Google PhD Fellowship

Award Overview

Value & Duration

Recipients will:

  • Receive full tuition and fees for up to 3 years (includes enrolment fees, health insurance, books) plus a stipend to be used for living expenses, travel and personal equipment.
  • Be matched with a Google Research Mentor.


The Google PhD Fellowship Program recognizes outstanding graduate students doing exceptional and innovative research in areas relevant to computer science and related fields. Fellowships support promising PhD candidates of all backgrounds who seek to influence the future of technology. Google’s mission is to foster inclusive research communities and encourages people of diverse backgrounds to apply.


Applicants must:

  • Be full-time graduate students pursuing a PhD (normally in 2nd year) in one of the research areas listed below.
  • Not be Google employees, their spouses, children, or members of their household.

Recipients must:

  • Have completed all graduate coursework by the time the Fellowship begins (usually 3rd year for Canadian students).
  • Remain enrolled full-time in the PhD program for the duration of the Fellowship or forfeit the award.
  • Not be already supported by a comparable industry award. (Government or non-profit organization funding is exempt.)

Note: Past awardees from the PhD Fellowship program are not eligible to apply again.

Research areas

  • Algorithms, Optimizations and Markets
  • Computational Neural and Cognitive Science
  • Health Research
  • 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
  • Recommender Systems
  • Structured Data and Database Management
  • Systems and Networking

Underrepresented groups

At least two out of the four U of T nominees for this award must self-identify as a woman, Black/African descent, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, Indigenous, and/or person with a disability.

Selection Criteria

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.

In the United States, Canada, and Europe, essay responses are evaluated in addition to application materials to determine an overall recommendation.

Research should align with Google AI Principles.

Application Process

Nominations are made by graduate units in the Summer session. The University of Toronto may submit up to four (4) nominations university-wide (with min. two (2) from an underrepresented group) for the Google PhD Fellowship competition. Given the extremely competitive and prestigious nature of this international award, graduate units are asked to carefully consider and forward only the highest quality applications to SGS for nomination.

Applicants must submit an electronic copy of their completed application as a single flat (not portfolio) PDF file via email to their graduate unit by the graduate unit’s application deadline, with the subject title “Google 2024 – NAME OF APPLICANT”. Students applying for both Google and Apple fellowships must submit two separate applications as each competition has its own list of required items.

A complete application package will include all of the following items in the order listed:

  1. Cover sheet signed by the Department Chair or designate confirming that the student passes the eligibility requirements, as stated above (to be supplied by graduate unit before forwarding to SGS).
  2. Student CV with links to website and publications (if available).
  3. Short (1-page) CV of the student’s primary supervisor.
  4. Research / dissertation proposal with references (maximum 3 pages, excluding references).
  5. Student (research) essay response (maximum 350 words): 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.
  6. Student (leadership) essay response (maximum 350 words): Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time. (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?)
  7. Transcripts of current and previous academic records. Scans of official transcript are preferred but unofficial and web-based transcripts are accepted.
  8. 2-3 letters of recommendation from those familiar with the nominee’s work (at least one from the thesis advisor). Letters must be emailed by each referee as a PDF attachment directly to the graduate unit (not SGS) with the subject title “Google 2024 Ref – NAME OF APPLICANT” by the graduate unit’s application deadline.

Applicants should list their Google Research Area(s), in order of relevance if more than one, in the body of the submission email to their graduate unit.

Underrepresented group applicants only: please indicate within the body of the submission email if you self-identify as a member of an underrepresented group. Your underrepresented group status will not be disclosed during the SGS Committee review, and applications will be reviewed based solely on the strength of the submitted materials.


The University competition results will be communicated by the SGS Graduate Awards Office in early May. The results of the international competition will be communicated to nominees when available, likely in late Summer 2024.

Contacts & Resources

For more information, visit the Google PhD Fellowship FAQ page and/or contact or

Janine Harper
Graduate Awards Office
School of Graduate Studies