Center Activities

Amazon PhD Fellowship Program

On an annual basis, the Center will issue a call for nominations for the Center’s Amazon Fellows Program.

Nominations for fellowships should be made by Columbia faculty. Students must be enrolled at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, in good standing, and have exhibited outstanding academic performance to be eligible for the Amazon Fellows Program. The Center’s Advisory Group will review nominations and make recommendations to the Center Director. The Dean of Engineering will make final decisions.

Two fellowships will be awarded each year. The fellowships will provide each doctoral graduate student with up to 2 years of funding during academic semesters to use for tuition and a stipend to initiate independent research projects. In addition, the Fellows will have an opportunity to interview for a summer internship at Amazon, gaining valuable industry insights and experience through direct engagement with Amazon researchers. As a condition of funding, the Amazon Fellows will be required to submit a 6-month and a 12-month progress report. Eligibility for continued funding for a second year will be based on progress and the justification of needs for ongoing fellowship support.

Research Fund

The Center will also issue an annual Call For Proposals (CFP) to support projects in fundamental and applied AI research.

There are two types of funding mechanisms associated with the call for proposals. One is a Sponsored Research Project (SRP), which may involve direct collaboration with an Amazon researcher. The other mechanism is a Gift-Funded Research Project (GFRP) in which the research is exploratory.

The Center will support up to 3 SRPs and 1-3 GFRPs annually. Columbia faculty members, from all departments in SEAS and other Columbia schools, will be eligible to submit proposals. Collaborations led by Columbia faculty involving faculty from other universities and institutions in the greater New York City metropolitan area are welcome.

The Center’s Advisory Group will review the proposals and make recommendations to the Center Director. The Dean of Engineering and Amazon’s Center Liaison will work collaboratively to make the final funding decision of the SRPs.

Community Outreach

Community and outreach activities will also play a significant part in the Center’s activities. Each year, the Center will organize the following:

  • an annual Research Symposium, which will be open to the public for greater knowledge dissemination, discussion, and community input;
  • a workshop for facilitating new networking and collaboration between Columbia and Amazon researchers;
  • a workshop for sharing research results of funded projects and student fellowships, highlighting progress and new challenges;
  • monthly seminars led by AI researchers from both academia and industry; and
  • training/recruiting events to prepare students for various career options.

The ultimate goal is to assemble a community of scholars and practitioners at the leading edge of AI and AI technology development, translating the latest advances in artificial intelligence into tools, technologies, and services that will transform society and lead to a more secure, connected, creative, sustainable, and healthy humanity.