn more about CrowdTangle here.

For additional questions related to this RFP, please email

Frequently Asked Questions

Terms & Conditions

Facebook’s decisions will be final in all matters relating to Facebook RFP solicitations, including whether or not to grant an award and the interpretation of Facebook RFP Terms and Conditions. By submitting a proposal, applicants affirm that they have read and agree to these Terms and Conditions.

  • Facebook is authorized to evaluate proposals submitted under its RFPs, to consult with outside experts, as needed, in evaluating proposals, and to grant or deny awards using criteria determined by Facebook to be appropriate and at Facebook’s sole discretion. Facebook’s decisions will be final in all matters relating to its RFPs, and applicants agree not to challenge any such decisions.
  • Facebook will not be required to treat any part of a proposal as confidential or protected by copyright, and may use, edit, modify, copy, reproduce and distribute all or a portion of the proposal in any manner for the sole purposes of administering the Facebook RFP website and evaluating the contents of the proposal.
  • Personal data submitted with a proposal, including name, mailing address, phone number, and email address of the applicant and other named researchers in the proposal may be collected, processed, stored and otherwise used by Facebook for the purposes of administering Facebook’s RFP website, evaluating the contents of the proposal, and as otherwise provided under Facebook’s Privacy Policy.
  • Neither Facebook nor the applicant is obligated to enter into a business transaction as a result of the proposal submission. Facebook is under no obligation to review or consider the proposal.
  • Feedback provided in a proposal regarding Facebook products or services will not be treated as confidential or protected by copyright, and Facebook is free to use such feedback on an unrestricted basis with no compensation to the applicant. The submission of a proposal will not result in the transfer of ownership of any IP rights.
  • Applicants represent and warrant that they have authority to submit a proposal in connection with a Facebook RFP and to grant the rights set forth herein on behalf of their organization. All awards provided by Facebook in connection with this RFP shall be used only in accordance with applicable laws and shall not be used in any way, directly or indirectly, to facilitate any act that would constitute bribery or an illegal kickback, an illegal campaign contribution, or would otherwise violate any applicable anti-corruption or political activities law.
  • Awards granted in connection with RFP proposals will be subject to terms and conditions contained in the unrestricted gift agreement (or, in some cases, other mechanisms) pursuant to which the award funding will be provided. Applicants understand and acknowledge that they will need to agree to these terms and conditions to receive an award.