Applications closed

Instagram research awards for Social Technologies


Instagram requests academic and/or non-profit organizations research proposals in areas that align with Instagram’s mission of bringing you closer to the people and things you love.

This year, Instagram will grant awards of up to $50K USD per awardee to fund projects of up to one year in duration. This RFP challenge is open to applicants worldwide. This includes individual researchers addressing a well-defined problem, or may require multiple university departments to collaborate with a diverse set of skills to solve a more complex multi-disciplinary challenge.

Applications Are Currently CLosed

Application Timeline

Notifications will be sent by email to selected applicants sometime in December 2018.

Launch Date

October 12, 2018


November 16, 2018

Winners Announced

December 2018

Areas of Interest

Researchers can submit proposals for any domain related to the topics below. We describe some examples for each topic, but we will gladly consider proposals related to these topics that are not specified as examples.

  • The effects of social technologies on interpersonal relationships and communities. Some examples: How does online behavior build or shape relationships (among friends, communities of shared interests) – both online and offline – and how does this relate to personal well-being?
  • The role of social media in supporting personal development and social ties at different life stages. Some examples: How might we identify opportunities for greater cross-cultural and cross-generational interactions, support healthy social and emotional development in teens, and/or reduce the isolation of seniors?
  • Emerging trends in social commerce. Some examples: How are social media platforms changing the nature of entrepreneurship, collaborative production, and peer-to-peer commerce?
  • Social media trends in your market/country/city. Some examples: How do consumer expectations around social media differ, particularly around safety, security and privacy? How are micro entrepreneurs leveraging social media in these regions?
  • Promoting healthy conversation and behaviors in online communities. Some examples: How can online communities encourage healthy, civil, and empathetic discussion? What constitutes a healthy, civil, and empathetic discussion? What empowers online community members to help encourage and maintain a healthy community?

Payment will be made to the proposer’s host university as an unrestricted gift (see FAQ for more details). With this, overhead is typically limited to 5-8%.


To apply

We ask applicants to submit a 1-2 page proposal. Proposals should include:

  • A summary of the project (1-2 pages) explaining the area of focus, a description of techniques, any relevant prior work, and a timeline with milestones and expected outcomes
  • Clear and concise statement of the scientific contribution and routes to eventual deployment
  • A draft budget description (1 page) including an approximate cost of the award and explanation of how funds would be spent
  • Names of the researcher(s) involved in the proposed work with their CV/resume or links to Google Scholar pages
  • Indication of any previous or current connections/collaborations with Facebook (in which case please name the Facebook contacts)


  • Applicants must be current full-time faculty at an accredited academic institution or organization that awards research degrees to PhD students.
  • Organizations must be a nonprofit or non-governmental organization with recognized legal status in their respective country (equal to 501(c)(3) status under the United States Internal Revenue Code).
  • Applicants must be the Principal Investigator on any resulting award.
  • Applicants may submit one proposal per solicitation.

Timing and dates

  • Applications are now closed.
  • Notifications will be sent by email to selected applicants sometime in December 2018.