Alibaba Innovative Research

Alibaba Innovative Research (AIR) programme and Alibaba Research Fellow (ARF) programme act as a bridge that connects Alibaba Group and the researchers from world-wide top universities and research institutes. Through these programmes, we intend to support the frontier studies in computer science and the related areas that can solve the actual problems in industry scenarios. We will provide research funding, real-life business scenarios, and other necessary supports to the successful applicants. We sincerely invite you to collaborate with Alibaba scientists and to discover, define and solve the valuable research problem in Alibaba.

Application Requirements

Applicant must be a full-time faculty member or research staff at a non-profit academic, university or research institution. We do not accept the case that a qualified researcher helps another non-eligible researcher apply.

Important Dates

  • Proposal Submission Deadline: 23:59 Dec 15th, 2021, GMT +8
  • Acceptance Notification: Jan 11th, 2022, GMT+8

How to Apply

  • In every June and December, we will publish new research topics and call for proposals from world-wide universities and non-profit academic institutions. All the submitted proposals will be reviewed by Alibaba Technical Committee, and the final accepted proposals will be funded for one-year duration.
  • Please kindly select the appropriate topics that are released in the page of "Research Themes" and submit your proposals in Chinese or English. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Please properly cite the references in your application. Plagiarism or other violation of academic integrity will not be tolerated.
  • DO NOT send any confidential or proprietary information in your proposal. Any information you send to us as part of your application will be considered non-confidential regardless of any markings or designations.
  • Applicant(s) should understand and comply with United Nation's and all countries/regions' export control applicable laws, regulations, administrative regulations, administrative orders and related requirements.

Proposal Template

Contact Us

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact with us at We will reply you as soon as possible.

Research themes

Research on Next-generation Virtualization Technologies

  • Refined Resource Portrait of Cloud Native Applications (云原生应用精细化资源特征画像) More Details >

Developing High-performance Optimization Solver and Mathematics Modeling Tools

    Research on Key Techonologies for Large-scale Pretraining Models

    • Few-shot Knowledge Distillation for Large-scale Pre-Trained Models (PTMs) More Details >

    Next Generation Intelligent Data Processing Platforms

      Research on Frontier Technologies in Data Center and Server

      • Hardware Resource Quality-of-Service (QoS) for Workload Co-location in Cloud Data Centers More Details >
      • 【CCF-AIR青年基金】Cloud Storage Oriented DPU Architecture More Details >
      • 【CCF-AIR青年基金】Design and Implementation of Multi-Core Heterogeneous Edge Computing Systems More Details >
      • 【CCF-AIR青年基金】Next-generation video hardware encoder More Details >
      • Optimizing Extended GPU Memory System for Heterogeneous Computing More Details >
      • 【CCF-AIR青年基金】Research on Coordinated Optimization of Internet Data Center Computing Power Based on Elastic Scheduling of Workload More Details >

      Data Security and Privacy Protection

      • Hardware-Software Co-design for Privacy-Preserving Computing System More Details >
      • Post-Quantum Public-key Encryption Based on Error-Correction Codes More Details >

      Low Carbon & Efficient Serverless Infrastructure


        • 【CCF-AIR青年基金】High Density and High Performance mmWave Networking System More Details >
        • 【CCF-AIR青年基金】High-performance Computing, Numerical Weather Prediction, and Machine Learning More Details >
        • 【CCF-AIR青年基金】Multi-modal Learning for Emotion Recognition More Details >
        • 【CCF-AIR青年基金】Nationally differentiated search algorithm and technology for cross-border electronic commerce More Details >
        • 【CCF-AIR青年基金】Large scale real-time prediction and decision-making based on time and space More Details >
        • Language Understanding on Long-form Spoken Documents More Details >
        • Agile chip development – design and verification More Details >

        Q: Can I submit the proposal in another format besides MS word?

        A:Proposals are expected to be in MS Word or PDF format. Besides, we do not have the page limit. Please write either in English or Chinese.

        Q: Can I apply Alibaba Innovative Research or Alibaba Research Fellowship in other countries?

        A: The programmes are available in all countries/regions. Researchers who are sponsored by the ARF programme will visit Alibaba's offices in China (Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, etc.) to work with front-end engineers on real-life business scenarios.

        Q: I am an undergraduate/graduate student. Do I qualify to apply this plan?

        A: No, undergraduate/graduate student is unqualified to submit proposals. The applicant should be a full-time faculty member or a research staff at a non-profit academic, university or research institution.

        Q: I am working in a start-up company that has the cooperation with a university. Am I qualified?

        A: No, you are unqualified.

        Q: I am a professor. Can I submit two or more proposals to apply multiple research topics?

        A: Yes. The final result will be given by Alibaba Technical committee while the selected proposals will be evaluated with consideration of innovation, feasibility potential value, etc.

        Q: Can I make changes to my submitted applications?

        A: No, you can't.

        Q: What is the expected funding amount for this one-year project?

        A: We can support each AIR project up to $70k US dollars. For ARF, we will make service fee payments to the visiting scientist.

        Q: Can I submit a multi-year proposal?

        A: We suggest one-year collaboration. However, based on the outcomes of ongoing project, we can negotiate to establish a multi-year collaboration with our collaborated researchers.

        Q: I am collaborating with a professor in a university. Can we submit a joint proposal?

        A: Not suggested. The applicant should come from a university or non-profit research institute.

        Q: What is the intellectual property (IP) policy in AIR project?

        A: We will friendly negotiate the IP issue with our collaborator according to the IP policy of his/her affiliated university or research institute.


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