Applications closed

2022 Networking Request for Proposals: Network for AI


Every day, billions of people connect through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and many other Meta products. Network infrastructure plays a critical role in our business's stability and scalability. Given the recent advances in AI computing, Network infrastructure should adapt to meet the ever-changing needs of this new computing paradigm.

In recent years, the Network Infrastructure Engineering team has increasingly invested in new technologies to facilitate our next generation of AI applications. In particular, we share an overview of our activities in this blog post.

Therefore, to foster further innovation in the area and deepen our collaboration with academia, Meta is pleased to invite faculty to respond to this call for research proposals about the aforementioned topics. We anticipate awarding up to six awards, each in the $50,000 range. Payment will be made to the proposer's host university as an unrestricted gift.

Award Recipients

Cornell University

Mohamed Abdelfattah

University College London

Ran Ben Basat

University of Michigan

Mosharaf Chowdhury

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Manya Ghobadi

Rice University

Yingyan Lin

Duke University

Danyang Zhuo

Applications Are Currently CLosed

Application Timeline

Applications Open

April 5, 2022


May 23, 2022 at 5:00pm AOE (Anywhere on Earth)

Winners Announced

August 2022

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 Meta, and topics may change from year to year. This year, we are soliciting proposals that focus on networking for AI. The example topics include the following:

1. Hardware computational offloading for AI workload: Offloading and accelerating AI compute and inference through programmable switches, smart NIC, and other novel hardware/software co-design techniques at the network layer.

2. End-to-end novel transport designs for distributed AI training: Tackling transport layer challenges for computational fabrics using very high-bandwidth and low-latency interconnects.

3. Scheduling, resource allocation, communication collectives and network joint optimization: AI workload and network joint optimization for resource allocation and dynamic scheduling.

4. New network interconnect architectures for AI training and inference: Include any new data center topologies or interconnects to address scalability and very high bandwidth requirements that are introduced by AI workload (Terabits per accelerator).


Proposals should include

  • A summary of the project (one to two 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 (one 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


  • The proposal 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.
  • Meta 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 Meta in its sole discretion) are not eligible.

Additional Information

  • Award recipients will be listed on the Meta Research website and will also be invited to a Networking and Communications Faculty Summit to discuss their findings and insights.
  • We encourage the winners to openly publish any findings or insights from their work.
  • For additional questions related to this RFP, please email

Frequently Asked Questions

Terms & Conditions

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

  • Meta 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 Meta to be appropriate and at Meta sole discretion. Meta’s decisions will be final in all matters relating to its RFPs, and applicants agree not to challenge any such decisions.
  • Meta 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 Meta 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 Meta for the purposes of administering Meta’s RFP website, evaluating the contents of the proposal, and as otherwise provided under Meta’s Privacy Policy.
  • Neither Meta nor the applicant is obligated to enter into a business transaction as a result of the proposal submission. Meta is under no obligation to review or consider the proposal.
  • Feedback provided in a proposal regarding Meta products or services will not be treated as confidential or protected by copyright, and Meta 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 Meta RFP and to grant the rights set forth herein on behalf of their organization. All awards provided by Meta 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.
  • Funding for winning-RFP proposals will be provided to the academic institution with which the primary investigator/applicant is affiliated pursuant to a gift or other funding model as specified in the RFP call. Applicants understand and acknowledge that their affiliated academic institution will need to agree to the terms and conditions of such gift or other agreement to receive funding.
  • Applicants acknowledge and agree that by submitting an application they are consenting to their name, university / organization’s name and proposal title being made public on Meta’s blog on the website if they are chosen as an RFP winner or finalist. If an applicant is selected as a winner or finalist, they will then have the opportunity to provide written notification that they do not consent to the blog inclusion.