IBM Academic Awards

Supporting research and curriculum innovation.

IBM Education and Skills

About the program

Academic Awards scale from an individual faculty member’s research to much larger university-based concepts and programs. For an idea of what the program considers within its interest, please refer to these research areas:

Future of Health, Work, and Climate
Governance of Science and Technology (Standards)
Future of Computing
Materials Design
Hybrid Cloud/Multi-Cloud/Future of Cloud
AI for Business, Science, or Technology
AI Optimization
Exploratory Sciences

The IBM Academic Award program fosters collaboration between researchers at leading universities and IBM Researchers and Technologists worldwide. IBM Academic Awards can also promote curriculum innovation to stimulate growth in emerging academic disciplines. IBM Academic Awards can consist of hardware, software, services, IBM Cloud access, and cash components. IBM Academic Awards are not contracts, and intellectual property belongs to the university. There can be no impending or ongoing commercial work related to the IBM Academic Award application.


The SUR Awards program strives

To qualify for an Academic Award, the nominee must be a full-time professor at an accredited university that has a PhD or Masters’ program in the nominee’s field. Candidates must have outstanding contributions in their field, or in the case of junior faculty, show unusual promise.

All IBM Academic Award proposals must be submitted by IBM employees who collaborate with faculty members, or the institution, on a technical or research basis. For faculty that are interested in pursuing a nomination for an Academic Award but with limited IBM contacts, IBM recommends building relationships with IBM through many of the outreach programs found on If there is any future mutual interest in collaboration, your enlarged circle of IBM contacts could be eligible to seek sponsorship and initiate a nomination for you.

IBM does not accept unsolicited external requests for IBM Academic Awards. IBM provides a limited number of awards each year at its discretion, and universities are capped at the number of awards that can be received within a calendar year. All IBM Academic Award nomination applications are evaluated through a rigorous, multi-stage process and must comply with program requirements. No guarantee of an IBM Academic Award, implied or otherwise, is made by IBM.

Still have questions? See the FAQs for even more information.